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How biophysical interactions associated with sub- and mesoscale structures and migration behavior affect planktonic larvae of the spiny lobster in the Juan Fernández Ridge: A modeling approach

TitleHow biophysical interactions associated with sub- and mesoscale structures and migration behavior affect planktonic larvae of the spiny lobster in the Juan Fernández Ridge: A modeling approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMedel, C, Parada, C, Morales, CE, Pizarro, O, Ernst, B, Conejero, C
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Volume162
Pagination98 - 119
ISSN0079-6611
KeywordsDiel vertical migration, Juan Fernandez Ridge, Mesoscale and submesoscale features, Patchiness, Regional Ocean Modeling System and Individual-based models, Spiny lobster larval dispersion
Abstract

The Juan Fernández Ridge (JFR) is a chain of topographical elevations in the eastern South Pacific (∼33–35°S, 76–81.5°W). Rich in endemic marine species, this ridge is frequently affected by the arrival of mesoscale eddies originating in the coastal upwelling zone off central-southern Chile. The impacts of these interactions on the structure and dynamics of the JFR pelagic system have, however, not been addressed yet. The present model-based study is focused on the coupled influence of mesoscale-submesoscale processes and biological behavior (i.e., diel vertical migration) on the horizontal distribution of planktonic larvae of the spiny lobster (Jasus frontalis) around the JFR waters. Two case studies were selected from a hydrodynamic Regional Ocean Modeling System to characterize mesoscale and submesoscale structures and an Individual-based model (IBM) to simulate diel vertical migration (DVM) and its impact on the horizontal distribution and the patchiness level. DVM behavior of these larvae has not been clearly characterized, therefore, three types of vertical mechanisms were assessed on the IBM: (1) no migration (LG), (2) a short migration (0–50 m depth, DVM1), and (3) a long migration (10–200 m depth, DVM2). The influence of physical properties (eddy kinetic energy, stretching deformation and divergence) on larval aggregation within meso and submesoscale features was quantified. The patchiness index assessed for mesoscale and submesoscale structures showed higher values in the mesoscale than in the submesoscale. However, submesoscale structures revealed a higher accumulation of particles by unit of area. Both vertical migration mechanisms produced larger patchiness indices compared to the no migration experiment. DVM2 was the one that showed by far the largest aggregation of almost all the aggregation zones. Larval concentrations were highest in the submesoscale structures; these zones were characterized by low eddy kinetic energy, negative stretching deformation, and slight convergence. Stretching deformation flow appeared to be triggered by the eddy-eddy interactions and the Robinson Island barrier effect, and it likely promotes the aggregation of the spiny lobster larvae in the Juan Fernández system. These results highlighted the importance of the coupled effect of physical (mesoscale and submesoscale oceanographic features) and biological processes (DVM) in the generation of larval patchiness and concentration of spiny lobster larvae around the JFR, which could be key for their survival and retention in those waters.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079661116302373
DOI10.1016/j.pocean.2018.02.017