Photosynthesis in the aquatic environment

Having considered the photosynthetic response of aquatic plants to light of different intensities and spectral qualities, we shall now examine how the availability of light influences where, when and how much photosynthesis takes place in aquatic ecosystems, and also the extent to which other parameters of the environment can limit photosynthesis. Aquatic production ecology is an enormous field: a comprehensive account will not therefore be attempted. Rather, the broad principles governing the controlling influence of light and other parameters will be outlined and illustrated by examples. More detailed accounts and extensive bibliographies can be found in the books on phytoplankton ecology by Reynolds (1984), Harris (1986), and Fogg and Thake (1987), and the symposium proceedings edited by Platt and Li (1986), and Falkowski and Woodhead (1992). The essay by Fogg (1991) on 'The phytoplanktonic way of life' provides a particularly valuable overview of the multifarious interactions between the phytoplankton and its environment.

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