A spatiotemporal Evaluation of Atlantic Sea Scallop Placopecten magellanicus Habitat in the Gulf of Maine Using a Bioclimate Envelope Model
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A spatiotemporal Evaluation of Atlantic Sea Scallop Placopecten magellanicus Habitat in the Gulf of Maine Using a Bioclimate Envelope Model
  • Published Date:

    2018

  • Source:
    Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 10(2), 224–235
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  • Description:
    A bioclimate envelope model was developed to evaluate the impacts of climate variability on spatiotemporal availability of suitable habitat for the Atlantic sea scallop Placopecten magellanicus in the Gulf of Maine (GOM). Bioclimate envelopes were established through habitat suitability indices (HSIs) based on bottom temperature, bottom salinity, current velocity, depth, and bottom composition. The relationship between Atlantic sea scallop abundance and each environmental variable was quantified using suitability indices, which were generated based on standardized scallop abundance sampled over 10 years of dredge survey data. Boosted regression tree models were used to determine the relative importance of each environmental variable to scallop abundance, thereby establishing a weighting scheme within the HSI. A regional circulation model was coupled with the weighted HSI to hindcast spatiotemporal dynamics of suitable habitat for Atlantic sea scallop in coastal and offshore waters of the GOM from 1978 to 2013. Higher habitat suitability was found along inshore areas compared with offshore areas. Model predictions indicated an increasing trend in habitat suitability in inshore waters since 1978 and decreasing habitat suitability in offshore waters. This research provides a novel modeling framework with which to enhance research and management of commercially valuable Atlantic sea scallop stocks over broad spatiotemporal scales in the climatically altered GOM.
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