Eddy/Wind interactions stimulate extraordinary mid-ocean plankton blooms

Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Laurence A. Anderson, Nicholas R. Bates, Thomas Bibby, Ken O. Buesseler, Craig A. Carlson, Cabell S. Davis, Courtney Ewart, Paul G. Falkowski, Sarah A. Goldthwait, Dennis A Hansell, William J. Jenkins, Rodney Johnson, Valery K. Kosnyrev, James R. Ledwell, Qian P. Li, David A. Siegel, Deborah K. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

481 Scopus citations


Episodic eddy-driven upwelling may supply a significant fraction of the nutrients required to sustain primary productivity of the subtropical ocean. New observations in the northwest Atlantic reveal that, although plankton blooms occur in both cyclones and mode-water eddies, the biological responses differ. Mode-water eddies can generate extraordinary diatom biomass and primary production at depth, relative to the time series near Bermuda. These blooms are sustained by eddy/wind interactions, which amplify the eddy-induced upwelling. In contrast, eddy/wind interactions dampen eddy-induced upwelling in cyclones. Carbon export inferred from oxygen anomalies in eddy cores is one to three times as much as annual new production for the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1026
Number of pages6
Issue number5827
StatePublished - May 18 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

McGillicuddy, D. J., Anderson, L. A., Bates, N. R., Bibby, T., Buesseler, K. O., Carlson, C. A., Davis, C. S., Ewart, C., Falkowski, P. G., Goldthwait, S. A., Hansell, D. A., Jenkins, W. J., Johnson, R., Kosnyrev, V. K., Ledwell, J. R., Li, Q. P., Siegel, D. A., & Steinberg, D. K. (2007). Eddy/Wind interactions stimulate extraordinary mid-ocean plankton blooms. Science, 316(5827), 1021-1026. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1136256