Two new papers explore this question and provide examples of conditions that lead to massive plankton blooms with vastly different potential impacts on the ecosystem, according to McGillicuddy, co-author of both papers. “While these intrusions of low‐nutrient Gulf Stream water have been thought to potentially diminish biological productivity, we present evidence of an unexpectedly productive subsurface diatom bloom resulting from the direct intrusion of a Gulf Stream meander towards the continental shelf,” the authors note. With changing stability of the Gulf Stream, intrusions from the Gulf Stream had become more frequent in recent decades, according to the researchers. When Phaeocystis blooms, it utilizes nutrients just like any other form of phytoplankton would. About Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionThe Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education.