Abstract Title

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

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Start Date

1-5-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Ecosystem models provide a means to examine how large-scale drivers and food web interactions can influence change in marine species. Coho and Chinook salmon are iconic species in the Salish Sea and have been significant components of ecosystem models developed for its sub-basins. We present results from models of three regions in the Salish Sea: the Strait of Georgia, the Central Basin of Puget Sound, and the Southern Basin of Puget Sound. Each of these models provides reasonable simulations of how ecosystem-level mechanisms can influence changes in target managed species. While there is some overlap in these models’ ability to explore changes in mammals and fished species, regional differences remain that make it difficult to integrate knowledge at the scale of the Salish Sea as a whole. For example, the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound models all suggest that bottom-up type dynamics have influenced the dynamics of many species. Significant contrast, however, can be seen in the dominance of the Central basin of Puget Sound by ratfish, approximately a third of all fish biomass whereas, in the Strait of Georgia, Pacific herring and small pelagic species account for a third of all fish biomass. Understanding these similarities and differences will help researchers explain why significant species like Coho and Chinook salmon can exhibit quite different population dynamics in regions of the Salish Sea. As part of an integrated project spearheaded by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Long Live the Kings, we hope to increase the overlap in both species and mechanisms modelled in future iterations of these modelling efforts.

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

Modelling Ecosystem Processes Acting On Upper Trophic Level Managed Species in the Salish Sea – Lessons Learned and Future Goals

Room 611-612

Ecosystem models provide a means to examine how large-scale drivers and food web interactions can influence change in marine species. Coho and Chinook salmon are iconic species in the Salish Sea and have been significant components of ecosystem models developed for its sub-basins. We present results from models of three regions in the Salish Sea: the Strait of Georgia, the Central Basin of Puget Sound, and the Southern Basin of Puget Sound. Each of these models provides reasonable simulations of how ecosystem-level mechanisms can influence changes in target managed species. While there is some overlap in these models’ ability to explore changes in mammals and fished species, regional differences remain that make it difficult to integrate knowledge at the scale of the Salish Sea as a whole. For example, the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound models all suggest that bottom-up type dynamics have influenced the dynamics of many species. Significant contrast, however, can be seen in the dominance of the Central basin of Puget Sound by ratfish, approximately a third of all fish biomass whereas, in the Strait of Georgia, Pacific herring and small pelagic species account for a third of all fish biomass. Understanding these similarities and differences will help researchers explain why significant species like Coho and Chinook salmon can exhibit quite different population dynamics in regions of the Salish Sea. As part of an integrated project spearheaded by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Long Live the Kings, we hope to increase the overlap in both species and mechanisms modelled in future iterations of these modelling efforts.