Participant contribution

The structuring role of chaotic stirring on pelagic ecosystems

  • Author: , LOCEAN - IPSL, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie .


  • Oral or poster: oral.


  • Abstract:
    The open ocean upper layer is characterized by a complex transport dynamics occuring over different spatiotemporal scales. At the scale of 10-100 km - which covers the so called mesoscale and part of the submesoscale - in situ and remote sensing observations detect strong variability in physical and biogeochemical fields like sea surface temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll concentration. The calculation of Lyapunov exponent and other nonlinear diagnostics applied to the surface currents have allowed to show that an important part of this tracer variability is due to chaotic stirring. Here I will extend this analysis to marine ecosystems. For primary producers, I will show that stable and unstable manifolds of hyperbolic points embedded in the surface velocity field are able to structure the phytoplanktonic community in fluid dynamical niches of dominant types, where competition can locally occur during bloom events. By using data from tagged whales, frigatebirds, and elephant seals, I will also show that chaotic stirring affects the behaviour of higher trophic levels. In perspective, these relations between transport structures and marine ecosystems can be the base for a biodiversity index constructued from satellite information, and therefore able to monitor key aspects of the marine biodiversity and its temporal variability at the global scale.
Administration Panel