Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 715–731, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-17-715-2010
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 715–731, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-17-715-2010

Research article 08 Dec 2010

Research article | 08 Dec 2010

Inhomogeneous dominance patterns of competing phytoplankton groups in the wake of an island

D. Bastine and U. Feudel D. Bastine and U. Feudel
  • Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Theoretical Physics/Complex Systems, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany

Abstract. We investigate the competition between two different functional groups of phytoplankton in the wake of an island close to a coastal upwelling region. We couple a simple biological model with three trophic levels and a hydrodynamic model of a von Kármán vortex street. The spatio-temporal abundance shows that the different phytoplankton groups dominate in different regions of the flow. The composition of the phytoplankton community varies e.g. for the different vortices. We study the mechanism leading to these inhomogeneous dominance patterns by investigating the nutrient transport in the flow and the interplay of hydrodynamic and biological time scales.

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