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Webinar: The effect of oceanographic variability on the distribution of larval fishes of the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 1:00

Wednesday April 18, 2018. 1:00 PM.  Webinar: The effect of oceanographic variability on the distribution of larval fishes of the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas.  Libby Loggerwell , NOAA Fisheries.  Sponsored by NOAA. More information here.


Abstract: This work is part of the Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic EIS) program which is a multi-disciplinary approach to document the state of the ecosystem through oceanography, plankton, and fisheries surveys. Surveys were conducted in the Chukchi and Northern Bering Seas from August to September 2012 and 2013.  Ocean currents, phytoplankton and zooplankton distributions were very different between the two years. We investigated whether the distribution of larval fish reflected these differences. The larval fish community was dominated by Arctic cod, Bering flounder, yellowfin sole and capelin. Yellowfin sole and capelin larvae were associated with Alaska Coastal Water, likely because they were advected north from nearshore spawning areas in the Bering Sea. Arctic cod and Bering flounder spawn in the Chukchi Sea and were associated with Anadyr/Bering Sea/Chukchi Sea Water and with Chukchi Winter Water. These water masses had moderate to high nutrient concentrations, so we hypothesize that the result was favorable foraging for larval fishes. Statistical models of the effect of oceanographic variables, phytoplankton and zooplankton distribution were developed to test these hypotheses and to examine the effects of interannual oceanographic variability.  Our results increase the knowledge of the mechanistic links between oceanography and the early life history of fish. Ocean processes such as advection and the formation and retreat of sea-ice have been and likely will continue to be impacted by climate change. Because growth and survival of early life stages of fish often drives population change, our results contribute to the understanding of the impacts of climate change on Arctic fish populations. Collaborators on this project include: Morgan Busby, Kathy Mier, Heather Tabisola, and Janet Duffy-Anderson

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