Eddy-induced reduction of biological production in eastern boundary upwelling systems

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Author(s) Gruber, Nicolas, Lachkar, Zouhair, Frenzel, Hartmut, Marchesiello, Patrick, Munnich, Matthias, McWilliams, James C., Nagai, Takeyoshi, Plattner, Gian-Kasper
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Eddy-induced reduction of biological production in eastern boundary upwelling systems
Author(s) Gruber, Nicolas
Lachkar, Zouhair
Frenzel, Hartmut
Marchesiello, Patrick
Munnich, Matthias
McWilliams, James C.
Nagai, Takeyoshi
Plattner, Gian-Kasper
Journal or Series Title Nature Geoscience
Volume Number 4
Issue Number 11
Start Page 787
End Page 792
ISSN 1752-0894
Publisher Nature Publ. Group
Publication Place London
Publication Date 2011
Abstract Eddies and other mesoscale oceanic processes, such as fronts, can enhance biological production in the ocean, according to several open-ocean studies. The effect is thought to be particularly pronounced in low-nutrient environments, where mesoscale processes increase the net upward flux of limiting nutrients. However, eddies have been suggested to suppress production in the highly productive eastern boundary upwelling systems. Here, we examine the relationship between satellite-derived estimates of net primary production, of upwelling strength, and of eddy-kinetic energy—a measure of the intensity of mesoscale activity—in the four most productive eastern boundary upwelling systems. We show that high levels of eddy activity tend to be associated with low levels of biological production, indicative of a suppressive effect. Simulations using eddy-resolving models of two of these upwelling systems support the suggestion that eddies suppress production, and show that the downward export of organic matter is also reduced. According to these simulations, the reduction in production and export results from an eddy-induced transport of nutrients from the nearshore environment to the open ocean. Eddies might have a similar effect on marine productivity in other oceanic systems that are characterized by intense eddy activity, such as the Southern Ocean.
DOI 10.1038/NGEO1273
Additional Notes Received 18 April 2011, Accepted 25 August 2011, Published online 2 October 2011
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
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NEBIS System Number 005502522
Source Database ID WOS-000296723500019
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  author = "Gruber, Nicolas and Lachkar, Zouhair and Frenzel, Hartmut and Marchesiello, Patrick and Munnich, Matthias and McWilliams, James C. and Nagai, Takeyoshi and Plattner, Gian-Kasper",
  title = "{E}ddy-induced reduction of biological production in eastern boundary upwelling systems",
  journal = "Nature Geoscience",
  year = 2011,
  volume = "4",
  number = "11",
  pages = "787--792",

E-Citations record created: Mon, 05 Dec 2011, 10:15:34 CET