Aquatic Ecosystems and Fisheries: Current Research

Climate Impacts on Marine Forage Fish and Jellyfish


  • Tim Essington UW Climate Impacts Group
  • Jon Reum UW Climate Impacts Group
  • Summary

    The pelagic ecosystem of Puget Sound is tightly coupled with the seasonal dynamics of freshwater runoff and thermal stratification, both of which have direct bearing on primary production which quickly travels up the food chain. Forage fish represent a key species in the transfer of energy from small zooplankton to larger fish, marine birds and mammals so identifying potential responses to climate signals is a key priority to support an ecosystem-based management of Puget Sound.

    Here we focus on several related questions:

    1. what have been the long term dynamics of herring throughout Puget Sound, and do geographically isolated populations respond synchronously to putatively large-scale climate forcing,
    2. what is the nature and magnitude of competitive and predator-prey interactions between forage fish and jellyfish, the latter of which are highly sensitive to climate, and
    3. how are the dynamics of Pacific Herring populations in Puget Sound related to environmental and biological drivers?


    NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

    Primary Funding

    NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

    Related Publications

    For more publications on CIG's research on climate and PNW aquatic ecosystems, please see CIG Publications.