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SPatial variability and Implications of the Timing of FIsh Responses to the Environment

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPITFIRE (SPatial variability and Implications of the Timing of FIsh Responses to the Environment)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-10-31

Prediction of fish production is hindered by the lack of high-resolved data, and the complexity of the bio-physical systems affecting fish survival. A key factor determining the survival of larval fish is the relationship between predator recruitment and prey-predator overlap (match-mismatch hypothesis, MMH)1,2. MMH thus offers a mechanistic explanation for the fluctuations in fish recruitment, i.e. the number of fish entering the fishery. However, little is known about how MMH mechanistically explains population and ecosystem dynamics across species and regions. Therefore, the main goal of SPITFIRE is to quantify the ability of an improved MMH to globally explain fish dynamics, by acknowledging the roles of zooplankton (animal-like drifters, not just phytoplankton, plant-like drifters), space and mismatch.
The work resulting from WP1 has been presented in at the Larval Fish Conference in May 2019.
The manuscript resulting from WP1 to be submitted by October 20, 2019, to a special theme following the Larval Fish Conference. The manuscript has been accepted and is now published.
Data and objectives for WP2 and WP3 have been confirmed and acquired, and preliminary analyses have started and are being finalised for submission.
By comparing predator-prey relationships, SPITFIRE will help answer the major question in fish ecology and management – what determines fish recruitment? – and thus lead to better management of marine resources.
Even though this is a question that may never be completely answered, we hope SPITFIRE will shed some light into the complexity of the problem at hand.
We have started to do this with our newly-developed metric of overlap that assesses how prey and predator co-occur in both space and time, and how that affects the survival of the predator.
Spatial distribution of the overlap
Spatial distribution of the data
Match-mismatch hypothesis
Scatter plot of overlap versus Recruitment
Main figure in Ferreira et al (2020)
Seasonal distributions
Scatter plot of overlap versus Recruitment for significant cases