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Horizontal transport of marine organisms resulting from interactions between diel vertical migration and tidal currents off the west coast of Vancouver Island

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This paper examines horizontal transport of marine organisms resulting from interaction between diel vertical migration (DVM) and numerically generated tidal and buoyancy currents for the southern continental shelf and slope of Vancouver Island, Canada. In particular, we hypothesise that this mechanism is partially responsible for an observed decline in zooplankton biomass on the shelf during spring and summer. We have chosen to operationally test our hypothesis by using the tidal and seasonal buoyancy flows from a three-dimensional baroclinic finite element model to investigate transport resulting from DVM–tidal interactions. This is achieved by statistically comparing the distribution of passive and migrating particles. In this way, we quantitatively show that in summer, nonmigrating particles initially located on the continental shelf tend to be displaced northwestward by the Vancouver Island Coastal Current, while particles undergoing DVM exhibit off-shelf net displacement from June to September.

Nous avons étudié le transport horizontal des organismes marins qui résulte des interactions entre la migration journalière verticale (DVM) et les courants provoqués par la marée et la poussée hydrostatique sur la plate-forme et le talus continental du sud de l'île de Vancouver, Canada. Notre hypothèse voulait que ce mécanisme soit partiellement responsable du déclin dans la biomasse du zooplancton observé sur la plate-forme au printemps et en été. Nous avons choisi d'éprouver cette hypothèse de façon opérationnelle en étudiant le transport généré par les interactions entre la migration verticale journalière et la marée, à partir des flux dus à la marée et à la variation saisonnière de la poussée hydrostatique générés par un modèle baroclinique tridimensionnel à éléments finis. Cela a été possible en comparant statistiquement la distribution de particules actives et passives. Ainsi, nous avons pu démontrer quantitativement qu'en été les particules non-migratrices, qui se trouvent à l'origine sur la plate-forme, ont tendance à se déplacer vers le nord-ouest sous l'influence du courant côtier de l'île de Vancouver, alors que les particules qui font des migrations verticales journalières ont un déplacement net hors de la plate-forme de juin à septembre.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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