Research Area: Environment

High resolution models of vertical distribution and migration in high latitude marine zooplankton

Project Number: 6165
Project Duration: 1. January 2015 - 31. December 2017

Project Director: Ketil Eiane

Division Head: Christian Collin-Hansen

Technical contact person, Statoil: Ståle Johnsen, e-mail sjohn@statoil.com


This project aims at developing mechanistic and dynamic models for the variability in vertical distribution of high-latitude marine zooplankton. We will specifically address how the variability of ecological drivers affect the habitat choice of the target organisms in both diel and ontogenetic timescales by focusing on three tasks:

1. Vertical habitat strategies of primary consumers: We will develop adaptive individual based models (e.g. Eiane & Parisi 2001, Neuheimer et al. 2010) of time and state dependent vertical distribution of key taxa. These models will treat vertical behavior as an emergent trait originating from fitness correlates between vertical behavior in target taxa, and variability in hydrographical, irradiance levels, predation pressure, and food data from high latitude systems (e.g. Bandara 2014, Skreslet and Borja 2003). We predict that the seasonal variability in vertical habitat is a function of both bottom-up and top-down environmental variables, and a function of the individuals' state such as energy reserves and size.  



2. Vertical habitat strategies of higher order consumers: By broadening the functional type of target taxa to encompass secondary and higher order consumers in the water column allows us to approach the full diversity of zooplankton strategies. Here, we will specifically look into species with widely contrasting strategies for food in order to find species differences in the seasonal patterns in habitat choice.






3. The importance of space and time -- model validation: Zooplankton vertical distribution models will be validated against the extensive data sets produced by the Statoil funded (and ongoing) ARCTOS LoVe MarinEco project. This source of data allows for extensive model validation against realistic natural variability that can serve as basis for further model refinement.  

The video above is of an eight days cruise onboard a 64 meter research vessel (FF Helmer Hanssen) in the Lofoten-Vesterålen area. Video footage and editing by Kanchana Bandara. Read the original bloggpost by Smack of Science here.


Bandara K, Varpe Ø, Ji R, Eiane K (2018) A high-resolution modeling study on diel and seasonal vertical migrations of high-latitude copepods. Ecological Modelling 368:357-376

Bandara K, Varpe Ø, Søreide JE, Wallenschus J, Berge J, Eiane K (2016) Seasonal vertical strategies in high-Arctic coastal zooplankton community. Marine Ecology Progress Series 555:49-64

Bandara K, Varpe Ø, Ji R, Eiane K (submitted) Artificial evolution of behavioral and life history strategies of Arctic Calanus species in response to bottom-up and top-down environmental variability

Bandara K (2018) Diel and seasonal vertical migrations of high-latitude zooplankton: knowledge gaps and a high-resolution bridge, PhD dissertation, Nord University, Norway, ISBN 978-82-93165-21-7

Bandara K (2014) Mesozooplankton Community Dynamics in a High Arctic Fjord. Masters thesis, University of Nordland

Eiane K, Parisi D (2001) Towards a robust concept for modelling zooplankton migration. Sarsia 86:465-475. 

Neuheimer AB et al. (2010) How to build and use individual-based models (IBMs) as hypothesis testing tools. J. Mar. Syst. 81:122-133.

Skreslet S, Borja A (2003) Interannual correlation between hemispheric climate and northern Norwegian wintering stocks of two Calanus spp. ICES Mar. Sc. 219, 390-392.


PhD: Kanchana Bandara

E-mail: kanchana.bandara@uin.no
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