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Geosciences LibreTexts

7: Primary Production

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  • Learning Objectives

    • After reading this chapter you should:

    • be able to define primary production, gross and net production, new and regenerated production
    • know some of the major organisms involved in oceanic primary productivity
    • know what a red tide is
    • know how certain phytoplankton can cause toxic blooms
    • know the major requirements for primary production to occur
    • understand how light availability and thus primary production changes with depth
    • understand the concept of compensation depth in relation to primary production
    • know the major nutrients needed for primary production
    • know the general depth profiles for nutrients in the ocean, and the factors responsible for those curves
    • be able to describe the seasonal patterns in productivity in polar, tropical, and temperate regions, and the factors responsible for those patterns
    • understand the concept of a food web and ecological efficiency
    • understand the role played by bacteria in supporting primary production