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Zooplankton anomalies in the California Current system before and during the warm ocean conditions of 2005


Zooplankton in the California Current had large anomalies in biomass and composition in 2005. The zone most strongly affected extended from northern California to southern British Columbia, where zooplankton biomass was low from spring through autumn, community composition showed reduced dominance by northern origin taxa, and life cycles of some species shifted to earlier in the year. Although similar anomalies have previously been observed over the entire California Current system during strong El Niño events, the 2005 zooplankton anomalies were more localized, initiated by a combination of very warm temperatures (since early 2003), plus weak and late upwelling, and low phytoplankton productivity in spring and early summer of 2005. However, the zooplankton anomalies persisted longer: through the remainder of 2005 and into 2006.

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