Large Yearly Production of Phytoplankton in the Western Bering Strait

Science  14 Sep 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4667, pp. 1147-1150
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4667.1147


Production in the western Bering Strait is estimated at 324 grams of carbon per square meter per year over 2.12x 104 square kilometers. An ice-reduced growing season makes this large amount of primary production unexpected, but it is consistent with the area's large upper trophic level stocks. The productivity is fueled by a cross-shelf flow of nutrient-rich water from the Bering Sea continental slope. This phytoplankton production system from June through September is analogous to a laboratory continuous culture.