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Multiscale characterization of spatial relationships among oxycline depth, macrozooplankton, and forage fish off Peru using geostatistics, principal coordinates of neighbour matrices (PCNMs), and wavelets

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Upwelling ecosystems are particularly heterogeneous and present intense mesoscale (tens of kilometres) and submesoscale (hundreds of metres to kilometres) activity that are expected to drive the distribution of the organisms and thus their interactions. Here we addressed the impact of the physical forcing in the northern Humboldt Current system off Peru, which is characterized by the presence of an intense and shallow oxygen minimum zone and used the variability of the depth of the oxycline as a proxy of the physical forcing that impacts the epipelagic communities. We analyzed simultaneous high-resolution acoustic observations of the oxycline depth, the biomass in macrozooplankton, and the biomass in pelagic fish. Three complementary methodologies were considered: (i) geostatistical methods and correlation tests, (ii) principal coordinates of neighbour matrices, and (iii) wavelet analysis. Our results highlight the relevance of a multimethod framework to characterize the multiscale relationships between marine ecosystem components. We also provided evidence that the submesoscale-to-mesoscale variability of the oxycline depth drives the distribution of macrozooplankton, which further structures the distribution of forage fish in a bottom-up cascade.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: TELECOM Bretagne; UMR CNRS 3192 Lab-STICC, Technopôle Brest Iroise CS 83818, 29238 Brest CEDEX, France. 2: Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE), Esquina Gamarra y Gral. Valle s/n, Apartado 22, Callao, Lima, Peru. 3: Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD), UMR212 EME (IFREMER–IRD–UM2), Av. Jean Monnet, BP 171, 34203 Sète CEDEX, France. 4: AZTI-Tecnalia, Marine Research Unit, Herrera Kaia Portualdea z/g, 20110 Pasaia, Basque Country, Spain.

Publication date: April 16, 2012

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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