Abstract Title

Session S-07D: Marine Survival of Salmon and Steelhead: the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Location

Room 611-612

Start Date

1-5-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Zooplankton occupy a key intermediate position in pelagic food webs. We know from a variety of studies that zooplankton communities are strongly variable at seasonal and longer time scales, and that changes in the zooplankton affect other components of the ecosystem. Ecologically-important modes of zooplankton variability include changes in total productivity and biomass, changes in community composition and food value, changes in seasonality, and perhaps also changes in the location and intensity of dense aggregations. Salish Sea zooplankton time series data are needed to know how the local zooplankton are changing over time, and to understand how these changes affect harvested fish populations, and more broadly how climate shifts will affect the entire marine ecosystem. Unfortunately, although there is a long history of zooplankton research in the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound, the overwhelming majority of the sampling programs have been short term efforts, done with differing objectives, sampling designs and methods, and separated by many unsampled time intervals. Numerous research groups have independently identified the data gap and are advocating for development of an ongoing coordinated monitoring program. Through the collaborative U.S.-Canada Salish Sea Marine Survival project, we are developing a full Salish Sea zooplankton sampling program aimed at providing data that will answer questions about patterns in zooplankton as prey sources and as indicators of environmental change. The dominant Salish Sea zooplankton include taxa (and developmental stages within taxa) that differ greatly in body size, depth range, migration behavior and ability to avoid capture by nets. For this reason, no single sampling method can be optimal for all components of the zooplankton community. We will discuss the program we are planning including the scientific questions that will shape the sampling plan, the choice of locations, equipment, partners, and protocols, and the costs and benefits of different choices of sampling methods. Our goal is to provide a monitoring program that is responsive to the community’s needs, is flexible and expandable, is sustainable into the future while permitting robust comparisons with historical data, and is streamlined and efficient to make the most of available funding. We welcome input and discussion.

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May 1st, 3:30 PM May 1st, 5:00 PM

Developing and optimizing a coordinated Salish Sea zooplankton monitoring program

Room 611-612

Zooplankton occupy a key intermediate position in pelagic food webs. We know from a variety of studies that zooplankton communities are strongly variable at seasonal and longer time scales, and that changes in the zooplankton affect other components of the ecosystem. Ecologically-important modes of zooplankton variability include changes in total productivity and biomass, changes in community composition and food value, changes in seasonality, and perhaps also changes in the location and intensity of dense aggregations. Salish Sea zooplankton time series data are needed to know how the local zooplankton are changing over time, and to understand how these changes affect harvested fish populations, and more broadly how climate shifts will affect the entire marine ecosystem. Unfortunately, although there is a long history of zooplankton research in the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound, the overwhelming majority of the sampling programs have been short term efforts, done with differing objectives, sampling designs and methods, and separated by many unsampled time intervals. Numerous research groups have independently identified the data gap and are advocating for development of an ongoing coordinated monitoring program. Through the collaborative U.S.-Canada Salish Sea Marine Survival project, we are developing a full Salish Sea zooplankton sampling program aimed at providing data that will answer questions about patterns in zooplankton as prey sources and as indicators of environmental change. The dominant Salish Sea zooplankton include taxa (and developmental stages within taxa) that differ greatly in body size, depth range, migration behavior and ability to avoid capture by nets. For this reason, no single sampling method can be optimal for all components of the zooplankton community. We will discuss the program we are planning including the scientific questions that will shape the sampling plan, the choice of locations, equipment, partners, and protocols, and the costs and benefits of different choices of sampling methods. Our goal is to provide a monitoring program that is responsive to the community’s needs, is flexible and expandable, is sustainable into the future while permitting robust comparisons with historical data, and is streamlined and efficient to make the most of available funding. We welcome input and discussion.