Modeling ocean ecosystems: The PARADIGM program Public Deposited

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  • THE ROLE OF THE OCEANS in Earth systems ecology, and the effects of climate variability on the ocean and its ecosystems, can be understood only by observing, describing, and ultimately predicting the state of the ocean as a physically forced ecological and biogeochemical system. This is a daunting but exciting challenge, because the ocean-atmosphere system is dynamically linked, and oceanic habitats are both diverse and complex, providing tremendous variety in environmental conditions and associated life forms. And paradoxically, as we learn more and more about ocean life, for example, through the genomics revolution (Doney et al., 2004), the number of unanswered questions increases. Models, be they conceptual, statistical, or numerical simulations, are useful and necessary tools for studying the complex interactions that influence ecosystem structure and function. Originally, a primary function of marine ecosystem models was to help in the development of understanding; also, they were applied in fisheries models to predict the abundance of specific commercial fish stocks. Now, they are being asked to do much more. On local and regional scales, there is growing recognition that management of marine resources and assessment of human perturbations must encompass the whole ecosystem, not individual species. Extending further to basin and global scales, the potential impacts of global change present an immediate challenge, nationally and globally, to define and execute responsive strategies, based to a large extent on the predictions of interdisciplinary global models that must be validated by comparison with measurements. Consequently, the ultimate objective of any comprehensive marine ecosystem modeling program must be the development and implementation of reliable forecast systems, guided by and validated with systematic observations of the sea.
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  • Rothstein, L., Abbott, M. R., Chassignet, E., Cullen, J., Denman, K., Doney, S., Ducklow, H., Fennel, K., Follows, M., Haidvogel, D., Hofmann, E., Karl, D., Kindle, J., Lima, I., Maltrud, M., McClain, C., McGillicuddy, D., Olascoaga, J., Spitz, Y., Wiggert, J. and Yoder, J., 2006, Modeling ocean ecosystems: The PARADIGM program: Oceanography, v. 19, p. 22-51.
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  • 19
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  • 1042-8275



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