Project Description: Feeding Ecology of Market Squid in the California Current

Summary

In the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) the distribution, abundance and growth of market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) is thought to be largely driven by El Niño Southern Oscillation cycles, however the ecological factors that drive the observed boom and bust population dynamics have yet to be fully understood. Field studies suggest that there is a positive correlation between the abundance of juvenile market squid and the coastal krill Thysanoessa spinifera. This project, in conjunction with NMFS, is using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N) to evaluated the extent that squid in high abundance years (such as 2013) are more dependent on coastal food webs relative to lower productivity years (such as 2015) in which they are likely to be more reliant on offshore resources (e.g., Euphausia pacifica). These results complement ongoing NMFS efforts examining market squid distribution, abundance, growth and trophic ecology (stomach contents).

Student Involvement

The project has supported 1 CSUMB undergraduate and 1 CSUMB graduate student.

Broader Significance

The project provides new insights into how annual variation in prey abundance drives population dynamics in this commercially important fishery species in California.

IfAME Principal Investigator

Dr. Corey Garza

Financial Support

NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Field Support

MBARI and NOAA vessels

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