Effects of interannual environmental variability on the transport-retention dynamics in haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus larvae on Georges Bank
Boucher, Jason M.
Beardsley, Robert C.
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KeywordLarval retention; Haddock; Modeling; Georges Bank; Bio-physical coupling; Fish early life history stages; Fish larvae
Georges Bank is a region of high biological productivity characterized by a well-defined clockwise tidal rectified circulation gyre. Fluctuations in the year-class strength of haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus on Georges Bank have been attributed to mortality during the highly vulnerable larval stages. While predation and starvation greatly impact on survival, advection to unfavorable regions may result in greatly reduced numbers of individuals. For successful self-recruitment to occur, individuals must remain within the shoal region of Georges Bank until settlement. An individual-based model (IBM) was utilized to estimate the retention of haddock eggs and larvae on Georges Bank annually for 1995 through 2009. The IBM was driven by the Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) for the Gulf of Maine domain. Biological components of haddock larvae were omitted to restrict analyses to the impact of circulation on passive transport. Inflow over the Scotian Shelf and tidal interaction patterns were identified as the major drivers of variability in interannual transport-retention dynamics. The simulations indicated that retention rates were highest in 2000 and 2003, and lowest in 1997. The above-average retention in 2000 and 2003 with anomalously large recruitment only in 2003 indicates that high retention appears to be necessary but not sufficient to explain large recruitment events of haddock on Georges Bank.
Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Marine Ecology Progress Series 487 (2013): 201-215, doi:10.3354/meps10462.
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