National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2010

Biophysical ocean observation in the southeastern Bering Sea

Stafford, K.M., S.E. Moore, P.J. Stabeno, D.V. Holliday, J.M. Napp, and D.K. Mellinger

Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L02606, doi: 10.1029/2009GL040724 (2010)

Integrated ocean observation, from physical and atmospheric forcing mechanisms to the distribution and abundance of top-level predators, is critical to the investigation of marine ecosystems and the impact of climate change on them. We integrated data from a biophysical mooring in the southeast Bering Sea to create a one-year snapshot of ocean dynamics in this remote large marine ecosystem. Distinct patterns in production (chlorophyll), zooplankton biovolume (copepods and euphausiids) and the occurrence of zooplankton predators (fin and right whales) were defined and related to discrete features in the annual physical cycle. Peaks in prey and predator cycles were linked to spikes in fluorescence that occurred at the onset of water column stratification in late spring 2006 and the appearance of sea ice in late winter 2007. These data illustrate the capability and potential of integrated ocean observing systems (IOOS) to describe seasonal variability and linkages in a remote marine ecosystem.

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