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Marine regime shifts in ocean biogeochemical models: a case study in the Gulf of Alaska

Marine regime shifts in ocean biogeochemical models: a case study in the Gulf of Alaska
Marine regime shifts in ocean biogeochemical models: a case study in the Gulf of Alaska
Regime shifts have been reported in many marine ecosystems, and are often expressed as an abrupt change occurring in multiple physical and biological components of the system. In the Gulf of Alaska, a regime shift in the late 1970s was observed, indicated by an abrupt increase in sea surface temperature and major shifts in the catch of many fish species. This late 1970s regime shift in the Gulf of Alaska was followed by another shift in the late 1980s, not as pervasive as the 1977 shift, but which nevertheless did not return to the prior state. A thorough understanding of the extent and mechanisms leading to such regime shifts is challenged by data paucity in time and space. We investigate the ability of a suite of ocean biogeochemistry models of varying complexity to simulate regime shifts in the Gulf of Alaska by examining the presence of abrupt changes in time series of physical variables (sea surface temperature and mixed layer depth), nutrients and biological variables (chlorophyll, primary productivity and plankton biomass) using change-point analysis. Our study demonstrates that ocean biogeochemical models are capable of simulating the late 1970s shift, indicating an abrupt increase in sea surface temperature forcing followed by an abrupt decrease in nutrients and biological productivity. This predicted shift is consistent among all the models, although some of them exhibit an abrupt transition (i.e. a significant shift from one year to the next), whereas others simulate a smoother transition. Some models further suggest that the late 1980s shift was constrained by changes in mixed layer depth. Our study demonstrates that ocean biogeochemical can successfully simulate regime shifts in the Gulf of Alaska region, thereby providing better understanding of how changes in physical conditions are propagated from lower to upper trophic levels through bottom-up controls.
1726-4170
4533-4553
Beaulieu, C.
13ae2c11-ebfe-48d9-bda9-122cd013c021
Cole, H.
29d57992-20e7-4777-bf3f-8441b6a45140
Henson, S.
d6532e17-a65b-4d7b-9ee3-755ecb565c19
Yool, A.
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017
Anderson, T.R.
dfed062f-e747-48d3-b59e-2f5e57a8571d
de Mora, L.
57c8e5af-bbef-46a7-ba3e-7e3b0506caed
Buitenhuis, E.T.
780f14e5-f3f7-4a85-b06b-00900e5c62a4
Butenschön, M.
21ef066a-0663-4a5c-b38c-32cba75f991b
Totterdell, I.J.
aa4619a0-1b39-4b1b-8633-f416c6063817
Allen, J.I.
41fb6e6b-e931-4af3-b700-6059de225632
Beaulieu, C.
13ae2c11-ebfe-48d9-bda9-122cd013c021
Cole, H.
29d57992-20e7-4777-bf3f-8441b6a45140
Henson, S.
d6532e17-a65b-4d7b-9ee3-755ecb565c19
Yool, A.
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017
Anderson, T.R.
dfed062f-e747-48d3-b59e-2f5e57a8571d
de Mora, L.
57c8e5af-bbef-46a7-ba3e-7e3b0506caed
Buitenhuis, E.T.
780f14e5-f3f7-4a85-b06b-00900e5c62a4
Butenschön, M.
21ef066a-0663-4a5c-b38c-32cba75f991b
Totterdell, I.J.
aa4619a0-1b39-4b1b-8633-f416c6063817
Allen, J.I.
41fb6e6b-e931-4af3-b700-6059de225632

Beaulieu, C., Cole, H., Henson, S., Yool, A., Anderson, T.R., de Mora, L., Buitenhuis, E.T., Butenschön, M., Totterdell, I.J. and Allen, J.I. (2016) Marine regime shifts in ocean biogeochemical models: a case study in the Gulf of Alaska. Biogeosciences, 13, 4533-4553. (doi:10.5194/bg-13-4533-2016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Regime shifts have been reported in many marine ecosystems, and are often expressed as an abrupt change occurring in multiple physical and biological components of the system. In the Gulf of Alaska, a regime shift in the late 1970s was observed, indicated by an abrupt increase in sea surface temperature and major shifts in the catch of many fish species. This late 1970s regime shift in the Gulf of Alaska was followed by another shift in the late 1980s, not as pervasive as the 1977 shift, but which nevertheless did not return to the prior state. A thorough understanding of the extent and mechanisms leading to such regime shifts is challenged by data paucity in time and space. We investigate the ability of a suite of ocean biogeochemistry models of varying complexity to simulate regime shifts in the Gulf of Alaska by examining the presence of abrupt changes in time series of physical variables (sea surface temperature and mixed layer depth), nutrients and biological variables (chlorophyll, primary productivity and plankton biomass) using change-point analysis. Our study demonstrates that ocean biogeochemical models are capable of simulating the late 1970s shift, indicating an abrupt increase in sea surface temperature forcing followed by an abrupt decrease in nutrients and biological productivity. This predicted shift is consistent among all the models, although some of them exhibit an abrupt transition (i.e. a significant shift from one year to the next), whereas others simulate a smoother transition. Some models further suggest that the late 1980s shift was constrained by changes in mixed layer depth. Our study demonstrates that ocean biogeochemical can successfully simulate regime shifts in the Gulf of Alaska region, thereby providing better understanding of how changes in physical conditions are propagated from lower to upper trophic levels through bottom-up controls.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 August 2016
Published date: 12 August 2016
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling, Marine Biogeochemistry, Physical Oceanography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397395
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397395
ISSN: 1726-4170
PURE UUID: 1a4a25ac-ba2f-44ab-a4b5-3bcbb883f462

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Date deposited: 28 Jun 2016 15:45
Last modified: 09 Jan 2018 18:01

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Contributors

Author: C. Beaulieu
Author: H. Cole
Author: S. Henson
Author: A. Yool
Author: T.R. Anderson
Author: L. de Mora
Author: E.T. Buitenhuis
Author: M. Butenschön
Author: I.J. Totterdell
Author: J.I. Allen

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