Seminar Abstract

Francis Chan

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Climatic causes and ecosystem consequences of hypoxia on the Oregon continental shelf

Upwelling ecosystems are marked by enhanced rates of primary productivity and transport of oxygen-depleted water masses to shallow seas. Together, these factors increase the potential for the formation of extensive coastal hypoxic zones along eastern boundary current systems.  The appearance and scope of hypoxia nevertheless vary greatly through time and across systems. In recent years, the Oregon continental shelf has experienced the emergence of severe shallow water hypoxia. Resolving the factors that drive hypoxia formation and its ecosystem impacts has emerged as key research and management concerns. In this presentation, I will examine the roles of climate variability and ecosystem scale forcings in driving temporal and spatial variation in hypoxia risk and severity. I will also examine the impacts of hypoxia on biogeochemical cycles and shallow water fish and invertebrate community structure.

Speaker bio:

Francis Chan is an assistant research professor in the Department of Zoology at Oregon State University. He holds a Ph.D in ecology from Cornell University. His research examines the causes and consequences of biogeochemical patterns in marine ecosystems.