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Evaluated direct methods for estimating primary production are both a precondition and a supplement for modeling scenarios in a eutrophicated and changing coastal ecosystem. Analyses of phytoplankton succession, integral primary production and potential limitation of phytoplankton growth of the shallow brackish Darss-Zingst Bodden chain indicate the extraordinary importance of colony-forming nanophytoplankton for primary productivity. Respective studies began in the 1990s. Exemplary studies focus on the contribution of individual aggregates and phytoplankton colonies to potential primary production as well as the microscale visualization and seasonal variability of extracellular enzymatic phosphate hydrolysis. Results from these studies suggest that an inhomogeneous distribution of productivity and limitation is relevant to the pelagic zones. This paper discusses the effect of heterogeneity on ecosystem behavior in this specific trophy succession state in the context of a future strategy to supplement bulk methods for productivity and limitation analyses especially for barely distinguishable phytoplankton species in euthropicated coastal waters.
Key words: nutrient limitation, primary production, size classes, aggregates