CLIOTOP Description


Key Questions, Hypotheses and Issues:

Many scientific questions are relevant to CLIOTOP objectives. They can be classified according to the following three general foci:

1. Processes

  • How the adaptive strategies of the different species considered are structured at a basin scale and according to the different time-scales of the climate variability?
  • How do adaptive processes interact? Can we predict their changes in relation to climate forcing?

2. Responses

  • What are the respective impacts of climate variability and fishing on the structure and functioning of high-sea pelagic ecosystems?
  • Are ecosystem dynamics well defined, i.e. abilities of ecosystems to respond to continuously changing forcing, from climate and fisheries, particularly regime shifts and global synchronies? What is predictable, what is not?
  • What should be measured and monitored to maintain "status information" on individual species, and the larger ecosystem(s)?

3. Management

  • How might both socio-economical strategies/behaviours and ecosystem dynamics be addressed by management within the context of climate variability and change?

To answer these questions, two main integrated program thrusts are envisioned:

1. to evaluate the impact of fishing and climate variability on marine ecosystems inhabited by oceanic top predators by analysing and comparing long-term data sets, ocean/atmosphere and biogeochemical reanalyses, field observations, in situ and laboratory experiments and measurements.

2. to use modeling and extensive simulations in a comparative framework to deduce and understand the dynamics of the ecosystem(s) and dependent resource populations, leading toward development of next-generation models which embody a high degree of realism and predictive skill. Models will help in identifying the main processes of the system (those indispensible for realistic predictions) and how they interact together.

Comparing various species, regions and ecosystems by searching for regularities and differences is of fundamental importance because universal patterns would reveal common principles underlying the organization of ecosystems and their response to climate forcing.

System Types Studied:
Open ocean pelagic ecosystems

Target Organisms:
Open ocean apex predators


CLIOTOP is organized around five flexible "easy-to-manage" working groups focused on key processes and scales to be studied (Fig. 1).



Figure 1. Organization of CLIOTOP working groups, cross-cutting issues and forcings

  • WG1 Early life history
  • WG2 Physiology, behaviour and distribution
  • WG3 Trophic pathways in open ocean ecosystems
  • WG4 Synthesis and modelling
  • WG5 Socio-economic aspects and management strategies

Working groups are related by crosscutting issues and forcings

Each working group will organise workshops and meetings focused on precisely defined aspects, and more general meetings and symposia will bring together all the working groups. Typically, each working group is expected to have at least one workshop for implementation and one for synthesis work. Intermediate workshops will be organised as necessary and according to opportunites and funding availability.


CLIOTOP Chairpersons:
Patrick Lehodey
Collecte et Localisation par Satellites
8-10 rue Hermès
Parc Technologique du canal
31520 Ramonville St Agne

Olivier Maury
Centre de Recherches Halieutiques Méditerranéennes et Tropicales
av. Jean Monnet
34203 Sete CEDEX
Tel:+33 4 99 57 32 28

Committee members:

  • John Sibert (PFRP - Univ of Hawaii, USA)
  • Alistair Hobday (CSIRO, Australia)
  • Yuji Uozumi (National Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, Japan)
  • Shiham Adam (Marine Research Centre, Ministry of Fish., Agric. and Mar. Resources, Maldives)
  • Heidi Dewar (TOPP, CoML, USA)
  • Raghu Murtuggude (ESSIC, Univ Maryland, USA)
  • Molly Lutcavage (Univ. of New Hampshire, USA)
  • Kathleen Miller (NCAR, USA)
  • SungKwon Soh (Science manager, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Micronesia)
  • Henri Weimerskirch (CNRS, France)