Saturday 27 May 2017

The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem

A tale of two Gulf spills: A research consortium of 19 institutions from 5 countries studying the impacts of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.

The C-IMAGE consortium has developed a series of ecological models to (1) examine the impacts of the DWH oil spills on the energy transfers through the marine food web and the consequences of the MOSSFA event, and to (2) test mitigation measures (i.e. large-scale fishery closures on communities of interacting species) via coupled numerical models, from physical oceanography and plankton to fisheries. Consistent with C-IMAGE goals, such causal mechanistic modeling represents a conceptual and quantitative framework to integrate data collected under the various program Tasks.

Since few pre-spill phyto- and zooplankton data sets in the NEGoM are available to assess the impacts of petroleum releases during the DWH spill, C-IMAGE researchers first employed a 46-year time series (1965 to 2011), on the West Florida Shelf (WFS) to guide construction and validation of a complex two-dimensional (2-D), cross-shelf model- the ZOOplankton SIMulation (ZOOSIM). The model is specifically designed to reproduce lower level trophic dynamics within subtropical and tropical ecosystems and tracks the daily fluxes of C, N, P, Si, and Fe through the dissolved and particulate forms of these elements.

A set of 2-D simulations have been conducted for a cross shelf transect in the NEGoM, starting at the 5-m isobath and running along the axis of DeSoto Canyon to the 1,500-m isobath. Preliminary results suggested that a combination of increased nutrient enrichment, sediment loading, and local suppression of zooplankton reproduction may have led to increased fall-out of planktonic matter accelerated by particle aggregation.

The C-IMAGE consortium developed present day (c. 2010) and historical (c. 1980) Atlantis models for the GoM representing dynamics of 91 species groups, from bacteria to apex predators. Tuning the Atlantis model required reconstruction of historical dynamics from 1980 to 2012. This captured abundance trends for 33 species groups and catch trends for 23 fishing fleets. The reconstruction was driven with time series developed for this project representing fishing effort, spatio-temporal fisheries regulations, hydrodynamics, climate forcing, and oil and mitigation effects. C-IMAGE reef community data (Task 4), zooplankton biomass (Task 4) and lower trophic level data (Task 6) were used for model development. Methodological publications featured a GAM used to predict biomass distributions, a statistical description of the GoM food web using sampling from C-IMAGE longline surveys, and an Individual Based Model (IBM) of larval dispersal to estimate connectivity and oil impacts on recruitment.

Refinements to the GoM Atlantis model will include addition of new diet information developed for data-poor species to supplement the existing diet matrix.  This will be facilitated by an extramural study currently underway which uses specimens collected from C-IMAGE cruises. The final diet matrix will be made available through the GoM Trophic Interactions Database and C-IMAGE dissemination facilities. Atlantis simulations, with and without mitigation scenarios, will help inform societal responses to future spills.  Predictions (2011-2050) will explore the long-term impacts of DWH focusing on trophic cascades, recovery times, and fisheries losses.

Task 6 Publications

Developing a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure dose-response model for fish health and growth-Marine Pollution Bulletin

Developing a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon …

One of the more important steps in understanding the ecosystem-level effects of anthr...

06-15-2016

Karenia brevis blooms on the West Florida Shelf: A comparative study of the robust 2012 bloom and the nearly null 2013 event

Karenia brevis blooms on the West Florida She…

Abstract: Harmful algal blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis require an upwel...

05-23-2016

Impacts of combined overfishing and oil spills on the plankton trophodynamics of the West Florida shelf over the last half century of 1965–2011: A two-dimensional simulation analysis of biotic state transitions, from a zooplankton- to a bacterioplank

Impacts of combined overfishing and oil spill…

Over 50 years of multiple anthropogenic perturbations, Florida zooplankton stocks of ...

02-19-2016

An Atlantis Ecosystem Model for the Gulf of Mexico Supporting Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

An Atlantis Ecosystem Model for the Gulf of M…

The Gulf of Mexico supports a high biological diversity and biomass of fish, seabirds...

11-24-2015

An Ammonium Enrichment Event in the Surface Ocean: Wind Forcing and Potential Ramifications

An Ammonium Enrichment Event in the Surface O…

Ammonium is a nutrient frequently preferred by microorganisms that photosynthesize at...

11-24-2015

A simulation analysis of the plankton fate of the Deepwater Horizon oil spills

A simulation analysis of the plankton fate of…

A two-dimensional (2-D) ecosystem model, set within the De Soto Canyon ecotone of the...

11-24-2015

Generalized Additive Models Used to Predict Species Abundance in the Gulf of Mexico: An Ecosystem Modeling Tool

Generalized Additive Models Used to Predict S…

Generalized Additive Models Used to Predict Species Abundance in the Gulf of Mexico: ...

08-06-2014

Simulating cell death in Karenia brevis blooms

Simulating cell death in Karenia brevis bloom…

Simulating cell death in the termination of Karenia brevis blooms: implications for p...

07-31-2014

Fish Diets in the Gulf of Mexico

Fish Diets in the Gulf of Mexico

A probabalistic representation of fish diet compositions from multiple data sources: ...

07-31-2014

Listen to our Podcasts

  • #10 The Risks for Fish +

    #10 The Risks for Fish What happened to the fish in the days and weeks after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? With a suite of Read More
  • #9 Forensic Oceanography +

    Listen to learn how scientists reanalyzed remotely sensed data taken in the late 1970s to study the Ixtoc 1 oil Read More
  • #8 In the Mud in Mexico +

    #8 In the Mud in Mexico “We were of the mind that with studying the Deepwater Horizon in the northern Gulf we weren’t getting a full Read More
  • #7 The Ixtoc Spill: Reflections +

    #7 The Ixtoc Spill: Reflections The Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened just a few years ago, but it might be possible to predict its impact Read More
  • #1 Overview of C-IMAGE +

    #1 Overview of C-IMAGE C-IMAGE PI Dr. Steven Murawski talks to David Levin about the research goals of our center and the importance of Read More
  • #2 Sampling for oil in the sediments in the Gulf of Mexico +

    #2 Sampling for oil in the sediments in the Gulf of Mexico C-IMAGE PI's Steven Murawski and David Hollander on board the Weatherbird II in August of 2012 talking to David Levin Read More
  • #3 The "not-so-visible" impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico +

    #3 The Three years after the BP oil well disaster, scientists are struggling to understand the effects on the Gulf ecosystem. From Read More
  • #4 Fitting the Gulf of Mexico inside a computer: how to build an ecosystem model +

    #4 Fitting the Gulf of Mexico inside a computer: how to build an ecosystem model Mind Open Media's David Levin talks with C-IMAGE members Cameron Ainsworth, Jason Lenes, Michelle Masi and Brian Smith about building Read More
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