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Brazilian Journal of Oceanography

On-line version ISSN 1982-436X


COELHO-SOUZA, Sergio Augusto et al. Biophysical interactions in the Cabo Frio upwelling system, southeastern Brazil. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.3, pp.353-365. ISSN 1982-436X.

The rising of cold water from deeper levels characterizes coastal upwelling systems. This flow makes nutrients available in the euphotic layer, which enhances phytoplankton production and growth. On the Brazilian coast, upwelling is most intense in the Cabo Frio region (RJ). The basic knowledge of this system was reviewed in accordance with concepts of biophysical interactions. The high frequency and amplitude of the prevailing winds are the main factor promoting the rise of South Atlantic Central Water, but meanders and eddies in the Brazil Current as well as local topography and coast line are also important. Upwelling events are common during spring/summer seasons. Primary biomass is exported by virtue of the water circulation and is also controlled by rapid zooplankton predation. Small pelagic fish regulate plankton growth and in their turn are preyed on by predatory fish. Sardine furnishes an important regional fish stock. Shoreline irregularities define the embayment formation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Arraial do Cabo making it an area with evident different intensities of upwelled water that harbors high species diversity. Consequently, on a small spatial scale there are environments with tropical and subtropical features, a point to be explored as a particularity of this ecosystem.

Keywords : Physical oceanography; Primary production; Trophodynamics; Benthic community; Conservation; Coastal management.

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