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Seminar Abstract

Vera Agostini - May 14, 2002


Biological response to climate: What are sardine and hake telling us?

The California current system spans more than 20 degrees of latitude along the west coast of N. America. As a result, both the seasonal and inter-annual variability of this system include significant latitudinal and cross shore differences. Pacific hake and sardine dominate this ecosystem and live in habitats located at both latitudinal extremes of the current. These habitats are often positioned across major transition zones, both latitudinally (i.e. the sub-arctic biogeographic boundary) and longitudinally (shelf-slope). Both these species have developed adaptations allowing them to exist and migrate across these zones and attain life cycle closure. Their spawning habitats broadly overlap, but their population dynamics are different. The Sardine population is notorious for its extended periods of abundance followed by large crashes in the population. The Hake population, on the other hand, has shown spikes in production in alternation with periods of low abundance. In this presentation I will illustrate how a comparison of their life history strategies may shed some light on the response of these populations to climate variability.

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