CLIOTOP Working groups

Each working group is organized around a set of key questions relevant to CLIOTOP's objectives, and a set of strategic approaches to address those questions:

WG 1 Early life history

Key scientific questions:

  • What environmental characteristics define the timing and intensity of reproduction and spawning areas?
  • What environmental and biological characteristics most influence larval survival?

Approaches:

  • Laboratory experiments
  • Field studies
  • Comparative analysis
  • Modelling

Chairs:

  • Robert Cowen
  • Alberto Garcia
  • Ziro Suzuki


WG 2 Phyisology, behaviour and distribution

Key scientific questions:

  • To what extent do spatial dynamics result from proximate cues and to what extent is spatial dynamics independent of local environmental cues?
  • How does school size and fidelity vary in relation to environmental variability and climate change?
  • What determines the time and place of reproductive and feeding-related behaviour?
  • How do anthropogenic forces such as fishing interact with environmental impacts on distribution and population structure?

Approaches:

  • Laboratory experiments (physiology); field studies: archival tagging, acoustic tracking, direct census
  • Retrospective and comparative analyses
  • Biophysical analyses (e.g. use of oceanographic information) and integration with behaviour
  • Modelling

Chairs:

  • Richard Brill
  • David Kirby
  • Francis Marsaci


WG 3 Trophic pathways in the open ocean ecosystems

Key scientific questions:

  • What are the main trophic pathways and how do they differ among and within oceans?
  • Is there evidence of change in trophic pathways over time and space consistent with climate variability. Can seasonal and spatial variability be used to explore the impacts of climate variability?
  • What is the relative impoartance of mesopelagic versus epipelagic prey resources in oceanic top predators, and how does this vary within and among oceans. How does climate variability affect the distribution and availability of mesopelagic and epipelagic prey?
  • Is it possible to identify indicators, such as prey species or size spectra, that would highlight significant changes in trophic pathways?

Approaches:

  • Diet studies, stable isotope analyses
  • Automated acoustical methods
  • Data recovery, retrospective and comparative analyses
  • Modelling

Chairs:

  • Robert Olson
  • Jock Young

WG 4 Synthesis and modelling

Key scientific questions:

  • What is the relative importance of fisheries exploitation and the dynamic environment in structuring pelagic ecosystems?
  • Does one mechanism (e.g. match/mismatch) explain observed variation across species, trophic pathways, regions, etc.? Do alternative mechanisms have equally good explanatory power? Which mechanisms(s) provide the greatest predictive power?
  • What alternative states might occur in pelagic ecosystem records, how might they be characterised (e.g. can they be described by indicators), how might they be caused, what are their consequences, and are they reversible, given that the climate changes continuously?
  • Does knowledge about environmental forcing and the nature of fisheries (e.g. the species composition of the catch, growth variability, egg production rates by size/age) suggest an optimum allocation of fishing activities?

Approaches:

  • Use of existing observational databases in conventional models and development of new models.
  • Comparative analyses of models (several models for one case study / one model for several case studies)
  • Wide range of models from very simple models to large scale ecosystem models coupled to OGCM and biogeochemical models.
  • Retrospective analyses.

Chairs:

  • Raghu Murtugudde
  • George Watters

WG 5 Socio-economic aspects and management strategies

Key scientific questions:

  • What are the socio-economic pressures on, and context of, tuna fisheries?
  • How have fisheries organisations (whether local, national, regional, or international) addressed the impacts of climate variability and climate change?
  • What are the flows in capital and knowledge among the world's large fisheries and how do they respond to variability?
  • Can we evaluate how useful are the fisheries management decision support tools.

Approaches:

  • Surveys and interviews of diverse cultural fishing groups
  • Case studies, local, regional, and basin wide
  • Retrospective and comparative analyses, i.e. product usage, market changes, technology changes, etc.
  • Modelling

Chairs:

  • Kathleen Miller
  • Rèmi Mongruel