Changes in zooplankton habitat, behavior, and acoustic scattering characteristics across glider-resolved fronts in the Southern California Current System

TitleChanges in zooplankton habitat, behavior, and acoustic scattering characteristics across glider-resolved fronts in the Southern California Current System
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPowell J.R, Ohman MD
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Volume134
Pagination77-92
Date Published2015/05
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number0079-6611
Accession NumberWOS:000356553900004
Keywordsbiomass; diel vertical migration; floral patterns; mesozooplankton; Micronekton; pacific-ocean; phytoplankton; sea; variability; zone
Abstract

We report cross-frontal changes in the characteristics of plankton proxy variables measured by autonomous Spray ocean gliders operating within the Southern California Current System (SCCS). A comparison of conditions across the 154 positive frontal gradients (i.e., where density of the surface layer decreased in the offshore direction) identified from six years of continuous measurements showed that waters on the denser side of the fronts typically showed higher Chl-a fluorescence, shallower euphotic zones, and higher acoustic backscatter than waters on the less dense side. Transitions between these regions were relatively abrupt. For positive fronts the amplitude of Diel Vertical Migration (DVM), inferred from a 3-beam 750 kHz acoustic Doppler profiler, increased offshore of fronts and covaried with optical transparency of the water column. Average interbeam variability in acoustic backscatter also changed across many positive fronts within 3 depth strata (0-150 m, 150-400 m, and 400-500 m), revealing a front related change in the acoustic scattering characteristics of the assemblages. The extent of vertical stratification of distinct scattering assemblages was also more pronounced offshore of positive fronts. Depth-stratified zooplankton samples collected by Mocness nets corroborated the autonomous measurements, showing copepod-dominated assemblages and decreased zooplankton body sizes offshore and euphausiid-dominated assemblages with larger median body sizes inshore of major frontal features. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI10.1016/j.pocean.2014.12.011
Short TitleProg. Oceanogr.
Student Publication: 
No