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Modelling survival and connectivity of Mnemiopsis leidyi in the south-western North Sea and Scheldt estuaries
van der Molen, J.; van Beek, J.; Augustine, S.; Vansteenbrugge, L.; van Walraven, L.; van Langenberg, V.; van der Veer, H.W.; Hostens, K.; Pitois, S.; Robbens, J. (2015). Modelling survival and connectivity of Mnemiopsis leidyi in the south-western North Sea and Scheldt estuaries. Ocean Sci. 11(3): 405-424. dx.doi.org/10.5194/os-11-405-2015
In: Ocean Science. Copernicus: Göttingen. ISSN 1812-0784, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • van der Molen, J., more
  • van Beek, J.
  • Augustine, S.
  • Vansteenbrugge, L., more
  • van Walraven, L., more
  • van Langenberg, V.
  • van der Veer, H.W., more
  • Hostens, K., more
  • Pitois, S.
  • Robbens, J., more

Abstract
    Three different models were applied to study the reproduction, survival and dispersal of Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Scheldt estuaries and the southern North Sea: a high-resolution particle tracking model with passive particles, a low-resolution particle tracking model with a reproduction model coupled to a biogeochemical model, and a dynamic energy budget (DEB) model. The results of the models, each with its strengths and weaknesses, suggest the following conceptual situation: (i) the estuaries possess enough retention capability to keep an overwintering population, and enough exchange with coastal waters of the North Sea to seed offshore populations; (ii) M. leidyi can survive in the North Sea, and be transported over considerable distances, thus facilitating connectivity between coastal embayments; (iii) under current climatic conditions, M. leidyi may not be able to reproduce in large numbers in coastal and offshore waters of the North Sea, but this may change with global warming; however, this result is subject to substantial uncertainty. Further quantitative observational work is needed on the effects of temperature, salinity and food availability on reproduction and on mortality at different life stages to improve models such as used here.

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