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Whales, Krill, and Variability of Two Coastal Upwelling Centers

Benson, S.R., D.A. Croll, and B. Marinovic (February 2001)

In: Analysis and Acquisition of Observations of the Circulation on the California Continental Shelf, Quality Review Board Minutes of Meeting No. 7, Technical Report Reference No. 01-1. 2001, p.477-484.


The world's most productive fisheries and marine bird and mammal foraging areas are located in coastal upwelling centers. Temporal variability in strength of upwelling can affect primary production, zooplankton productivity, and the distribution and abundance of fish and marine birds and mammals. Unfortunately, our understanding of how changes in ocean basin-wide physical oceanographic regimes shifts affects coastal margin upwelling is limited. In particular, the potential biological affects of global climate change on upwelling-dependent ecosystems cannot be assessed due to a lack of information on the linkage between physical changes, primary production, and higher trophic level consumers. For the past 4 years we have been studying the impacts of El Niño and La Niña events on coastal upwelling, primary production, zooplankton production and the distribution and abundance of marine mammals and seabirds in the Monterey Bay, California upwelling system of the California Current.


Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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