Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 05 Issue 03

View Issue TOC
Volume 05, No. 3
Pages 171 - 172

THE FUTURE OF OCEANOGRAPHY • The Influence of the Gulf Stream on the Regional Biogeography of Zooplankton: Evidence from Trends in Copepod Species Abundances Across and Along a Gulf Stream Meander

Carin J. Ashjian
First Paragraph

The Gulf Stream is the strong western boundary current of the North Atlantic Gyre, separating the Slope Water to the north from the Sargasso Sea to the south. The current has been considered an important boundary in both the biological and physical senses, separating two water masses with different environments and distinct biological characteristics. Recent work in physical oceanography introduced the concept that, in addition to being a boundary, the Gulf Stream may also enhance cross-stream transport (and inter-regional mixing) of water parcels and their intrinsic plankton between the Slope Water and the Sargasso Sea. These findings emphasized the need to understand the biological characteristics of the current itself to assess the potential of the cross-stream transport processes to influence the biological communities in the Slope Water and the Sargasso Sea and, in a broader sense, to influence the regional biogeography of zooplankton species.


Ashjian, C.J. 1992. The influence of the Gulf Stream on the regional biogeography of zooplankton: Evidence from trends in copepod species abundances across and along a Gulf Stream meander. Oceanography 5(3):171–172, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1992.12.