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Upwelling Matters

CCE scientists discovered two distinct ways in which cool, nutrient-rich water moves to the ocean surface (upwells) to create habitat for different sizes of zooplankton. Fish populations respond to these size differences -- the Pacific sardine prefers smaller zooplankton and the northern anchovy prefers larger -- with important implications for commercial fisheries.

Rykaczewski, R.R., Checkley, D.M., Jr., 2008. Influence of ocean winds on the pelagic ecosystem in upwelling regions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 105, 1965-1970.
Ryan Rykaczewski, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Princeton, New Jersey
Weak upwelling offshore (yellow arrows) favors production of smaller plankton and spawning of the Pacific sardine, while stronger upwelling near the coast (red arrows) favors production of larger plankton and spawning of the northern anchovy. CCE-LTER region.
Ryan Rykaczewski, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Princeton, New Jersey
Long-term variation in summertime upwelling, seawater density (red line), nutricline depth (blue line), and chlorophyll-a concentration (green line). These properties of the ocean water column are more highly correlated with curl-driven upwelling (gray line) than with coastal upwelling (black line) after 1970. CCE-LTER site.
Rykaczewski and Checkley (2008)

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