AOML's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division

Integrated Models for Evaluating Climate Change, Population Growth, and Water Management Effects on South Florida Coastal Marine and Estuarine Ecosystems (iMODEC)

Global climate change will have profound implications for marine ecosystems, as well as the economic and social systems that depend upon them. Through this integrated, multidisciplinary project, we examine the effect of future climate and water management conditions on the sustainability of key commercial and recreational fishery species focusing upon Florida Bay, a major nearshore nursery ground for many fishery species. To accomplish this goal we have assembled a diverse team with partners at NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA/SEFSC), University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and Florida International University.

The physical oceanography, including temperature and salinity, is simulated with a nested high-resolution model of SW Florida implemented with the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS). The circulation of the ROMS model presently is forced at the surface by the NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) atmospheric model. We use CMIP5 climate model outputs for new simulations that will be coupled with ecological models to predict the impact of interacting climate change and water management scenarios on south Florida nursery habitat. ROMS case scenario output will be used as inputs into habitat suitability index (HSI) models, a mechanistic trophic model, and a connectivity model. Species modeled will be pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum), spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), and gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), which support valuable south Florida commercial and recreational fisheries. The HSI models will predict how interacting effects of climate change and water management alter suitable nursery habitat area available to target species. Relating recruitment strength to suitable habitat area will quantify population impacts. An expanded existing mechanistic trophic model for Florida Bay will examine trophic interactions among these species, allowing determination of how interacting water management/climate changes might affect populations of these species, their prey, or other target species. Simulation outputs will be used to produce decision support tools depicting the impact of these scenarios on the vulnerability and health of south Florida's marine ecosystem.

Contact Information for OCED/EAM Integrated Models for Evaluating Climate Change, Population Growth and Water Management Effects on South Florida Coastal Marine and Estuarine Ecosystems Researchers: