The concept and methods of ecological diversity in communities were applied to phytoplankton categorized by flow cytometric measurements related to size and chlorophyll content. Each cytometric signature was condensed to single numerical values indicative of diversity and evenness. Measurements pooled from studies disparate in temporal and spatial scales indicated greater chlorophyll biomass and primary production with greater cytometric diversity and evenness. Future development of these ideas may help link biological oceanographic processes with patterns established through ecological processes at the community level. The concept of biotic diversity is a central theme in community ecology, both in general (Pielou 1975; Magurran 1988) and in particular for marine communities (Frontier 1985; McGowan and Walker 1993). Diversity embodies two notions: richness, which indicates the number of different kinds of organisms; and evenness, which indicates the relative “importance ” (e.g. abundance) of the different kinds of organisms. Thus, a community with say 100 species i
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