Marine plants and animals release young into the ocean where they are transported by ocean currents until they are large enough to settle back into adult habitats. Many oceanographic features, such as fronts, act to aggregate these small members of ocean communities. In response, larger, mobile marine predators are also attracted to these features – in pursuit of resources and prey. Consequently, regions of the ocean with strong physical gradients contain creatures spanning in size from microscopic plankton to large predators, like fish, seabirds and turtles.
In the coastal ocean, fronts and other oceanographic features are common and can be predictable in both space and time. However, as our climate changes, these physical gradients and the transport patterns associated with them are also changing. New results from two large-scale, interdisciplinary programs offer insights into how a changing physical ocean environment affects larval dispersal and, in turn, marine ecosystem dynamics.
See more of: Land and Oceans
See more of: Symposia