Climate-Change Impacts on Phytoplankton Production around Atoll Reefs
AbstractUsing the method of process-oriented hydrodynamic modelling, this study
explores wind-driven upwelling features around atoll reefs. The
three-dimensional physical model is coupled to a biological model to
simulate phytoplankton blooms initiated by the upwelling. Findings
demonstrate that wind forcing can create a zone of nutrient upwelling
near atolls reefs fuelling significant subsurface phytoplankton blooms.
Here we show that both lowering surface salinity due to enhanced
precipitation, and submergence of the atoll reef due to sea level rise
and enhanced erosion lead to a significant reduction of phytoplankton
productivity. We expect that this climate-change related reduction in
phytoplankton production around atoll reefs will cause severe
disruptions to the functioning of marine ecosystems in tropical oceans.