Evolution and biological effects of the 1997-98 El Niño in the upwelling ecosystem of northern Chile

Osvaldo Ulloa, Ruben Escribano, SAMUEL ERNESTO HORMAZABAL FRITZ, Renato A. Quiñones, Rodrigo R. González, Marcel Ramos

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120 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the 1997-98 El Niño event, the temperature and oxygen contents of the coastal waters off northern Chile were noticeably higher than during non-El Niño conditions, but phytoplankton and zooplankton biomasses were not dramatically altered. In contrast, the herbivorous copepod Calanus chilensis, which showed a limited tolerance to low-oxygen conditions: exhibited greater abundances, higher growth rates, and a significant reduction in adult body size. These results indicate a positive effect of the changes in oceanographic conditions due to El Niño on zooplankton growth and production, and provide evidence for lack of food limitation on secondary production in the coastal region during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1594
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

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