Linking Deep Convection and Phytoplankton Blooms in the Northern Labrador Sea in a Changing Climate

TitleLinking Deep Convection and Phytoplankton Blooms in the Northern Labrador Sea in a Changing Climate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume13
Number1
Pagese0191509
Date Published01/2018
Abstract

Wintertime convective mixing plays a pivotal role in the sub-polar North Atlantic spring phytoplankton blooms by favoring phytoplankton survival in the competition between light-dependent production and losses due to grazing and gravitational settling. We use satellite and ocean reanalyses to show that the area-averaged maximum winter mixed layer depth is positively correlated with April chlorophyll concentration in the northern Labrador Sea. A simple theoretical framework is developed to understand the relative roles of winter/spring convection and gravitational sedimentation in spring blooms in this region. Combining climate model simulations that project a weakening of wintertime Labrador Sea convection from Arctic sea ice melt with our framework suggests a potentially significant reduction in the initial fall phytoplankton population that survive the winter to seed the region’s spring bloom by the end of the 21st century.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191509
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0191509
Journal: PLOS ONE
Year of Publication: 2018
Volume: 13
Number: 1
Pages: e0191509
Date Published: 01/2018

Wintertime convective mixing plays a pivotal role in the sub-polar North Atlantic spring phytoplankton blooms by favoring phytoplankton survival in the competition between light-dependent production and losses due to grazing and gravitational settling. We use satellite and ocean reanalyses to show that the area-averaged maximum winter mixed layer depth is positively correlated with April chlorophyll concentration in the northern Labrador Sea. A simple theoretical framework is developed to understand the relative roles of winter/spring convection and gravitational sedimentation in spring blooms in this region. Combining climate model simulations that project a weakening of wintertime Labrador Sea convection from Arctic sea ice melt with our framework suggests a potentially significant reduction in the initial fall phytoplankton population that survive the winter to seed the region’s spring bloom by the end of the 21st century.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191509
Citation:
Balaguru, K, S Doney, L Bianucci, P Rasch, L Leung, J Yoon, and I Lima.  2018.  "Linking Deep Convection and Phytoplankton Blooms in the Northern Labrador Sea in a Changing Climate."  PLOS ONE 13(1): e0191509, pp. e0191509.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191509.