In seasonal environments, timing is everything: energy dynamics and production are controlled by how well predators can match their prey in space and time. This is thought to be particularly true for larval life-‐stages of many fish, where limited parental investment means survival depends on how well larvae match the timing of their food. Often termed the “Match-‐Mismatch Hypothesis” (MMH), the dependence of production on larvae-‐prey match is a long-‐held hypothesis, but has been rarely mechanistically tested due to e.g. sampling limitations. There is an immediate need to determine the influence of the MMH in shaping fish distribution and production, now and in the future. Through the FutureFish project, I will respond to this need by providing new mechanistic modelling tools that describe controls on larval fish timing and how timing influences the propagation of climate effects through ecosystems. Work will quantify (i) the influence of larval fish timing in controlling production, (ii) the adaptive potential of larval fish timing, and (iii) predictions of the influence of larval timing on future fish production and related ecosystem dynamics.
Anna B. Neuheimer is a biological oceanographer whose research involves designing quantitative tools (empirical and theoretical) to explain variability in distribution, connectivity, abundance, size, and life-‐history of zooplankton and fish. Focus is on disentangling physical, biological and human effects, to move beyond simple correlations to mechanistic explanations of observed variation over time and space. While work includes lower-‐latitude species (e.g. Hawaiian reef fish), much of Anna’s research is focused on wide-‐ranging species of the north (e.g. Atlantic cod; www.abneuheimer.org).
Timing is everything: Developing a mechanistic understanding of fish timing strategies and their role as conduits of climate change (FutureFish)
Area of research:
01 Feb 2018 – 31 Jan 2020