Simulating the influence of climate variability on larval fish survival: An example using sprat (Sprattus sprattus) in the southern North Sea

U. Hochbaum, M.A. Peck, W. Kuhn, Michael St. John, C. Schrum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearch


Within many coastal marine regions, changes in factors affecting hydrography (e.g., river input, tidal mixing, and atmospheric conditions such as solar radiation and wind) lead to spatial and temporal variability in factors impacting the transport and vital rates of fish larvae (e.g., water currents, turbulence, temperatures and prey fields). To investigate the impact of changing environmental conditions in the southern North Sea on the transport, growth and survival of larval sprat (Sprattus sprattus), we employed four inter-linked models: 1) a hydrodynamic model (HAMSOM) provided 3D fields of hydrographical properties, 2) a NPZD model prescribed local sprat prey fields (ECOSMO), 3) a Lagrangian transport model simulated temporal changes in cohort distribution, and 4) an individual-based model (IBM) depicted foraging, growth and survival of early life stages of sprat. The NPZD model (ECOSMO), which provides the spatially and temporally variable prey field, includes 3 nutrient cycles, two phytoplankton groups (diatoms, flagellates) and two classes of zooplankton (omnivorous and herbivorous). The IBM includes eggs, yolksac larvae and foraging and growth subroutines for post yolksac larvae. To estimate the influence of varying climatic conditions on vital rates of young life stages of sprat, scenario tests were performed by running the models for anomalously warm (1992) and cold (1986) years as well as within a year with average temperature conditions (1993). The simulation results were compared to in situ estimates of distribution and condition of larval sprat in the southern German Bight in 1992 and 1993
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICES C.M.
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventICES Council Meeting 2005 - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Sep 200524 Sep 2005


ConferenceICES Council Meeting 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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