Seminar: Dr. Joel Fodrie, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences
April 12 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Presenter Affiliation: UNC Institute of Marine Sciences
Title: Has warming, oiling, and fishing fundamentally altered coastal ecosystems in the northern Gulf of Mexico?
Abstract: The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is a highly dynamic ecosystem that supports critical fishing, tourism, shipping, and energy sectors. Much of our research team’s long-standing exploration of linkages between habitat and fishery production has been based in the northern GOM. Necessarily, this has led us to consider how multiple pulse and press stressors affect coastal habitats and fishes, particularly with respect to regional warming, oil pollution, and harvest. Over the last 10+ years, we have brought together numerous lines of evidence to consider the consequences of these stressors in the GOM. The results of this ecological detective work indicate that environmental press disturbances such as warming and fishing have notably shifted coastal fish assemblages (e.g., poleward range shifts and loss of the largest coastal-pelagic fishes), while populations of these fishes appear largely unaffected by at least one major and highly publicized pulse disturbance – the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We continue to evaluate the life-history, environmental, and trophic drivers explaining the vulnerability or resilience of coastal fishes to these basin-scale dynamics.