Broad impacts of fine-scale dynamics on seascape structure from zooplankton to seabirds
Date Issued
01 January 2014
Access level
open access
Resource Type
journal article
Colas F.
Bertrand S.
Capet X.
Chaigneau A.
Vargas G.
Mousseigne A.
Fablet R.
Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement
Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement
Nature Publishing Group
In marine ecosystems, like most natural systems, patchiness is the rule. A characteristic of pelagic ecosystems is that their 'substrate' consists of constantly moving water masses, where ocean surface turbulence creates ephemeral oases. Identifying where and when hotspots occur and how predators manage those vagaries in their preyscape is challenging because wide-ranging observations are lacking. Here we use a unique data set, gathering high-resolution and wide-range acoustic and GPS-tracking data. We show that the upper ocean dynamics at scales less than 10 km play the foremost role in shaping the seascape from zooplankton to seabirds. Short internal waves (100 m-1 km) play a major role, while submesoscale (∼1-20 km) and mesoscale (∼20-100 km) turbulence have a comparatively modest effect. Predicted changes in surface stratification due to global change are expected to have an impact on the number and intensity of physical structures and thus biological interactions from plankton to top predators.
OCDE Knowledge area
Ingeniería marina, naves
Scopus EID
PubMed ID
Nature Communications
ISSN of the container
DOI of the container
Source funding
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Agence Nationale de la Recherche
This work is a contribution to the cooperative agreement between IMARPE and IRD, and of the LMI DISCOH. D.G. benefited from an IRD grant managed by Campus France. This work received support from the ANR TOPINEME and from discussion within the ICES WG FAST. We thank C. Barbraud, V. Echevin, P. Fréon, F. Gerlotto and F. Ménard for comments and J. Filmater and E. Ryall for English edition. P. Lopez improved the edition of the figures.
Sources of information: Directorio de Producción Científica Scopus