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ArticleComparing food web structures and dynamics across a suite of global marine ecosystem models(Elsevier, 2013-05-16) Sailley, Sevrine F. ; Vogt, Meike ; Doney, Scott C. ; Aita, M. N. ; Bopp, Laurent ; Buitenhuis, Erik T. ; Hashioka, Taketo ; Lima, Ivan D. ; Le Quere, Corinne ; Yamanaka, YasuhiroDynamic Green Ocean Models (DGOMs) include different sets of Plankton Functional Types (PFTs) and equations, thus different interactions and food webs. Using four DGOMs (CCSM-BEC, PISCES, NEMURO and PlankTOM5) we explore how predator–prey interactions influence food web dynamics. Using each model's equations and biomass output, interaction strengths (direct and specific) were calculated and the role of zooplankton in modeled food webs examined. In CCSM-BEC the single size-class adaptive zooplankton preys on different phytoplankton groups according to prey availability and food preferences, resulting in a strong top-down control. In PISCES the micro- and meso-zooplankton groups compete for food resources, grazing phytoplankton depending on their availability in a mixture of bottom-up and top-down control. In NEMURO macrozooplankton controls the biomass of other zooplankton PFTs and defines the structure of the food web with a strong top-down control within the zooplankton. In PlankTOM5, competition and predation between micro- and meso-zooplankton along with strong preferences for nanophytoplankton and diatoms, respectively, leads to their mutual exclusion with a mixture of bottom-up and top-down control of the plankton community composition. In each model, the grazing pressure of the zooplankton PFTs and the way it is exerted on their preys may result in the food web dynamics and structure of the model to diverge from the one that was intended when designing the model. Our approach shows that the food web dynamics, in particular the strength of the predator–prey interactions, are driven by the choice of parameters and more specifically the food preferences. Consequently, our findings stress the importance of equation and parameter choice as they define interactions between PFTs and overall food web dynamics (competition, bottom-up or top-down effects). Also, the differences in the simulated food-webs between different models highlight the gap of knowledge for zooplankton rates and predator–prey interactions. In particular, concerted effort is needed to identify the key growth and loss parameters and interactions and quantify them with targeted laboratory experiments in order to bring our understanding of zooplankton at a similar level to phytoplankton.
ArticlePhytoplankton competition during the spring bloom in four plankton functional type models(Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2013-11-02) Hashioka, Taketo ; Vogt, Meike ; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro ; Le Quere, Corinne ; Buitenhuis, Erik T. ; Aita, M. N. ; Alvain, S. ; Bopp, Laurent ; Hirata, T. ; Lima, Ivan D. ; Sailley, Sevrine F. ; Doney, Scott C.We investigated the mechanisms of phytoplankton competition during the spring bloom, one of the most dramatic seasonal events in lower-trophic-level ecosystems, in four state-of-the-art plankton functional type (PFT) models: PISCES, NEMURO, PlankTOM5 and CCSM-BEC. In particular, we investigated the relative importance of different ecophysiological processes on the determination of the community structure, focusing both on the bottom-up and the top-down controls. The models reasonably reproduced the observed global distribution and seasonal variation of phytoplankton biomass. The fraction of diatoms with respect to the total phytoplankton biomass increases with the magnitude of the spring bloom in all models. However, the governing mechanisms differ between models, despite the fact that current PFT models represent ecophysiological processes using the same types of parameterizations. The increasing trend in the percentage of diatoms with increasing bloom magnitude is mainly caused by a stronger nutrient dependence of diatom growth compared to nanophytoplankton (bottom-up control). The difference in the maximum growth rate plays an important role in NEMURO and PlankTOM5 and determines the absolute values of the percentage of diatoms during the bloom. In CCSM-BEC, the light dependency of growth plays an important role in the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. The grazing pressure by zooplankton (top-down control), however, strongly contributes to the dominance of diatoms in PISCES and CCSM-BEC. The regional differences in the percentage of diatoms in PlankTOM5 are mainly determined by top-down control. These differences in the mechanisms suggest that the response of marine ecosystems to climate change could significantly differ among models, even if the present-day ecosystem is reproduced to a similar degree of confidence. For further understanding of plankton competition and for the prediction of future change in marine ecosystems, it is important to understand the relative differences in each physiological rate and life history rate in the bottom-up and the top-down controls between PFTs.