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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Recruitment success regimes of fish on the Northeast US Continental Shelf. Image: C. Perretti & S. Schüller

Perretti CT, Fogarty MJ, Friedland KD, Hare JA, Lucey SM, McBride RS, Miller TJ, Morse RE, O’Brien L, Pereira JJ, Smith LA, Wuenschel MJ


Regime shifts in fish recruitment on the Northeast US Continental Shelf

Although regime shifts have been documented in many marine ecosystems, there is less evidence for different regimes in fish recruitment, particularly on the Northeast US continental shelf. Perretti and colleagues examined evidence for regime shifts in the recruitment success of 18 commercially important fish species, and whether those different regimes are linked to lower trophic levels. Using stock assessment output and data from 2 multi-decadal research surveys, Peretti and colleagues found evidence for 3 decade-scale regimes in fish recruitment— low recruitment success in the early 1980’s, high success in the 1990’s, and a return to low recruitment success in the 2000’s. The different recruitment regimes broadly coincide with observed regimes in zooplankton community composition, suggesting a possible link between both.



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