Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two Good Articles from the Columbia Basin Bulletin on Ocean Productivity

Ever wonder why salmon returns fluctuate so much from year to year? As it turns out the vast majority of yearly variability in salmon runs is driven by their survival at sea which can be influenced by a variety of climatic and biological factors. No where in the world is the relationship between salmon and interannual variation in ocean conditions better studied than off the Oregon and Washington coast. Using a suite of physical and biological indicators ranging from sea-surface temperatures, the strength of upwelling to the composition and biomass of the zooplankton community off our coast, biologists and oceanographers with NOAA can predict with relatively high accuracy whether a year will be good or bad for the survival of juvenile salmon as they enter the ocean. According to these measures, 2012 was pretty good which should bode well for steelhead and coho returns this summer and chinook returns in the coming years.

More in the CBB:

Recently biologists at NOAA and Oregon State University have published research suggesting that Columbia River run forecasting could be improved even further by weighting variables relative to their importance and incorporating broader scale climate indicators.

More information in the CBB:

Or read the paper yourself at PlosONE:

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