Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

2 Publications

A Lagrangian model for drifting ecosystems reveals heterogeneity-driven enhancement of marine plankton blooms

Ser-Giacomi, E.; Martinez Garcia, R.; Dutkiewicz, S.; Follows, M. J.


Marine plankton play a crucial role in carbon storage, oxygen production, global climate, and ecosystem function. Planktonic ecosystems are embedded in a Lagrangian patches of water that are continuously moving, stretching, and diluting. These processes drive inhomegeneities on a range of scales, with implications for the integrated ecosystem properties, but are hard to characterize. We present a theoretical framework which accounts for all these aspects; tracking the water patch hosting a drifting ecosystem along with its physical, environmental, and biochemical features. The model resolves patch dilution and internal physical mixing as a function of oceanic strain and diffusion. Ecological dynamics are parameterized by an idealized nutrient and phytoplankton population and we specifically capture the propagation of the biochemical spatial variances to represent within-patch heterogeneity. We find that, depending only on the physical processes to which the water patch is subjected, the plankton biomass response to a resource perturbation can vary several fold. This work indicates that we must account for these processes when interpreting and modeling marine ecosystems and provides a framework with which to do so.


Years: 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015