Year 2

Having synthesized the bio/physical relationships associated with each of the dominant physical processes, the second year will focus on determining the integrated influence of the various processes on the population dynamics on the individual target organisms. The overriding question to be addressed is how do the various physical and biological process influence the reproduction, growth and survival of the target zooplankton populations and the growth and survival of the target larval fish populations? Answering this question will require integrating the population scale observations from the Broad Scale studies with the vital rate information derived from the process studies in coupled physical/biological models. An additional focus in the second year will be to relate regional/climate scale forcing to the physical and biological variability observed on Georges Bank. For example, variability in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has been shown to be similar to that for various physical and biological parameters across the North Atlantic and on Georges Bank, but mechanisms underlying those relationships generally are not well known. Understanding the basin-to-bank connections will be important for selecting the appropriate climate scale forcing to address in the final programmatic synthesis.