Phytoplankton microscopic enumerations and HPLC analyses of their pigments were performed weekly for a complete year at a coastal station in the English Channel. The taxonomic composition of the phytoplankton community was assessed using the HPLC results combined with the mathematical tool CHEMTAX in two different ways. Firstly, without using the species level taxonomic information obtained at the microscopic level (blind analyses), and secondly by including the information from the microscopic taxonomic analysis (directed analyses). The results indicate that, due to the particular pigment composition of some species (for example, the dinoflagellate, Karenia mikimotoi and the haptophyte, Phaeocystis pouchetii), a blind analysis would result in very significant errors in the taxonomic determination of the bloom events at this station. Major blooms of Karenia mikimotoi and P. pouchetii were mistaken for blooms of diatoms on the basis of a blind HPLC-CHEMTAX analysis. Only with the information from the microscopic observations was it possible to obtain an accurate representation of the phytoplankton community.
- High performance liquid chromatography
- Phytoplankton composition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science