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Sydeman, WJ, Thompson SA, Garcia-Reyes M, Kahru M, Peterson WT, Largier JL.  2014.  Multivariate ocean-climate indicators (MOCI) for the central California Current: Environmental change, 1990-2010. Progress in Oceanography. 120:352-369.   10.1016/j.pocean.2013.10.017   AbstractWebsite

Temporal environmental variability may confound interpretations of management actions, such as reduced fisheries mortality when Marine Protected Areas are implemented. To aid in the evaluation of recent ecosystem protection decisions in central-northern California, we designed and implemented multivariate ocean-climate indicators (MOCI) of environmental variability. To assess the validity of the MOCI, we evaluated interannual and longer-term variability in relation to previously recognized environmental variability in the region, and correlated MOCI to a suite of biological indicators including proxies for lower- (phytoplankton, copepods, krill), and upper-level (seabirds) taxa. To develop the MOCI, we selected, compiled, and synthesized 14 well-known atmospheric and oceanographic indicators of large-scale and regional processes (transport and upwelling), as well as local atmospheric and oceanic response variables such as wind stress, sea surface temperature, and salinity. We derived seasonally-stratified MOCI using principal component analysis. Over the 21-year study period (1990-2010), the ENSO cycle weakened while extra-tropical influences increased with a strengthening of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) and cooling of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Correspondingly, the Northern Oscillation Index (NOI) strengthened, leading to enhanced upwelling-favorable wind stress and cooling of air and ocean surface temperatures. The seasonal MOCI related well to subarctic copepod biomass and seabird productivity, but poorly to chlorophyll-a concentration and krill abundance. Our results support a hypothesis of enhanced sub-arctic influence (transport from the north) and upwelling intensification in north-central California over the past two decades. Such environmental conditions may favor population growth for species with sub-arctic zoogeographic affinities within the central-northern California Current coastal ecosystem. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lluch-Cota, SE, Aragon-Noriega EA, Arreguin-Sanchez F, Aurioles-Gamboa D, Bautista-Romero JJ, Brusca RC, Cervantes-Duarte R, Cortes-Altamirano R, Del-Monte-Luna P, Esquivel-Herrera A, Fernandez G, Hendrickx ME, Hernandez-Vazquez S, Herrera-Cervantes H, Kahru M, Lavin M, Lluch-Belda D, Lluch-Cota DB, Lopez-Martinez J, Marinone SG, Nevarez-Martinez MO, Ortega-Garcia S, Palacios-Castro E, Pares-Sierra A, Ponce-Diaz G, Ramirez-Rodriguez M, Salinas-Zavala CA, Schwartzlose RA, Sierra-Beltran AP.  2007.  The Gulf of California: Review of ecosystem status and sustainability challenges. Progress in Oceanography. 73:1-26.   10.1016/j.pocean.2007.01.013   AbstractWebsite

The Gulf of California is unique because of its geographical location and conformation. It hosts diverse ecosystems and important fisheries that support industry and provide livelihood to coastal settlements. It is also the site of interests and problems, and an intense interaction among managers, producers, and conservationists. In this report, we scrutinize the abiotic (hydrography, climate, ocean circulation, and chemistry) and biotic (phyto- and zooplankton, fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, birds, and turtles) components of the marine ecosystem, and some particular aspects of climate variability, endemisms, harmful algal blooms, oxygen minimum layer, and pollution. We also review the current conditions and conflicts around the main fisheries (shrimp, small and large pelagic fishes, squid, artisanal and sportfishing), the most important human activity in the Gulf of California. We cover some aspects of management and conservation of fisheries, especially the claimed overexploitation of fish resources and the ecosystems, and review proposals for creating networks of marine protected areas. We conclude by identifying main needs for information and research, particularly the integration of data bases, the implementation of models and paleoreconstructions, establishment of monitoring programs, and the evaluation of fishing impacts and management actions. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kahru, M, Marinone SG, Lluch-Cota SE, Pares-Sierra A, Mitchell BG.  2004.  Ocean-color variability in the Gulf of California: scales from days to ENSO. Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography. 51:139-146.   10.1016/j.dsr2.2003.04.001   AbstractWebsite

Time series of surface chlorophyll a concentration (C-sat) and phytoplankton net primary production (NPP) in the Gulf of California were derived using satellite data from OCTS, SeaWiFS, MODIS, AVHRR and the VGPM primary productivity model. The 6-year (1997-2003) time series showed variability at a multitude of scales. The annual cycle was the dominant mode in Gat variability in the entire gulf, except just south of the midriff islands where the semiannual cycle dominated. The semiannual cycle has C-sat maxima during the spring and fall transition periods when the general circulation is switching between cyclonic in the summer and anticyclonic in the winter and is less developed, therefore allowing a more efficient tidal mixing. The spring and fall maxima often consisted of multiple peaks of about 10 days. A significant peak at about 1 month was often present in the short-term C-sat variability, especially in areas near the midriff islands, suggesting the influence of tidal mixing. The interannual variability was dominated by the 1997-98 El Nino and the following La Nina. During the El Nino period NPP decreased by 30-40% in the southern part of the gulf (by approximately 1 Tg C month(-1)), but the changes in the central and northern parts were less evident. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.