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Internal tidal mixing as a control on continental margin ecosystems

Internal tidal mixing as a control on continental margin ecosystems
Internal tidal mixing as a control on continental margin ecosystems
We show that a breaking internal tide at a shelf edge is a fundamental control on the structural and functional properties of ecosystems. Contrasts in vertical mixing of nitrate between the shelf and the open ocean correspond with horizontal and vertical changes in phytoplankton communities, with largest cells found in surface waters at the shelf edge. Intense fishing activity is commonly seen at continental shelf edges, targeting spawning fish stocks. We suggest that the internal tide, a globally ubiquitous physical process at steep shelf edge bathymetry, supports shelf edge fisheries by providing large?celled phytoplankton for first?feeding fish larvae. The repeatability of the internal tide removes fish from the need to time spawning with a spring bloom. Also, with large phytoplankton cells dominating particulate organic carbon export, the internal tides could be an important influence on spatial and temporal variability in patterns of global carbon sequestration in deep water and sediments.
0094-8276
L23603
Sharples, Jonathan
5a1770ff-42d6-45eb-a1d9-7bec1d59c21d
Moore, C. Mark
7ec80b7b-bedc-4dd5-8924-0f5d01927b12
Hickman, Anna E.
a99786c6-65e6-48c8-8b58-0d3b5608be92
Holligan, Patrick M.
4c1d9d64-dfa7-49bf-9e15-37f891d59b7c
Tweddle, Jacqueline F.
ffb7fb5d-7905-4d95-8f6e-d93fabf221b6
Palmer, Matthew R.
fd46da6e-cc19-4e8d-a37d-1a0d709f50f7
Simpson, John H.
bcc55ee8-e770-46ad-b3cc-ff38fdc61c57
Sharples, Jonathan
5a1770ff-42d6-45eb-a1d9-7bec1d59c21d
Moore, C. Mark
7ec80b7b-bedc-4dd5-8924-0f5d01927b12
Hickman, Anna E.
a99786c6-65e6-48c8-8b58-0d3b5608be92
Holligan, Patrick M.
4c1d9d64-dfa7-49bf-9e15-37f891d59b7c
Tweddle, Jacqueline F.
ffb7fb5d-7905-4d95-8f6e-d93fabf221b6
Palmer, Matthew R.
fd46da6e-cc19-4e8d-a37d-1a0d709f50f7
Simpson, John H.
bcc55ee8-e770-46ad-b3cc-ff38fdc61c57

Sharples, Jonathan, Moore, C. Mark, Hickman, Anna E., Holligan, Patrick M., Tweddle, Jacqueline F., Palmer, Matthew R. and Simpson, John H. (2009) Internal tidal mixing as a control on continental margin ecosystems. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L23603. (doi:10.1029/2009GL040683).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We show that a breaking internal tide at a shelf edge is a fundamental control on the structural and functional properties of ecosystems. Contrasts in vertical mixing of nitrate between the shelf and the open ocean correspond with horizontal and vertical changes in phytoplankton communities, with largest cells found in surface waters at the shelf edge. Intense fishing activity is commonly seen at continental shelf edges, targeting spawning fish stocks. We suggest that the internal tide, a globally ubiquitous physical process at steep shelf edge bathymetry, supports shelf edge fisheries by providing large?celled phytoplankton for first?feeding fish larvae. The repeatability of the internal tide removes fish from the need to time spawning with a spring bloom. Also, with large phytoplankton cells dominating particulate organic carbon export, the internal tides could be an important influence on spatial and temporal variability in patterns of global carbon sequestration in deep water and sediments.

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More information

Published date: 2009
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 72215
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/72215
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 687a1a47-a871-4e17-8a08-d8bfff9bfaaa
ORCID for Anna E. Hickman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2774-3934

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Feb 2010
Last modified: 29 Oct 2019 01:40

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