Chlorophyll a as a measure of seasonal coupling between phytoplankton and the monsoon periods in the Gulf of Oman

Adnan R. Al-Azri, Sergey A. Piontkovski, Khalid A. Al-Hashmi, Joaquim I. Goes, Helga R. do Gomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


We present data from a long time-series study to describe the factors that control phytoplankton population densities and biomass in the coastal waters of Oman. Surface temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a (Chl a), and phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance of sea water were measured as far as possible from February 2004 through February 2006, at two stations along the southern coast of the Gulf of Oman. The highest concentrations of Chl a (3 mg m-3) were recorded during the southwest monsoon (SWM) when upwelling is active along the coast of Oman. However, results from our study reveal that the timing and the amplitude of the seasonal peak of Chl a exhibited interannual variability, which might be attributed to interannual differences in the seasonal cycles of nutrients caused either by coastal upwelling or by cyclonic eddy activity. Monthly variability of SST and concentrations of dissolved nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and silicate together explained about 90% of the seasonal changes of Chl a in the coastal ecosystem of the Gulf of Oman. Phytoplankton communities of the coastal waters of Oman were dominated by diatoms for most part of the year, but for a short period in summer, dinoflagellates were dominant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-461
Number of pages13
JournalAquatic Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Monsoon winds
  • Noctiluca scintillans
  • Nutrients
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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