Dynamics of marine ecosystems: integration through models of physical-biological interactions
GLOBEC studies have greatly expanded our understanding of the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems, in particular demonstrating the importance of life history dynamics in determining the influence of physical processes on organisms in the ocean. The linkages between physical and biological processes were explored through novel approaches to experimentation in the laboratory, in the field, and through biophysical models of the coupled dynamics. New observations and the development of realistic physical circulation models have made it possible to quantitatively explore the relation between advection by large‐scale hydrodynamic fields, motions of actively behaving organisms at the scale of the individuals, and the response of organisms to dynamically evolving predator—prey fields. Scale dependence has also been demonstrated through observations that cover a wide geographic range and models that allow high resolution ranging from continental shelf to oceanic basin scales. The complexity of the interactions in marine ecosystems has required consideration of as many factors as possible while at the same time focusing on the primary factors, given the challenges of disentangling the complexity. These ideas and approaches to biophysical coupling are reviewed through presentation of the research that has been carried out during the GLOBEC programme over the past two decades.
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