Ecosystem Dynamics

GMRI scientists are deeply invested in understanding the complex connections of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. From microscopic plankton to 1000-pound tuna, unraveling the linkages among species and environmental factors provides the vital data required to effectively manage populations.

We examined the role that larger fish play in their population this year by studying historical data on the size of cod in the Gulf of Maine. We also deepened our understanding of the connections between the cod, herring, and lobster fisheries by building computer models to examine the economic, regulatory, and environmental links between them.

Our scientists continued to research the mechanics by which changes in temperature, water composition, and currents affect marine life in the Gulf of Maine. This year we launched a new study to determine how the effects of short-term fluctuations in water conditions might reveal the effects of long-term climate change. We also looked into how the anticipated increase in ocean acidification would affect essential food sources, such as copepods.

Through these studies, we equip policymakers and other researchers with better information on the interconnections that comprise the Gulf of Maine's remarkable ecosystem.

Modeler: Andy Pershing

Andy shares how computer models can provide insight into changes in the  Gulf of Maine ecosystem

Oceanographer: Jeff Runge

Jeff explores how the physical conditions of the ocean affect the abundance and distribution of marine zooplankton.

The Benefits of Big Fish

Scientists examine the benefits that older, larger fish provide their populations and explore the ways they might be protected.

Climate Change and Calanus

Short-term environmental shifts help us examine the effects of long-term climate change on Calanus finmarchicus.