school of herring

Environmental changes ripple though ocean food webs, but probably not in the same ways everywhere. The pelagic community structure synthesis group applies hypotheses from one site across several other ocean sites.
Credit: Jacob Bøtter via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

Interannual variability and long term change in pelagic community structure across a latitudinal gradient

Recent synthesis has shown both similarities and differences in how pelagic marine ecosystems have been influenced by cyclic and long term changes in the marine environment. The pelagic community structure synthesis group uses comparative data to test a series of conceptual models describing how communities respond to stochastic and long‐term change along the latitudinal gradient represented by the four participating LTER sites. Their multipronged team approach employs two major lines of enquiry:

  1. examining whether patterns & processes discovered in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) apply to other pelagic sites, and
  2. exploring whether recently proposed global pelagic community responses apply to the LTER sites, including how such responses are modulated by season and how they may have changed over decadal time frames.