Document Type


Publication Date



An intense El Niño event can have severe impacts on the ecosystems of the west coast of South America. The upwelling of nutrient rich water off the coast is suppressed. Anchovy stocks dramatically decline, as do the seabird populations who live from them. The decline of the seabird populations negatively impacts the fertilizer industry which depends upon the guano produced by the birds. The fishing industry suffers from the lack of fish. Further impacts on terrestrial ecosystems of the region are noted below. It has long been recognized that during El Niño event effects are felt in other parts of the world as well. There have been few attempts to systematically investigate El Niño signals in different ecosystems outside its primary South American source area. The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network sites provide a good opportunity to do so. This monograph represents a first attempt at a systematic investigation of the topic and points the way to some of the activities which could fruitfully take place in the future.