Ocean Net Heat Flux Influences Seasonal to Interannual Patterns of Plankton Abundance

Smyth, TJ; Allen, JI; Atkinson, A; Bruun, JT; Harmer, RA; Pingree, RD; Widdicombe, CE; Somerfield, PJ. 2014 Ocean Net Heat Flux Influences Seasonal to Interannual Patterns of Plankton Abundance. PLoS ONE, 9 (6). e98709. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098709

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098709


Changes in the net heat flux (NHF) into the ocean have profound impacts on global climate. We analyse a long-term plankton time-series and show that the NHF is a critical indicator of ecosystem dynamics. We show that phytoplankton abundance and diversity patterns are tightly bounded by the switches between negative and positive NHF over an annual cycle. Zooplankton increase before the transition to positive NHF in the spring but are constrained by the negative NHF switch in autumn. By contrast bacterial diversity is decoupled from either NHF switch, but is inversely correlated (r=-0.920) with the magnitude of the NHF. We show that the NHF is a robust mechanistic tool for predicting climate change indicators such as spring phytoplankton bloom timing and length of the growing season.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Life Support Systems (expired)
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 14 Oct 2014 14:23
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2018 11:37
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6258

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