Cimino Megan A.

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Cimino
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Megan A.
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  • Article
    Satellite remote sensing and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network: current science and future steps
    (Oceanography Society, 2021-11-09) Kavanaugh, Maria T. ; Bell, Tom W. ; Catlett, Dylan ; Cimino, Megan A. ; Doney, Scott C. ; Klajbor, Willem ; Messie, Monique ; Montes, Enrique ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Otis, Daniel ; Santora, Jarrod A ; Schroeder, Isaac D. ; Trinanes, Joaquin ; Siegel, David A.
    Coastal ecosystems are rapidly changing due to human-caused global warming, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, sea ice loss, and acidification that in turn alter the productivity and composition of marine biological communities. In addition, regional pressures associated with growing human populations and economies result in changes in infrastructure, land use, and other development; greater extraction of fisheries and other natural resources; alteration of benthic seascapes; increased pollution; and eutrophication. Understanding biodiversity is fundamental to assessing and managing human activities that sustain ecosystem health and services and mitigate humankind’s indiscretions. Remote-sensing observations provide rapid and synoptic data for assessing biophysical interactions at multiple spatial and temporal scales and thus are useful for monitoring biodiversity in critical coastal zones. However, many challenges remain because of complex bio-optical signals, poor signal retrieval, and suboptimal algorithms. Here, we highlight four approaches in remote sensing that complement the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). MBON observations help quantify plankton community composition, foundation species, and unique species habitat relationships, as well as inform species distribution models. In concert with in situ observations across multiple platforms, these efforts contribute to monitoring biodiversity changes in complex coastal regions by providing oceanographic context, contributing to algorithm and indicator development, and creating linkages between long-term ecological studies, the next generations of satellite sensors, and marine ecosystem management.
  • Article
    Long‐term patterns in ecosystem phenology near Palmer Station, Antarctica, from the perspective of the Adélie penguin
    (Ecological Society of America, 2023-02-10) Cimino, Megan A. ; Conroy, John A. ; Connors, Elizabeth ; Bowman, Jeff ; Corso, Andrew ; Ducklow, Hugh ; Fraser, William ; Friedlaender, Ari ; Kim, Heather Hyewon ; Larsen, Gregory D. ; Moffat, Carlos ; Nichols, Ross ; Pallin, Logan ; Patterson‐Fraser, Donna ; Roberts, Darren ; Roberts, Megan ; Steinberg, Deborah K. ; Thibodeau, Patricia ; Trinh, Rebecca ; Schofield, Oscar ; Stammerjohn, Sharon
    Climate change is leading to phenological shifts across a wide range of species globally. Polar oceans are hotspots of rapid climate change where sea ice dynamics structure ecosystems and organismal life cycles are attuned to ice seasonality. To anticipate climate change impacts on populations and ecosystem services, it is critical to understand ecosystem phenology to determine species activity patterns, optimal environmental windows for processes like reproduction, and the ramifications of ecological mismatches. Since 1991, the Palmer Antarctica Long‐Term Ecological Research (LTER) program has monitored seasonal dynamics near Palmer Station. Here, we review the species that occupy this region as year‐round residents, seasonal breeders, or periodic visitors. We show that sea ice retreat and increasing photoperiod in the spring trigger a sequence of events from mid‐November to mid‐February, including Adélie penguin clutch initiation, snow melt, calm conditions (low winds and warm air/sea temperature), phytoplankton blooms, shallow mixed layer depths, particulate organic carbon flux, peak humpback whale abundances, nutrient drawdown, and bacterial accumulation. Subsequently, from May to June, snow accumulates, zooplankton indicator species appear, and sea ice advances. The standard deviation in the timing of most events ranged from ~20 to 45 days, which was striking compared with Adélie penguin clutch initiation that varied <1 week. In general, during late sea ice retreat years, events happened later (~5 to >30 days) than mean dates and the variability in timing was low (<20%) compared with early ice retreat years. Statistical models showed the timing of some events were informative predictors (but not sole drivers) of other events. From an Adélie penguin perspective, earlier sea ice retreat and shifts in the timing of suitable conditions or prey characteristics could lead to mismatches, or asynchronies, that ultimately influence chick survival via their mass at fledging. However, more work is needed to understand how phenological shifts affect chick thermoregulatory costs and the abundance, availability, and energy content of key prey species, which support chick growth and survival. While we did not detect many long‐term phenological trends, we expect that when sea ice trends become significant within our LTER time series, phenological trends and negative effects from ecological mismatches will follow.