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Zooplankton are the smallest animals in the ocean and important food for fish. Despite their importance, zooplankton have been relatively undersampled. To better understand the zooplankton community in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), we developed a model to simulate their dynamics. We found that heterotrophic protists are important for supporting mesozooplankton, which are the primary prey of larval fish. The model developed in this study has the potential to improve fisheries management in the GoM.
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BG | Articles | Volume 17, issue 13
Biogeosciences, 17, 3385–3407, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-3385-2020
Biogeosciences, 17, 3385–3407, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-3385-2020

Research article 05 Jul 2020

Research article | 05 Jul 2020

Quantifying spatiotemporal variability in zooplankton dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico with a physical–biogeochemical model

Taylor A. Shropshire et al.

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Cited articles

Anderson, T. R.: Plankton functional type modelling: Running before we can walk?, J. Plankton Res., 27, 1073–1081, https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbi076, 2005. 
Anderson, T. R., Gentleman, W. C., and Sinha, B.: Influence of grazing formulations on the emergent properties of a complex ecosystem model in a global ocean general circulation model, Prog. Oceanogr., 87, 201–213, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2010.06.003, 2010. 
Anderson, T. R., Gentleman, W. C., and Yool, A.: EMPOWER-1.0: an Efficient Model of Planktonic ecOsystems WrittEn in R, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2231–2262, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-8-2231-2015, 2015. 
Arreguin-Sanchez, F., Zetina-Rejón, M., Manickchand-Heileman, S., Ramírez-Rodríguez, M., and Vidal, L.: Simulated response to harvesting strategies in an exploited ecosystem in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, Ecol. Model., 172, 421–432, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2003.09.016, 2004. 
Bakun, A.: Ocean eddies, predator pits and bluefin tuna: Implications of an inferred “low risk-limited payoff” reproductive scheme of a (former) archetypical top predator, Fish Fish., 14, 424–438, https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12002, 2013. 
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Short summary
Zooplankton are the smallest animals in the ocean and important food for fish. Despite their importance, zooplankton have been relatively undersampled. To better understand the zooplankton community in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), we developed a model to simulate their dynamics. We found that heterotrophic protists are important for supporting mesozooplankton, which are the primary prey of larval fish. The model developed in this study has the potential to improve fisheries management in the GoM.
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