How big and how many: Developing physiologically relevant modeling tools to explain fish size and abundance in a changing climate

Friday seminar by Anna B. Neuheimer, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, USA


Explaining variation in production requires disentangling the many processes influencing both fish size and abundance including growth, life history timing and population connectivity. The Neuheimer Lab for Biological Oceanography is tackling this task through the development of new, physiologically relevant modeling tools that consolidate ecological, physiological and oceanographic theories. First, I will present a “theory of relativity” for ectotherms, and demonstrate how measures of thermal history (e.g., growing degree-days, °Cžday) can explain variability in fish size (e.g. length-at-age) and life history timing (e.g. spawning and maturation timing). Examples will include recent efforts to explain size and life history timing variation in the north Atlantic (Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua), Tasman Sea (banded morwong, Cheilodactylus spectabilis) and around Hawai’i Island (lau’ipala, Zebrasoma flavescens). Next, I will demonstrate how these characterizations of environmentally dependent physiology and ecology can be combined with physical estimates through individual-based modeling (IBM) to explain observed temporal and spatial changes in population ecology, identify knowledge gaps to direct future work, make predictions regarding population dynamics under future oceanographic conditions, and address general ecological questions concerning resource management, macroecology and adaptation.

Anna B. Neuheimer
Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, USA

Published Sep. 7, 2015 3:55 PM - Last modified Sep. 18, 2015 10:44 AM