Processes controlling abundance of dominant copepod species on Georges Bank: Local dynamics and large-scale forcing.


A US GLOBEC Georges Bank Phase 4B Project

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Physical and biological data are incorporated into FVCOM and the model is run continuously over the GLOBEC years 1995-1999. The resulting hindcasts include 3D distributions of temperature, salinity, nutrients, phytoplankton, microzooplankton, detritus, and dominant copepod species. (See Project Overview Slides)


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Project Summary

We are conducting idealized and realistic numerical experiments to explore the mechanisms controlling seasonal evolution of 3D distributional patterns in dominant zooplankton species on Georges Bank, including effects of local dynamics and large-scale interannual forcing.  We areusing a state-of-the-art biological/physical numerical model (FVCOM) together with the recently-processed large 3D data set from the Georges Bank GLOBEC program.  We are exploring a series of hypotheses that address how dominant copepod species populations are maintained on the bank.Specifically we are studying whether the observed characteristic seasonal-spatial pattern of each species is predictable from the interaction between its characteristic life-history traits and physical transport.The extent to which copepod populations are controlled by food-availability (bottom-up) or predation (top-down) processes are being examined, including the influence of Warm Slope Water versus Labrador Slope Water (NAO-dependent) on nutrient influx through the Northeast Channel and subsequent upwelling and biological enhancement on the bank.Self-sustainability of each species population on the bank itself and in th>Gulf of Maine is being studied by controlling immigration from specific source regions.Large-scale forcing including NAO and catastrophic global warming (e.g. complete polar ice melt) is being examined explicitly by forcing the model at the boundaries, using scenarios based on basin-scale data and from concurrent basin-scale modeling efforts.

Funding Agencies

This project is jointly funded by the National Science Foundation's Ocean Sciences Division and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research .



 

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Last updated April 25, 2007
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