Southern Right Whales in the Great Australian Bight. Credit: Dr. Kerstin Bilgmann
A new twist in marine upwellings at a widely known feeding ground
Oceanographers have actually discovered more about the reasons for the year-round existence of marine predators in the eastern Great Australian Bight, consisting of several whale species and white sharks that draw cage divers and Jaws-inspired filmmakers.
In-depth subsurface phytoplankton layers deep below the eastern part of the Bight have actually been explained for the very first time by scientists from Flinders University and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). These layers support the thriving marine biodiversity even when the surface phytoplankton blooms vanish throughout specific times of the upwelling season.
” To conserve this essential area, and prepare for environment change, we need to even more comprehend these systems and food sources,” states Flinders University researcher Alex Shute, the very first author of a new study in Continental Shelf Research.
Our observation of subsurface phytoplankton layers is the missing essential describing the high performance of the area. This research study demonstrates how little we actually know about the functioning of marine communities, and how crucial genuine field observations are,” adds Associate Professor Kaempf, who is president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS), Adelaide Division.
” To comprehend this, we explored year-to-year variations of phytoplankton layers in the region using satellite data in combination with water-column information from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).”.
To their surprise, the IMOS data discovered a “missing link” of layers of considerable subsurface phytoplankton at water depths of 30 m to 70 m, which had formerly evaded detection from even satellite imaging.
Seasonal upwelling of nutrient-rich water drives phytoplankton production, which Jochen Kaempf, an associate teacher of oceanography at Flinders University, and colleagues have actually been studying for over 20 years.
The Great Southern Australian Coastal Upwelling System (GSACUS), among Australias many efficient marine environments, brings in valuable fish types like the southern bluefin tuna along with big marine mammals consisting of whales, seals, and sea lions.
Associate Professor Kaempf states this new study highlights how the marine food chain makes it through even in years when the surface phytoplankton upwelling does not occur.
” Our observation of subsurface phytoplankton layers is the missing crucial discussing the high productivity of the area. This study shows how little we actually learn about the performance of marine communities, and how essential genuine field observations are,” adds Associate Professor Kaempf, who is president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS), Adelaide Division.
Recommendation: “Variability of surface and subsurface phytoplankton blooms in a seasonal coastal upwelling system” by Alex Shute, Jochen Kämpf, Mark Doubell, Ana Redondo Rodriguez, Luciana Möller, Ryan Baring and Michelle Newman, 16 August 2022, Continental Shelf Research.DOI: 10.1016/ j.csr.2022.104832.
The study was moneyed by Flinders University..