Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS) are very productive regions of the world ocean, where wind-driven upwelling brings deep, nutrient-rich waters to the surface. The goal of this project is to understand how upwelling and other processes shape biological production in the four major upwelling systems: California, NW Africa, Peru, and Benguela.

The four major Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS). The map displays satellite chlorophyll concentration (a proxy for phytoplankton biomass) and histograms quantify primary production (blue) and the nitrate supply fueling it (green) as computed from satellite products. Reproduced from Messié et al. (2015).

To answer this question, we developed estimates of nitrate supply computed from satellite winds and in situ nitrate climatologies. This product was used to quantify differences between EBUS, and as a basis for seasonal analyses of phytoplankton and zooplankton. In particular, we investigated the seasonal regulation of primary production in each region, showing that primary production regulation is highly variable in space and time and across systems.

We also developed a simple Lagrangian modeling framework, the growth-advection model, to study zooplankton hotspots in EBUS and more particularly off California. The method represents the temporal evolution of plankton communities within surface water masses being advected by currents, using a simple plankton model initialized with coastal nitrate supply. In collaboration with Jerome Fiechter (UCSC) and Jarrod Santora (NOAA), we used this model to investigate what drives krill hotspots in the California EBUS and how they connect to ecosystem hotspots.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.



Messié, M., D.A. Sancho-Gallegos, J. Fiechter, J.A. Santora, and F.P. Chavez. 2022. Satellite-based Lagrangian Model reveals how upwelling and oceanic circulation shape krill hotspots in the California Current System. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9: 1–19. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.835813

Messié, M., and F.P. Chavez. 2017. Nutrient supply, surface currents, and plankton dynamics predict zooplankton hotspots in coastal upwelling systems. Geophysical Research Letters, 44: 8979–8986. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2017GL074322

Messié, M., J. Ledesma, D.D. Kolber, R.P. Michisaki, D.G. Foley, and F.P. Chavez. 2009. Potential new production estimates in four eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems. Progress in Oceanography, 83: 151–158.


Sorry, no results were found.