IMEDEA Calendar
Vie 7th Jun
12:00 pm
12:30 pm


The Southwestern Atlantic Ocean (SWA), is considered one of the most productive areas of the world, with a high abundance of ecologically and economically important fish species. Yet, the biological responses of this complex region to climate variability are still uncertain. Using 24 years of satellite-derived Chl-a data, the SWA was classified into 9 spatially coherent regions based on the temporal variability of Chl-a concentration, as revealed by SOM (Self-Organizing Maps) analysis. These biogeographical regions were the basis of a regional trend analysis in phytoplankton biomass, phenological indices, and environmental forcing variations. A general positive trend in phytoplankton concentration was observed, especially in the highly productive areas of the northern shelf-break, where phytoplankton biomass has increased at a rate of up to 0.42 ± 0.04 mg m −3 per decade. Significant positive trends in sea surface temperature were observed in 4 of the 9 regions (0.08–0.26 °C decade −1) and shoaling of the mixing layer depth in 5 of the 9 regions (−1.50 to −3.36 m decade −1). In addition to the generally positive trend in Chl-a, the most conspicuous change in the phytoplankton temporal patterns in the SWA is a delay in the autumn bloom (between 15 ± 3 and 24 ± 6 days decade −1, depending on the region). The observed variations in phytoplankton phenology could be attributed to climate-induced ocean warming and extended stratification period. The provided results further evidence of the impact of climate change on these highly productive waters.

Sala de Seminarios del IMEDEA, Esporles
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