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U.S. GLOBEC: Integration and Synthesis of Georges Bank Broad-Scale Survey Results

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Project Participants
CICOR/NOAA: P.H. Wiebe, C. Ashjian, and D. McGillicuddy (WHOI)

NSF: L. Madin (WHOI); S. Bollens (SFSU); D. Townsend (UM); A. Bucklin and Runge (UNH); E. Durbin, R. Campbell, & B. Sullivan-Watts (URI)

NMFS/NEFSC: D. Mountain, J. Green, P. Berrien

Program Managers
NOAA Program Manager: Dr. Elizabeth Turner
NOAA Coastal Ocean Program, 146 Environmental Technologies Building (ETB), 35 Colovos Road, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3534

NSF Program Manager: Dr. Phil Taylor,
Biological Oceanography Program Director, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA

The following projects are being carried out as part of the U.S. GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic/Georges Bank Synthesis Project and the investigators are collaborators on this project.

Project title: The Physical Oceanography of Georges Bank and Its Impact on Biology.
Investigators: Bob Beardsley (WHOI), Ken Brink (WHOI), Dick Limeburner (WHOI), Jim Churchill (WHOI), Jim Ledwell (WHOI), Changsheng Chen (UMassD), Jim Bisagni (UMassD), Charles Flagg (BNL), Ron Schlitz (NMFS/NEFSC) .

Project title: Zooplankton Population Dynamics on Georges Bank: Model and Data Synthesis.
Investigators: Peter Franks (SIO), James Pringle (UNH), Changsheng Chen (UMassD), Ted Durbin (URI), Wendy Gentleman (UW)

Project title: Patterns of Energy Flow and Utilization on Georges Bank
Investigators: Dian Gifford (URI), John Steele (WHOI), Michael Fogarty (NMFS/NEFSC), Michael E. Sieracki (BLOS), Jim Bisagni (UmassD)

Project title: Tidal Front Mixing and Exchange on Georges Bank: Controls on the Production of Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Larval Fishes.
Investigators: Bob Houghton (LDEO), Dave Townsend (UME), Changsheng, Chen (UMassD), R. Gregory Lough (NMFS/NEFSC), Lew Incze (USME)

This project involves collaboration between fourteen investigators from five universities and one federal laboratory. The funding for this project has been split between NOAA via NMFS, NOAA via CICOR, and NSF. Funds for the CIRCOR portion of the project were received in September 2002 and the funds from NSF were received in March 2003. This report is a summary of what the investigators as a group have accomplished this past year.

The principal objective of this project is to utilize the very comprehensive U.S. GLOBEC broad-scale data sets that now exist to address two overarching questions:

1) What controls inter-annual variability in the abundance of the target species (cod and haddock larvae, Calanus finmarchicus, and Pseudocalanus spp) on Georges Bank (e.g., bottom up or top down biological processes, or physical advective processes)?
2) How are these processes likely to be influenced by climate variability?

While most of the work has been completed (see summary in last progress report), there are two components with remaining funds that are currently being completed.

Reproduction of Calanus finmarchicus and Pseudocalanus spp.: J. Runge and colleagues are working on the synthesis of estimates of reproductive rates of Calanus finmarchicus and Pseudocalanus spp. from broad-scale surveys and their applications to understanding of population dynamics of these target species. The data on reproductive index, female abundance and water column egg production (eggs m-2 d-1) have been compiled for C. finmarchicus for each broad-scale cruise and plotted using OAX objective analysis as well as the standard broadscale survey grid. The broad-scale egg production data are used in the calculation of C. finmarchicus Georges Bank egg-N2 mortality rates published or in preparation with M. Ohman, E. Durbin and others (Ohman et al. 2004). Among the Georges Bank Broad-scale Survey findings is a significant relationship between egg-N2 mortality and abundance of adult Calanus females, indicating density-dependent control of recruitment processes in Calanus populations on the Bank. The estimation of Pseudocalanus egg production from broad-scale samples proved to be more problematical. B. Niehoff has published a study of gonad morphology and oocyte development in Pseudocalanus from Georges Bank broad-scale surveys (with assistance from earlier GLOBEC grants to J.R. and E. D.), but there is at present no reliable gonadal index for accurately predicting egg production from preserved samples (Niehoff, 2003: Mar. Biol. 143: 759-768).

J. Runge has used a portion of support from the grant to complete the writing a chapter on developments in coupled physical-biological models for description of secondary production and fish recruitment processes in the coastal ocean. The chapter discusses the GLOBEC Georges Bank program as a case history on a regional application of the coupled models (Runge et al. 2005). He also received partial support from this award for his contribution to a research article that presents the hypothesis that variability in the magnitude of the fall phytoplankton bloom results in bottom-up influences on copepod and herring abundance in the Gulf of Maine (Pershing et al. submitted).

Additional effort is being expended to complete the papers in preparation by Ohman et al. (in prep.) and Runge et al (in prep. a, b). Ohman et al. (in prep.) shows a seasonal pattern in egg-N2 mortality; the number of eggs lost m-2 increases dramatically in May and June over the 5- year series of broad-scale surveys. This pattern correlates well with the observed increase in abundance of potential predators on Calanus eggs, including Calanus stage CV and females, hydroids and adult stages of Metridia. Runge et al., (in prep. a) compares growth rates of cod larvae in 1995 and 1998 using estimates of prey from the broad-scale cruises and the most recent trophodynamic model developed by Lough et al. (2005, Fisheries Oceanography). Prey concentrations and consequently the estimated growth rates of cod larvae in April, 1998 were considerably higher than during the broad-scale cruise in April, 1995. This study can serve as a template for analysis of growth rates of cod larvae across all broad-scale cruises. The paper was initially presented at the Zooplankton Production Symposium in Gijon, Spain in 2003. It was decided to hold publication until the trophodynamic model of Lough et al. was accepted. Runge et al. (in prep. b) describes a method for estimated population egg production rate of copepod species and shows as an example the horizontal/seasonal distribution of egg production rates of five dominant copepod species on Georges Bank using data from the broad-scale survey collections.
Predators of target species. Larry Madin and Steve Bollens have been heading up the work on the invertebrate predators on the GLOBEC Georges Bank target species (cod, haddock, Calanus finmarchicus and Pseudocalanus spp.). There are funds remaining a WHOI to complete the work on assembling the algorithms to specify feeding rates of the predator groups in order to estimate their feeding impact on prey both on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine. Steve Bollens recently changed institutions (from San Francisco State University to Washington State University), and this has resulted in some unavoidable delays to his research program, e.g., setting up three new laboratories, hiring new technical staff, recruiting new graduate students, and most recently, getting zooplankton samples shipped from San Francisco, California to Vancouver , Washington. Overall though, the research facilities and capabilities of his new institution far surpass that of his previous institution. Moreover, his progress on this particular award continues to be solid (e.g., one publication in 2005, with two new ones “in progress”). However, considerable work remains to be done to complete this project, primarily in the areas of i) data analysis, and ii) manuscript preparation. Additional time will be used to subject the data (i.e., MOC-10 marcozooplankton/micronekton and hydrographic data) to rigorous multi-variate statistical analyses, and the results interpreted and synthesized into peer-reviewed publications.
Recent research papers or papers in progress receiving support from this award
Bollens, S., D. Gewant, H. Brown, L. Madin and E. Horgan. In Preparation. Regional Variation in the Community Structure of Macrozooplankton and Micronekton on Georges Bank/Northwest Atlantic in Relation to Environmental Conditions, 1995-1999.

Madin, L., E. Horgan, S. Bollens and B. Sullivan. In Preparation. Predation rates of invertebrate and fish predators on target species of copepods and larval fishes on Georges Bank.

Ohman, M. D., K., Eiane, E.G. Durbin, J.A. Runge and H.-J. Hirche. 2004. A comparative study of Calanus finmarchicus mortality patterns in five localities in the North Atlantic. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 61: 687-697.

Ohman, M. D., B. Sullivan, E.G. Durbin, and J.A. Runge. In prep. Relationship of predation potential to mortality for Calanus finmarchicus on Georges Bank, N.W. Atlantic Ocean.

Pershing, A., C. Greene, E. Durbin, E. Head, S. Hakkinen, D. Mountain, J. Jossi, J. Runge, et al. submitted. Remote forcing of marine ecosystem dynamics in the Northwest Atlantic. Limnol. Oceanogr.

Runge, J.A., F.E. Werner, E. G. Durbin, J.A. Quinlan, R.G. Lough, L. J. Buckley, K. Pehrson Edwards, S. Plourde and M. D. Ohman. In prep. The effect of spatial and temporal variation in zooplankton concentrations on larval cod growth on Georges Bank: a comparison of two years based on modelling and observations.

Runge, J.A., E. Durbin, M. Casas and S. Plourde. In prep. Estimates of copepod egg production rates on Georges Bank.

Runge, J.A., P.J.S. Franks, W.C. Gentleman, B.A. Megrey, K. A. Rose, F.E.Werner and B. Zakardjian. 2005. Diagnosis and prediction of variability in secondary production and fish recruitment processes: developments in physical-biological modelling. Pp. 413-473 in The Sea. Vol. 13: The Global Coastal Ocean: Multi-Scale Interdisciplinary Processes. A.R. Robinson and K. Brink, eds.

Last updated: August 19, 2008

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