Modelling the timing and duration of dormancy in populations of Calanus finmarchicus from the Northwest Atlantic shelf
Calanus finmarchicus relies on dormancy to thrive in the seasonal environment of the boreal Atlantic. The lipid accumulation window (LAW) hypothesis proposes that a seasonal window of environmental conditions allows developing individuals to store enough lipids for dormancy to be safely initiated. Successful dormancy requires a sufficient amount of lipids to fulfil the reduced metabolic demand of the dormant individual and to sustain the final maturation process. We used a pattern-oriented modelling approach that implements the LAW hypothesis and employs a genetic algorithm for parameter estimation, in order to reproduce the observed phenology and demography of C. finmarchicus populations from the two contrasting regions, the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL) and the Gulf of Maine (GoM) in the northwest Atlantic shelf. In the GSL, the model reproduced the timing of dormancy, the abundance and individual condition of late copepodid stages. In the GoM, the model produced a semi-annual dormancy pattern, as no locally produced individual could last the 6-8 months of dormancy inferred from the available observations. Further testing requires extending demographic time series, including lipid condition of late copepodid stages in the GoM, and the implementation of a 3-D modelling framework that would explicitly address the complex interactions between circulation and population dynamics of C. finmarchicus over the entire northwest Atlantic shelf.
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