Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Dr. G.P. Harris


Simultaneous discrete volume samples and synoptic continuous transect samples were taken in Hamilton Harbour during stratified and unstratified conditions in order to look for small scale pattern in the phytoplankton community.

Continuous transect data collected from the measurement of fluorometric chlorophyll a, spectrophotometric chlorophyll a, nitrate→nitrite, nitrite, filtered reactive phosphorous, total phosphate, filtered reactive silica and some species enumerations were examined using mean square pattern analysis and power spectral analysis.

The excessive spatial variability encountered precluded the use of pooled variance analysis techniques.

Power spectral analysis was much more sensitive to small scale variations than mean square pattern analysis although the latter may be more indicative of larger scale structure.

Cross comparisons (covariance, correlation, cross-spectra) could not be performed because of peak shift phenomena and because of large differences in the estimates of parameter values.

The fluorometric determinations of chlorophyll a smoothed out structure revealed by the more precise spectrophotometric determinations. The spectrophotometric chlorophyll a estimates, in most cases, did not reflect the distributions of the numerically dominant species.

The spectral analyses for most parameters displayed structure predominantly at scales less than 25 m which are a reflection of the fundamental periodicities present in the harbour at all times of the year. Parameter distributions at length scales beyond 25 m tend to be randomized under the influence of increased wind speed. Parameter distribution at basin scales appears to be a function of the wind driven circulation.

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