Emergent patterns in size-structured models of copepod communities

Thursday 23 May 2019 - 14:00 to 15:00
NOC Southampton - Node Room (074/02) (Waterfront Campus).
Camila Serra-Pompei

Copepods (small aquatic crustaceans) link primary producers to fish, thus influencing the dynamics of both lower and higher trophic levels in marine food-webs and associated biogeochemical cycles. Life cycle of organisms strongly influences population dynamics, yet plankton-ecosystem models often omit copepods life cycle. Here we develop a size- and trait-based ecosystem model that includes copepods and their life cycle, protists, detritus, and nutrients dynamics. Using mechanistic individual-level processes, we model population dynamics of key copepod groups, characterized by size and feeding mode. Size resolves physiological rates and organisms’ predator-prey interactions. By means of dynamic simulations done through a slab model, we investigate the patterns and traits that emerge within the community. We compare the results with time-series data of two temperate sites (coastal and open ocean) and discuss the mechanisms that lead to observed seasonal dynamics. This simple, yet more realistic model, opens the possibility to improve end-to-end size-structured models of marine systems and investigate biogeochemical processes such as carbon export.

Seminar category: 
POETS Corner