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

Beaulieu, C; Cole, H; Henson, S; Yool, A; Anderson, TR; de Mora, L; Buitenhuis, ET; Butenschon, M; Totterdell, IJ; Allen, JI. 2015 Marine regime shifts in ocean biogeochemical models: a case study in the Gulf of Alaska. Biogeosciences Discussions, 12 (16). 14003-14048. 10.5194/bgd-12-14003-2015

[img]
Preview
Text (Discussion Paper)
bgd-12-14003-2015.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (514kB) | Preview
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bgd-12-14003-2015

Abstract/Summary

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.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecosystem Models and Predictions
Depositing User: Dr Momme Butenschon
Date made live: 18 Feb 2016 16:59
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:15
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6856

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item