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Physical and biological roles of mesoscale eddies in Japanese eel larvae dispersal in the western North Pacific Ocean
chang, Y.-L.K.; Miyazawa, Y.; Béguer-Pon, M.; Han, Y.-S.; Ohashi, K.; Sheng, J. (2018). Physical and biological roles of mesoscale eddies in Japanese eel larvae dispersal in the western North Pacific Ocean. NPG Scientific Reports 8(1): 11 pp. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/s41598-018-23392-5
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • chang, Y.-L.K.
  • Miyazawa, Y.
  • Béguer-Pon, M.
  • Han, Y.-S.
  • Ohashi, K.
  • Sheng, J.

Abstract
    The physical and biological roles of mesoscale eddies in Japanese eel larvae dispersal are investigated using a three-dimensional (3D) particle-tracking method, with a focus on the Subtropical Counter Current eddies of the western North Pacific Ocean. Virtual eel larvae (v-larvae) movements depends on the 3D ocean currents and active swimming behavior, including vertical swimming (diel vertical migration), horizontal directional swimming toward settlement habitat, and horizontal swimming toward available food. V-larvae are able to remain in eddies passively due to mesoscale eddy nonlinearity and/or actively due to attraction to rich food supplies. Thus, both physical trapping and biological attraction to food contribute to the retention of v-larvae in eddies. Physical trapping dominates the retention of v-larvae whose swimming speeds are slower than the eddy propagation speed, whereas biological food attraction prevails in the retention of v-larvae swimming faster than eddy propagation. Food availability differs between warm (anti-cyclonic) and cold (cyclonic) eddies, with the latter providing a richer food supply. Fish larvae that are retained for longer durations in cold eddies (shorter durations in warm eddies) are able to obtain more food and potentially grow faster, which enhances survival rates.

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