Recent trends in plankton and upwelling intensity off Galicia (NW Spain)

Bode, A, Alvarez-Ossorio, MT, Cabanas, JM, Miranda, A and Varela, MM 2009 Recent trends in plankton and upwelling intensity off Galicia (NW Spain). Progress in Oceanography, 83 (1-4). 342-350.

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The mean intensity of the NE Atlantic upwelling system at its northern limit (Galicia, NW Spain) decreased during the last 40 years. At the same time, warming of surface waters was detected. Plankton biomass and composition are expected to reflect such changes when integrated over large time and space scales. In this study, biomass, abundance and species composition of phyto- and zooplankton were analysed to search for significant patterns of annual change and relations with upwelling intensity. Regionally integrated, mostly offshore, data were obtained from the Continuous Plankton Recorder (since 1958) whereas coastal data from Vigo and A Coruña came from the Radiales program (since 1987). No significant trends were found in phytoplankton biomass at either regional or local scales. However, there was a significant decrease in diatom abundance at regional scales and also of large species at local scales. Zooplankton abundance (mainly copepods) significantly decreased offshore but increased near the coast. Biomass of zooplankton also increased near the coast, with the fastest rates in the south. Warm-water species, like Temora stylifera, were increasingly abundant at both regional and local scales. Significant correlations between upwelling intensity and plankton suggest that climatic effects were delayed for several years. Our results indicate that the effects of large scale climatic trends on plankton communities are being effectively modulated within the pelagic ecosystem in this upwelling region.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 17:56

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