Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8174
Title: Accounting for multiple pathways in the connections among climate variability, ocean processes, and coho salmon recruitment in the Northern California Current
Author: Michael J. Malick, Sean P. Cox, R. M. Peterman, Thomas C. Wainwright, William T. Peterson
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 72
Issue: 10
Pages: 1552-1564
Keywords: coho salmon,climate variation,ocean conditions,recruitment,Bayesian model

To better understand the mechanisms that link climate and ocean conditions to recruitment of wild coho salmon along the Oregon coast, we used probabilistic networks to describe recruitment as a function of multiple ecological pathways.  We investigated 21 pathways within two network structures, which included several spatial and temporal scales of variability.  We found that pathways originating with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation were the most influential on recruitment with the net effect being 4 to 7 times greater than for pathways originating with the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation or Oceanic Niño Index.  Among all environmental variables, sea surface temperature and an index of juvenile salmon prey biomass had the greatest effects on recruitment with a 76% chance of recruitment being equal to or below average given that ocean temperatures were above average and a 33% chance of recruitment being below average given that prey biomass was above average.  Our results provide evidence that shifts in climate patterns could strongly influence recruitment simultaneously through multiple ecological pathways and highlight the importance of quantifying cumulative effects of these pathways on higher-trophic-level species.

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Notes: doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2014-0509
Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management