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Pinnipeds and El Nino: Responses to Environmental Stress by Fritz Trillmich, Kathryn A. Ono

By Fritz Trillmich, Kathryn A. Ono

El Niño is a meteorological and oceanographic phenomenon, which happens at abnormal periods within the jap tropical Pacific. Its most blatant attribute is the warming of floor waters, which explanations huge, immense disturbances of the marine setting. A critical Niño can also impact continental structures world wide. This ebook gathers in a finished approach the knowledge on hand at the results of the particularly powerful 1982-83 Niño on a bunch of marine mammals, the pinnipeds. It provides an research of the results of environmental rigidity at the populations of best predators. facts and interpretations are in accordance with a most original number of long term stories of pinniped inhabitants dynamics, habit and ecology which spanned the El Niño occasion. The responses of pinniped populations to the El Niño disturbance of the marine environment additionally has very important implications for the administration and conservation of marine mammal populations.

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Neither catches nor spawner biom ass of this relatively long-lived fish was depressed during 1983-84. The 1983 year dass was weak, but the 1984 year dass was strong (Hollowed et al. 1988; Shaw et al. 1988). Obvious changes in the depth distribution of whiting were not noted during 1983 or 1984. All age groups of Pacific whiting migrated farther to the north in Biological Consequences of the 1982-83 EI Niiio in the Eastern Pacific 37 1983 than in other years (Table 2). Ware (pers. ) found that Pacific whiting were farther northward and seaward in 1983 than in the 4 years after 1983.

Paeific Mackerel- Scomber japonicus The total biomass of Paeific mackerel (age 1+) increased sharply in 1977, attained a peak in 1982, and then decreased substantially in 1983 and 1984 because of poor recruitment (MacCall et al. 1985). The 1983 year dass was very weak and the 1984 year dass was weak in subsequent landings (CaiCoFi 1988; R. Klingbeil pers. ). This was unexpected since Sindair et al. (1985) found that EN events and assoeiated high sea levels favored survival of the early life history stages of this speeies in the Califomia Current.

Upwelling intensity along the coast paralleis these changes in the intensity of current flow: most upwelling takes place during the spring and summer months. From October through January, the Califomia Current is displaced about 100-150 km offshore. During this time, the Califomia Countercurrent (which further north merges with the Davidson Current) transports warmer water nearshore northward. Effects of the tropical EN in 1982-83 were transmitted to the co ast of North and Central America through two processes, the so-called teleconnections.

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