Plankton Response to Physical Forcing in the Gulf of California

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Distinct increases in plankton productivity occur annually in the Gulf of California and are related, at least in part, to wind-driven changes in upper-ocean conditions. In particular, a rapid increase in plankton shell fluxes occurs in late fall (November), and is associated with a shift to northerly winds and cooling of surface temperatures that induce mixing of the upper ocean. The observed succession in the phytoplankton is attributed to this destabilization of surface waters and may reflect the ability of different groups to respond to varying surface water nutrient levels. The unraveling of such relationships between plankton production and hydrographic conditions is critical to improving our ability to reconstruct quantitatively past climates.

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Journal of Plankton Research, v. 18, issue 11, p. 2017-2026