Plankton communities of the South Atlantic anticyclonic gyre

Sergey A. Piontkovski*, M. R. Landry, Zosim Z. Finenko, Alexander V. Kovalev, Robert Williams, Christopher P. Gallienne, Alexey V. Mishonov, Valery A. Skryabin, Yuri N. Tokarev, Viktor N. Nikolsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Data collected during cruises of the Former Soviet Union (in 1963-1989) and the British Atlantic meridional transect program (in 1995-1999) were used to analyse macroscale patterns in phyto- and zooplankton biomass, size structure, species diversity, chlorophyll a, and plankton bioluminescence in the macroscale anticyclonic gyre of the South Atlantic Ocean. The spatial pattern of bioluminescence intensity was in good agreement with that of remotely sensed (CZCS) chlorophyll a, phosphate, salinity, and copepod species diversity index distributions especially in terms of geographic inclinations of the isolines, both associated with the north-westward pattern off the South equatorial current. Among the 416 copepod species recorded in samples, 51 species were noted throughout the whole gyre. On the other hand, there were a number of species found only in one of the currents. The mesozooplankton biomass size spectra (calculated in carbon units), exhibited a fairly stable slope of the curve from the eastern periphery of the gyre to its centre. The British Atlantic meridional transect program meridional transect through the western part of the gyre showed mesozooplankton size spectra in greater detail between the equator and 50° S. Although the spectra change slowly along the transect as far as 36°S, there is a general trend toward increasing slopes from the equatorial region to the oligotrophic central gyre. The calculated phyto-to-zooplankton ratio indicated that for the tropical anticyclonic gyres, the mesozooplankton carbon biomass could be represented as the exponential function of the phytoplankton carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalOceanologica Acta
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Bioluminescence
  • Chlorophyll
  • South Atlantic Ocean
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Plankton communities of the South Atlantic anticyclonic gyre'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this