PRODUCTIVIDAD PRIMARIA EN LA CIENAGA GRANDE DE SANTA MARTA, COLOMBIA
Between January 1987 and January 1988 the primary productivity and related parameters were studied in the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta. The Ciénaga is a coastal lagoon with an area of 423 km'2 and mean depth of 1.6 m, which is located at the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The salinity fluctuates seasonally within a wide range. The system is characterized by a high concentration of seston and a great primary productivity. The concentration of chlorophyll " a " ranged from 5.6to 181 ug Ii , the mean value was 59 ug I i . The concentration of proteins was within the extremes of 0.9 and 9.5 mg I"i f the mean value was 4.2 mg I ] . The gross primary productivity in the central part of the Ciénaga amounted to 1690 g C m*2 per year. Considering the temporal fluctuation in the whole system the lowest and highest values were 1.40 and 16.3 g C rrr2 per day. Highest productivity values were encountered when the salinity was low. The primary productivity is controlled by water turbidity and availability of nutrients, thus, seasonal continental waters. The photosynthetic laver ¡s restricted to less than 1.5 m due to the high particle concentration. The mean N: P relation was 4:1 which indicates that the nitrogen compounds are the limiting nutrientes. The high primary productivity sustains an important local fishery. The coastal area in the vicinity of the Ciénaga Grande is benefitted by the export of particulated and dissolved organic matter produced in excess within the coastal lagoon.
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