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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Gareth L Lawson
  • (508) 289-2462
  • Andone Lavery
  • Peter H Wiebe
Award Date:09/14/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 649,727
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 649,727
  • FY 2009=$649,727
Start Date:01/01/2010
End Date:06/30/2013
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Biological and Physical Determinants of Euphausiid Aggregation, Behavior, and Interaction with Higher Predators at an Abrupt Topographical Feature in the Gulf of Maine
Federal Award ID Number:0928801
DUNS ID:001766682
Parent DUNS ID:001766682
Program Officer:
  • David Garrison
  • (703) 292-7588

Awardee Location

County:Woods Hole
Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
County:Woods Hole
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

Zooplankton are key members of marine ecosystems, but the biological and physical factors governing their distribution and aggregation are not fully understood, especially at the continental shelf break and margins of the deep basins of the shelf. Euphausiids are an important group of crustacean zooplankton in North Atlantic pelagic food webs and represent an interesting model species for the study of zooplankton aggregation due to their strong swimming capabilities and active aggregative behaviors. This project will address the hypotheses that the formation and variability of euphausiid aggregations along the northern flank of Georges Bank and the southern portion of the Gulf of Maine during fall relate to the interaction of physical concentration mechanisms with local topography and with plasticity in diel vertical migration and active aggregative behaviors, and that this plasticity arises from variability in food availability and predation by herring. These hypotheses will be addressed through a field program employing a comprehensive array of sensors, including both conventional narrowband and recently-developed broadband acoustic systems to sample the euphausiids, and a variety of other acoustic, optical, net, and other sampling devices to quantify their physical and biological environment. These sensors will be used in an inventive combination of (1) coarse-scale grid surveys to characterize along- and across-slope variability in the distribution of euphausiids, their predators, other zooplankton, phytoplankton, and physical conditions (e.g., the flow field), and (2) fine-scale adaptive surveys used to track individual euphausiid aggregations and observe how their three-dimensional structure and vertical position vary with changing environmental conditions. Repeat surveys will be timed to capitalize on known or likely variations in the flow field, food availability, light levels, and predation. The study will promote teaching, training, and learning via the participation of students at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels. The results will be disseminated via scientific publications and a session to be convened a national meeting. Descriptions of the work and its findings intelligible to a lay audience will be disseminated via a combination of web portals. The research will be further integrated with education by developing on-line lessons produced and distributed in collaboration with the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Networked Ocean World. Benefits to society as a whole will arise from focusing on the interactions of euphausiids with herring, a commercially-important fish species, and on the pelagic ecosystem of the Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine complex, one of the world's most productive fishing areas.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Wiebe, P.H., G.L. Lawson, A.C. Lavery, N.J. Copley, E. Horgan, and A. Bradley. "Improved agreement of net and acoustical methods for surveying euphausiids by mitigating avoidance using a net-based LED strobe light system" ICES Journal of Marine Science, v.70, 2013, p.650.

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