Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 12:00pm to 1:00pmVirtual Event
Title: "Why movement matters: biophysical interactions inform predator ecology in a dynamic and changing ocean"
Camrin D. Braun, Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist, Biology Dept
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Abstract: Highly dynamic spatial and temporal processes challenge our ability to characterize ocean seascapes. To understand how these physical-biological interactions drive the structure and function of marine ecosystems, we leverage a multi-disciplinary, ocean ecology toolkit applied to marine top predators across a range of oceanographic regimes. By combining tagging data from a suite of predator taxa with oceanographic sensing tools and numerical models, we explored mesoscale eddies as a primary biophysical mechanism and tested the existing paradigm that ‘warm core’ rings are unproductive ocean ‘deserts’. We also investigated how ocean dynamics modulate the connectivity between surface-oriented predators and the most abundant fish community on the planet in the mesopelagic. Our results suggest these deep ocean communities represent a key link between planktonic production and top predators. However, quantifying the interactions between predators, enigmatic mesopelagic prey communities, and (sub)mesoscale ocean dynamics are requiring us to develop new tools to explore the ocean in unprecedented detail.
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