Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Pacific Central-American Coastal
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 11. From tip of Baja California to northern Peru. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 22° N 1° N - 100° W 87° W
Location Map Pacific_Central-American_Coastal.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 1983489 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 26.5 °C Map107.gif
100 Meters Depth 19.0 °C Map108.gif
Description The Pacific Central American Coastal LME (PCAC) extends along the Pacific Coast of North and South America, from Cabo Corrientes (about 20.4° N latitude) to the vicinity of the equator. The continental shelf here is very steep, reaching extreme ocean depths very near the coast. There is a strong crustal subduction zone located immediately offshore, stretching along the entire length of the PCAC coastline, and results in a zone of frequent earthquakes. One of the world’s major deep sea trenches (the Middle American Trench) is located 100 km offshore. Much of the PCAC LME lies within the sweep of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). (Bakun et al., 1999) The PCAC LME is situated between the California Current and the Humboldt Current. It is different than its two neighbors in several respects. The temperatures of the upper ocean layers are much warmer, with large-scale monthly mean ocean temperatures remaining above 26°C throughout the year. Consequently, the PCAC LME supports a very different tropical fauna as opposed to the predominantly temperate fauna of the other currents. Also, the coastlands of this LME grade from savanna in the north to tropical rainforest along much of the Isthmus, to the coastal slopes of Colombia to the south, where mean rainfall surpasses 13 meters a year in some places. (Bakun, et al., 1999) (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
FishBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
924 182
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