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Plankton Bloom Controlled by Horizontal Stirring : Volume 16, Issue 5 (30/10/2009)

By McKiver, W.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003977759
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 8
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plankton Bloom Controlled by Horizontal Stirring : Volume 16, Issue 5 (30/10/2009)  
Author: McKiver, W.
Volume: Vol. 16, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Nonlinear, Processes
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Scheuring, I., Neufeld, Z., & Mckiver, W. (2009). Plankton Bloom Controlled by Horizontal Stirring : Volume 16, Issue 5 (30/10/2009). Retrieved from

Description: School of Mathematical Sciences & Complex and Adaptive Systems Laboratory, University College Dublin, Ireland. Here we show a simple mechanism in which changes in the rate of horizontal stirring by mesoscale ocean eddies can trigger or suppress plankton blooms and can lead to an abrupt change in the average plankton density. We consider a single species phytoplankton model with logistic growth, grazing and a spatially non-uniform carrying capacity. The local dynamics have multiple steady states for some values of the carrying capacity that can lead to localized blooms as fluid moves across the regions with different properties. We show that for this model even small changes in the ratio of biological timescales relative to the flow timescales can greatly enhance or reduce the global plankton productivity. Thus, this may be a possible mechanism in which changes in horizontal mixing can trigger plankton blooms or cause regime shifts in some oceanic regions. Comparison between the spatially distributed model and Lagrangian simulations considering temporal fluctuations along fluid trajectories, demonstrates that small scale transport processes also play an important role in the development of plankton blooms with a significant influence on global biomass.

Plankton bloom controlled by horizontal stirring

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