We present an overview and extend previous results on the effects of large scale oceanic transport processes on plankton population dynamics, considering different types of ecosystem models. We find that increasing stirring rate in an environment where the carrying capacity is non-uniformly distributed leads to an overall decrease of the effective carrying capacity of the system. This may lead to sharp regime shifts induced by stirring in systems with multiple steady states. In prey-predator type systems, stirring leads to resonant response of the population dynamics to fluctuations enhancing the spatial variability-patchiness-in a certain range of stirring rates. Oscillatory population models produce strongly heterogeneous patchy distribution of plankton blooms when the stirring is weak, while strong stirring may either synchronise the oscillatory dynamics, when the inhomogeneity is relatively weak, or suppress oscillations completely (oscillator death) by reducing the effective carrying capacity below the bifurcation point.