Propagation of Environmental Variability Across Trophic Levels: How Biological and Ecological Factors Influence Sensitivity of Communities to Climate and Fishing

E/PD-10

Climate change may exacerbate year-to-year fluctuations in fish stock sizes, and if this occurs, managers will be faced with new challenges. This project aims to identify management techniques that might “undo” some of these climate-related effects and thus dampen swings in fish population sizes and protect the structure of natural food webs. In work to date, the fellow has been identifying data sources for a model that will be used to simulate the effects of climate change on fish stocks. He and his colleagues are especially interested in understanding how climate-driven variability in the size of one fish stock will affect stock sizes at higher and lower levels of the food chain. The case study for the model’s development will look at interactions between hake (whiting), forage fishes (anchovies, herring and sardines) and krill.