Trans-Atlantic responses of Calanus finmarchicus populations to basin-scale forcing associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Populations of the copepod species Calanus finmarchicus often dominate the springtime biomass and secondary production of shelf ecosystems throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. Recently, it has been hypothesised that interannual to interdecadal fluctuations observed in such populations are driven primarily by climate-associated changes in ocean circulation. Here, we compare evidence from the North Sea and Gulf of Maine/Western Scotian Shelf (GoMAVSS) linking fluctuations in C. finmarchicus abundance to changes in ocean circulation associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). A particularly striking contrast emerges from this Trans-Atlantic comparison: whereas the North Sea C. finmarchicus population exhibits a negative correlation with the NAO index, the GoM/WSS population exhibits a more complex, positive association with the index. The physical processes underlying these contrasting population responses are discussed in the context of regional- to basin-scale circulation changes associated with the NAO. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Progress in Oceanography