CR 42:195-207 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00898

Relating large-scale climate variability to local species abundance: ENSO forcing and shrimp in Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA

Bryan P. Piazza1,4,*, Megan K. La Peyre2, Barry D. Keim3

1School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA
2USGS Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA
3Louisiana Office of State Climatology, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA
4Present address: The Nature Conservancy, PO Box 4125, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821, USA

ABSTRACT: Climate creates environmental constraints (filters) that affect the abundance and distribution of species. In estuaries, these constraints often result from variability in water flow properties and environmental conditions (i.e. water flow, salinity, water temperature) and can have significant effects on the abundance and distribution of commercially important nekton species. We investigated links between large-scale climate variability and juvenile brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus abundance in Breton Sound estuary, Louisiana (USA). Our goals were to (1) determine if a teleconnection exists between local juvenile brown shrimp abundance and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and (2) relate that linkage to environmental constraints that may affect juvenile brown shrimp recruitment to, and survival in, the estuary. Our results identified a teleconnection between winter ENSO conditions and juvenile brown shrimp abundance in Breton Sound estuary the following spring. The physical connection results from the impact of ENSO on winter weather conditions in Breton Sound (air pressure, temperature, and precipitation). Juvenile brown shrimp abundance effects lagged ENSO by 3 mo: lower than average abundances of juvenile brown shrimp were caught in springs following winter El Niño events, and higher than average abundances of brown shrimp were caught in springs following La Niña winters. Salinity was the dominant ENSO-forced environmental filter for juvenile brown shrimp. Spring salinity was cumulatively forced by winter river discharge, winter wind forcing, and spring precipitation. Thus, predicting brown shrimp abundance requires incorporating climate variability into models.


KEY WORDS: Climate variability · ENSO · El Niño · La Niña · Farfantepenaeus aztecus · Shrimp · Estuary · Louisiana


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Cite this article as: Piazza BP, La Peyre MK, Keim BD (2010) Relating large-scale climate variability to local species abundance: ENSO forcing and shrimp in Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA. Clim Res 42:195-207. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00898

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