[MARMAM] Top Predators as indicators of climate change - PICES meeting in Kona, HI, April 15-18

Elliott Hazen elliott.hazen at duke.edu
Mon Nov 4 11:06:40 PST 2013

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce a 1/2 day workshop at the FUTURE (Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems) Open Science Meeting April 15th-18th on the Kohala Coast on the big island of Hawaii (please see link below). Our workshop will be examining how climate variability and long term change affects top predator populations, ecology, and distribution with the hope of writing a synthesis paper at the culmination of the workshop. The abstract for the workshop and the link for registration are included below, with abstract submissions due December 15th. Travel support is also available for early career scientists to attend.

Elliott Hazen and co-organizers


Top predators such as fish, turtles, marine mammals, and seabirds can serve to integrate multiple lower trophic level processes and can provide top-down control of marine food webs. Climate variability and changes affect the timing and strength of productivity at the base of pelagic ecosystems, which are integrated by top predator life histories. This could result in changes in breeding patterns, migration strategies and dietary switching, and ultimately in the fitness and reproductive success of the animal. There is a suite of information from top predators around the Pacific, including survey data, tracking data, diet data, and reproductive data, as well as extensive environmental and climate data that can be synthesized to examine differential ecosystem responses spatially as a function of climate variability and change. There are suites of statistical tools used to analyze climate change effects and part of our discussion would be to identify techniques and synthetic approaches for a potential pan-Pacific meta-analysis. We propose a half-day workshop, and invite topics addressing (1) oceanographic and top predator datasets that can be used to examine responses to climate variability and change, (2) statistical techniques that can be used in differentiating top predator responses to climate variability and climate change, (3) identification of sentinel species that respond directly to climate effects and can be used as leading indicators of ecosystem state, and (4) synthetic approaches to understanding how climate variability and change is incorporated in top predator distribution, abundance, or foraging datasets.

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