About this Research Topic
The prediction of future marine ecosystem change, including commercially important fish and shellfish species, is of great significance to society. Predicting the conditions that influence the distribution and production of these resources can facilitate efficient and sustainable use of marine services by informing ecosystem management plans (e.g., fishing quotas, time-area closures, assessments of stock status, fishery rebuilding strategies, mitigation of conditions harmful to human health, or other societal responses to a variable environment). In the North Pacific, marine ecosystems are strongly influenced by climate change and variability, the latter including climate models such as El Nino - Southern Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation and North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. In addition, physical processes in the ocean, such as movements of meso-scale eddies and mid-latitude Rossby wave propagations can impact marine ecosystems. These phenomena and processes alter physical environments of the ocean, which further influence marine ecosystems. Physical conditions, especially relating to El Nino and La Nina, are operationally predicted using numerical climate models and statistical models with lead times typically up to one year, while experimental multi-year or decadal prediction, an active research topic, will fill the gap between the operational prediction and climate projections of multi-decadal or longer timescales. These developing efforts to generate predictions of the physical environment can be used to inform predictions of marine ecosystem conditions, ranging from biogeochemistry and plankton to small fish and top predators. However, most of the information generated by physical climate predictions (e.g., changes in ocean temperatures, stratification, or advection) is not used for marine ecosystem predictions. Also, given the complex responses of marine ecosystems to climate forcing, the research community needs to identify, diagnose, and quantify predictable responses in North Pacific marine ecosystems that arise from regional and large-scale climate processes. The mechanisms of predictability can vary by region and can be dependent on the timing of seasonal events. Further, some predictability can arise from internal variability or “memory” in marine ecosystems, independent of climate forcing. Much work has been done to identify potentially predictable ecosystem components and to develop prototype forecast systems.
In this Research Topic, papers are welcomed for all aspects that contribute to marine ecosystem predictability and prediction, including observational and numerical studies for the marine ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean north of 30 degrees north latitude. The scope of this Research Topic includes studies of climate predictability and climate-marine ecosystem relationships as the basis of marine ecosystem predictability.
Keywords: predictability of marine biology, predictability of physical ocean, physical-biological interaction, North Pacific
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