CASC-Led Paper on Changing Phenology in the Gulf of Maine Among Top Downloaded Papers in the Journal Fisheries Oceanography

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A 2019 paper led by Northeast CASC Science Coordinator Michelle Staudinger on changing phenology in the Gulf of Maine is among the top 10% most downloaded papers on the journal Fisheries Oceanography’s website.

The paper synthesizes current knowledge on how the timing of recurring biological and seasonal environmental events is changing within the Gulf of Maine, a region of high social and ecological importance in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf of Maine supports a range of species that migrate seasonally and time their arrival and reproduction to coincide with preferred temperatures and availability of food resources. However, the region is experiencing rapid and intense changes in temperature, and is projected to remain a hotspot of warming over the coming decades.

Staudinger and her co-authors sought to address a significant gap in our understanding of how regional populations, species, and communities are responding to climate impacts through changes in timing of recurring life events. In their review of the literature, the authors found only 20 studies that document shifts in phenology in the Gulf of Maine, demonstrating that this topic has received less attention in the region compared to other responses to climate change. In the paper, the authors summarize this evidence and offer examples of the implications, remaining research questions, and available long-term datasets appropriate for assessing phenological shifts in the region.

The paper was published in April 2019, and was among the top 10% most downloaded papers on the journal Fisheries Oceanography’s website between January 2018 and December 2019.

The study was funded in part by the Northeast CASC project “Implications of Future Shifts in Migration, Spawning, and Other Life Events of Coastal Fish and Wildlife Species”.

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The blue Atlantic coast bordering Maine.

The Gulf of Maine (Credit: Michelle Staudinger)