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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. Measuring plankton and associated variables as part of ocean time-series stations has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of ocean biology and ecology and their ties to ocean biogeochemistry. It will open temporal scales (e.g., resolving diel cycles) not typically sampled as a function of depth. In this review we motivate the addition of biological measurements to time-series sites by detailing science questions they could help address, reviewing existing technology that could be deployed, and providing examples of time-series sites already deploying some of those technologies. We consider here the opportunities that exist through global coordination within the OceanSITES network for long-term (climate) time series station in the open ocean. Especially with respect to data management, global solutions are needed as these are critical to maximize the utility of such data. We conclude by providing recommendations for an implementation plan.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 22, 2023
  3. Secor, David (Ed.)
    Abstract The Northeast US shelf ecosystem is undergoing unprecedented changes due to long-term warming trends and shifts in regional hydrography leading to changes in community composition. However, it remains uncertain how shelf occupancy by the region's dominant, offshore small pelagic fishes, also known as forage fishes, has changed throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Here, we use species distribution models to estimate the change in shelf occupancy, mean weighted latitude, and mean weighted depth of six forage fishes on the Northeast US shelf, and whether those trends were linked to coincident hydrographic conditions. Our results suggest that observed shelf occupancy is increasing or unchanging for most species in both spring and fall, linked both to gear shifts and increasing bottom temperature and salinity. Exceptions include decreases to observed shelf occupancy by sand lance and decreases to Atlantic herring's inferred habitat suitability in the fall. Our work shows that changes in shelf occupancy and inferred habitat suitability have varying coherence, indicating complex mechanisms behind observed shelf occupancy for many species. Future work and management can use these results to better isolate the aspects of forage fish life histories that are important for determining their occupancy of the Northeast USmore »shelf.« less
  4. Woodson, Brock (Ed.)
    Abstract The lipid-rich calanoid copepod, Calanus finmarchicus, plays a critical role in the Gulf of Maine pelagic food web. Despite numerous studies over the last several decades, a clear picture of variability patterns and links with key environmental drivers remains elusive. This study applies model-based scaling and sensitivity analyses to a regional plankton dataset collected over the last four decades (1977–2017). The focus is to describe the gulf-wide spatio-temporal patterns across three major basins, and to assess the relative roles of internal population dynamics and external exchanges. For the spring stock, there is strong synchrony of interannual variability among three basins. This variability is largely driven by internal population dynamics rather than external exchanges, and the internal population dynamics are more sensitive to the change of top-down mortality regime than the bottom-up forcings. For the fall stock, the synchrony among basins weakens, and the variability is influenced by both internal mortality and external dilution loss. There appears to be no direct connection between the spring stock with either the preceding or subsequent fall stock, suggesting seasonal or sub-seasonal scales of population variability and associated drivers. The results highlight seasonally varying drivers responsible for population variability, including previously less recognized top-downmore »control.« less
  5. Microplastics are ubiquitous contaminants in marine ecosystems worldwide, threatening fisheries production, food safety, and human health. Ingestion of microplastics by fish and large zooplankton has been documented, but there are few studies focusing on single-celled marine predators, including heterotrophic dinoflagellates. In laboratory experiments, the heterotrophic dinoflagellate species Oxyrrhis marina and Gyrodinium sp. readily ingested both algal prey and polystyrene microplastic spheres (2.5–4.5 μm), while Protoperidinium sp. did not ingest microplastics. Compared to algae-only fed dinoflagellates, those that ingested microplastics had growth rates reduced by 25–35% over the course of 5 days. Reduced growth resulted in a 30–50% reduction of secondary production as measured as predator biomass. Ingestion rates of algal prey were also reduced in the microplastic treatments. When given a mixture of microplastics and algal prey, O. marina displayed a higher selectivity for algal prey than Gyrodinium sp. Observations in the coastal ocean showed that phylogenetically diverse taxa ingested microplastic beads, and thus heterotrophic dinoflagellates could contribute to trophic transfer of microplastics to higher trophic levels. The results of this study may suggest that continued increase in microplastic pollution in the ocean could lead to reduced secondary production of heterotrophic protists due to microplastic ingestion, altering the flow ofmore »energy and matter in marine microbial food webs.« less