Slotte Aril

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Article
    Structure and functioning of four North Atlantic ecosystems - a comparative study
    (Elsevier, 2020-09-11) Melle, Webjørn ; Klevjer, Thor A. ; Drinkwater, Ken F. ; Strand, Espen ; Naustvoll, Lars Johan ; Wiebe, Peter ; Aksnes, Dag L. ; Knutsen, Tor ; Sundby, Svein ; Slotte, Aril ; Dupont, Nicolas ; Vea Salvanes, Anne Gro ; Korneliussen, Rolf J. ; Huse, Geir
    The epi- and mesopelagic ecosystems of four sub-polar ocean basins, the Labrador, Irminger, Iceland and Norwegian seas, were surveyed during two legs from Bergen, Norway, to Nuuk, Greenland, and back to Bergen. The survey was conducted from 1 May to 14 June, and major results were published in five papers (Drinkwater et al., Naustvoll et al., Strand et al., Melle et al., this issue, and Klevjer et al., this issue a, this issue b). In the present paper, the structures of the ecosystem are reviewed, and aspects of the functioning of the ecosystems examined, focusing on a comparison of trophic relationships in the four basins. In many ways, the ecosystems are similar, which is not surprising since they are located at similar latitudes and share many hydrographic characteristics, like input of both warm and saline Atlantic water, as well as cold and less saline Arctic water. Literature review suggests that total annual primary production is intermediate in the eastern basins and peaks in the Labrador Sea, while the Irminger Sea is the most oligotrophic sea. This was not reflected in the measurements of different trophic levels taken during the cruise. The potential new production was estimated to be higher in the Irminger Sea than in the eastern basins, and while the biomass of mesozooplankton was similar across basins, the biomass of mesopelagic micronekton was about one order of magnitude higher in the western basins, and peaked in the Irminger Sea, where literature suggests annual primary production is at its lowest. The eastern basins hold huge stocks of pelagic planktivore fish stocks like herring, mackerel and blue whiting, none of which are abundant in the western seas. As both epipelagic nekton and mesopelagic micronekton primarily feed on the mesozooplankton, there is likely competitive interactions between the epipelagic and mesopelagic, but we're currently unable to explain the estimated ~1 order of magnitude difference in micronekton standing stock. The results obtained during the survey highlight that even if some aspects of pelagic ecosystems are well understood, we currently do not understand overall pelagic energy flow in the North Atlantic.
  • Article
    Fine-scale observations of physical and biological environment along a herring feeding migration route
    (Elsevier, 2020-08-19) Melle, Webjørn ; Klevjer, Thor A. ; Strand, Espen ; Wiebe, Peter ; Slotte, Aril ; Huse, Geir
    We observed herring horizontal and vertical distribution during feeding migration along a 128 km transect across the Arctic front of the Norwegian and Iceland seas, in early June, in relation to its physical, chemical and biological environment, distribution of prey organisms and pelagic and mesopelagic competitors. The Norwegian Spring Spawning herring is one of the largest and economically most important stocks of pelagic fish in the world and understanding what controls its feeding migration is, and has been for centuries, a major research question that also has major implications for management. High resolution ecosystem data were obtained by hull mounted multi-frequency acoustics and a towed platform undulating between 10 and 400 m equipped with multi-frequency acoustics, temperature, salinity and fluorescence sensors, an Optical Plankton Counter and a Video Plankton Recorder. Additional sampling was done by MOCNESS, Macroplankton trawl, and CTD equipped with water bottles for temperature, salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll at discrete stations along the transect. Biological characteristics and stomach content of the herring were obtained from samples at discrete trawl stations. The Arctic front proved to be an important transitional zone in zooplankton biomass, abundance and diversity. Phenology of phyto- and zooplankton also changed across the front, being somewhat delayed on the cold side. The herring were distributed all along the transect showing a shallow distribution on the warm side and both deep and shallow on the cold side, not clearly related to light and time of the day. The herring stomach content was higher on the cold side. There was no significant pattern in average age, weight, or body length of the herring along the transect. The herring were present and fed in the area of the transect during the time when the overwintering generation of Calanus finmarchicus dominated, before the development of the new generation of the year. We suggest that the phenology of C. finmarchicus can be an important driver of the herring feeding migration. While prey-availability was higher on the Arctic side of the front, light conditions for visual feeding at depth were probably better on the Atlantic side. The herring did not show classical dial vertical migration, but its prey did, and the herring's prey were probably available within the upper 100 m during the course of a 24 h cycle. With a general westward direction of migration, the herring along the transect moved towards lower temperatures and temperature did not seem to be a probable driver for migration. We conclude that fine-scale studies of herring migration and feeding can increase our understanding of the migratory processes and add to our understanding of large-scale distributional patterns, changes therein, and herring trophodynamics and ecological role. The fine-resolution parameters can also be important as input to ecosystem models.