NSF Org OPP Latest Amendment Date September 1, 1995 Award Number 9523748 Award Instr. Continuing Grant Prgm Manager Polly A. Penhale OPP OFFICE OF POLAR PROGRAMS O/D OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR Start Date November 1, 1995 Expires October 31, 1997 (Estimated) Expected Total Amt. $148,061 (Estimated) Investigator Mark E Huntley firstname.lastname@example.org Meng Zhou Sponsor U of Cal SD Scripps Inst La Jolla, CA 92093 NSF Program 5111 ANTARCTIC BIOLOGY & MEDICINE Fld Science 43 Biological Oceanography Fld Applictn 0204000 Oceanography 0311000 Polar Programs-Related
9523748 Huntley Patchiness of zooplankton and micronekton is a feature of central importance in marine ecosystems. In the Southern Ocean, aggregations of krill (Euphausia superba) are of particular interest. The distribution and dynamics of such aggregations are critical to determining the transformation of organic matter (e.g. carbon flux) and the fate of populations in the sea. These phenomena are especially important in the mesoscale and sub- mesoscale domains, where patchiness is most strongly expressed. If the means to predict patch dynamics is lacking, then so is the means to adequately predict carbon flux and population dynamics at these scales. Traditional models of zooplankton patch dynamics generally treat animals as Lagrangian particles whose aggregations are determined solely by processes of advection and diffusion. This approach ignores behavior induced by biotic and abiotic forces and manifested as purposeful motion - motion that clearly is not governed by advection and diffusion. Attempts to acknowledge behavior in models of plankton motility have been successful at the level of the individual animal, but even the most powerful computers cannot run individual-based models to predict aggregation dynamics of n individuals. This proposal takes a new approach to modeling aggregation dynamics, based on "bio-continuum" theory, and provides for model verification against benchmark field data. Rather than relying on traditional advection-diffusion equations, which ignore behavior, the bio-continuum theory recognizes behavioral forces in the context of statistical mechanics. Model output provides information on animal behaviors, manifest as swimming velocities, that are absent from other models of patch dynamics. All key model variables are measurable using common sampling techniques, such as acoustic Doppler and multiple net systems. The proposed research consists of studying both the internal and external forces that act on aggregations of Euphausia superba. First, the internal forces of autocoherence (that act between animals to maintain patch integrity) will be measured in krill aggregations observed in the Gerlache Strait region in 1992. Our database consists of more than 20 such aggregations observed by ADCP and MOCNESS. Second, the effect of external physical forcing on krill aggregations will be studied by embedding krill swarms of typical scales in numerically modeled flow regimes that are typical of the Gerlache Strait region (Zhou and Niiler 1995), by combining the Princeton circulation model (e.g. Blumberg and Mellor 1987) with our aggregation model. This research provides a novel, dynamic theory of animal aggregations in the sea. A study of the fundamental theory, coupled with model realizations that can be compared to observed aggregations of Euphausia superba, may lead to more realistic predictions of krill patch dynamics in the Southern Ocean. Such predictions are critical to more accurate measurements of carbon flux and the population dynamics of krill.