Plankton, upwelling, and coastally trapped waves off Peru

Carl M. Boyd, Sharon L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Interactions between phytoplankton and zooplankton abundances were examined with a zooplankton sampling system in the surface waters of the upwelling zone off Peru (15°S) in April 1977. Distributions of temperature, phytoplankton (expressed as chlorophyll), and zooplankton observed in zig-zag transects on 11 and 12 April showed a center of upwelling off Cabo Nazca and indicated remarkable spatial variability of all parameters. Distributions observed on 23 April were of interest because a relaxation of upwelling associated with reduced wind stress and the possible passage of a coastally trapped wave resulted in gross changes in oceanographic variables. Distribution and abundance of zooplankton species changed distinctly in the interval; phytoplankton concentrations decreased and temperatures increased. Higher numbers of zooplankton tended to occur on the downstream edges of phytoplankton concentrations, suggesting a chronology of events from upwelling to increased phytoplankton biomass to increased numbers of zooplankton. Estimates of grazing pressure of the zooplankton suggest that herbivores in the 0.35 to 2.0-mm spherical equivalent diameter range ingested about 40% of the daily production of phytoplankton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-742
Number of pages20
JournalDeep Sea Research Part A, Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Plankton, upwelling, and coastally trapped waves off Peru'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this