2004 Progress Report: Modeling and Integration

EPA Grant Number: R829458C009
Subproject: this is subproject number 009 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R829458
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EAGLES - Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico
Center Director: Brouwer, Marius
Title: Modeling and Integration
Investigators: Rose, Kenneth A.
Institution: Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge , Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
Current Institution: Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge , University of Southern Mississippi
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: December 1, 2001 through November 30, 2005 (Extended to May 20, 2007)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004
RFA: Environmental Indicators in the Estuarine Environment Research Program (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Ecosystems


The effort of the Louisiana State University (LSU) modeling group of the Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico (CEER-GOM) during Year 3 centered on three objectives. These objectives are to: (1) refine and test predictive models for scaling individual-level effects of croaker to the population level; (2) use reproductive and dissolved oxygen (DO) stress indicator data for population and community modeling of grass shrimp, Fundulus, and Sheepshead minnow; and (3) increase integration of results among the components of the CEER-GOM program.

Progress Summary:

Physiological Model

We are developing a physiological model of an individual female croaker-like fish that simulates the reproductive process of vitellogenesis. The model begins with pulse of gonadotropin (GtH) and ends just before the onset of final oocyte maturation. Laboratory data, including experiments from CCER-GOM efforts, are used to configure the model, estimate model parameters, and test model predictions. During Year 3, we published the physiological model in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, which included the simulation of the effects of cadmium and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). We have completed the simulation of hypoxia effects based on experiments performed as part of CEER-GOM. The model will be used to aid in our understanding and interpretation of biomarkers measured on fish-caught fish. The physiological model relates to Objective 1.

Croaker Population Model

We have completed the configuring of a series of linked models that scale laboratory-measured indicators to population responses. The series consists of three models: statistical, individual-based larval cohort, and stage-based matrix projection population dynamics. The statistical model relates laboratory-measured bioindicators of behavioral responses of larvae to stress to predator avoidance. The individual-based larval cohort model takes the output of the statistical model (predator avoidance) and measured swimming speeds and predicts how larval stage growth and mortality would be affected. The output of the larval cohort model then is used to change the appropriate elements of the matrix model, and the matrix model simulates the consequences to the population over 100 years. The three models have been completed and we have conducted simulations of mercury, PCB, and hypoxia effects for a Gulf of Mexico version and a mid-Atlantic Bight version. The linked models relate to Objective 1.

Fish Community Model

We have developed an initial version of the individual-based fish community model of Gulf of Mexico marsh ecosystem. The model simulates resident fish species (Fundulus, Sheepshead minnow, and silversides), blue crab, bay anchovy, and grass shrimp predatory and competitive interactions on a fine-scale grid of habitat cells. We are using the model to predict the community responses to various scenarios of low DO conditions superimposed on different arrangements of vegetated and open water cells. The issue of how hypoxia interacts with habitat is important for understanding the population and community level effects of low DO. We are in the process of obtaining field data from other CEER-GOM components (e.g., DO, benthos, indicator values of exposure on shrimp, Sheepshead minnow, and Fundulus) to perform simulations tailored to CEER-GOM results. The community model was initiated to address Objective 2 (population responses of grass shrimp) and Objective 3 (program-wide integration).

Analysis of Coordinated Sampling of Pensacola Bay

During Year 3 of the program, Pensacola Bay was sampled by CEER-GOM program components in a highly coordinated design. A workshop was held involving all CEER-GOM components to devise an analysis strategy for integrating the indicators across all of CEER-GOM. As a result of this workshop, we initiated the first round of integration of results across all of the components of the CEER-GOM program. More than 50 indicators collected during coordinated sampling in July and August in Pensacola Bay were standardized and compared for consistency within and among components, between sampling times and stations, and by their time scale of responsiveness to DO concentrations. Clustering and bi-plot analysis was applied to the indicator values. We presented the approach at the All Estuarine and Great Lakes Program (EaGLe) meeting in Duluth, Minnesota, and to the CEER-GOM Science Advisory Board. These analyses illustrated our approach for CEER-GOM-wide integration and demonstrated how we will look for patterns among indicators to derive cost-effective monitoring approaches. The analysis laid the groundwork for a more extensive evaluation of the indicators across CEER-GOM for the upcoming year when more data will be available. The analysis of the monitoring data is a joint effort of Drs. Kenneth Rose and Peter Noble of the data management and analysis component, with close cooperation of all investigators of the other components. This analysis relates to Objective 3 (integration across CEER-GOM).

Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 23 publications 6 publications in selected types All 6 journal articles
Other center views: All 171 publications 54 publications in selected types All 48 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Richmond CE, Breitburg DL, Rose KA. The effect of stress tolerance on the relationship between species richness and system function. Ecological Modelling. R829458C009 (2004)
not available
Journal Article Rose KA. Lack of relationship between simulated fish population responses and their life history traits: inadequate models, incorrect analysis, or site-specific factors?. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2005;62(4):886-902 R829458C009 (2003)
R829458C009 (2004)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

population, community, ecosystem, watersheds, estuary, estuaries, Gulf of Mexico, nutrients, hypoxia, innovative technology, biomarkers, water quality, remote sensing, geographic information system, GIS, integrated assessment, risk assessment, fisheries, conservation, restoration, monitoring/modeling, benthic indicators, ecological exposure, ecosystem monitoring, environmental indicators, environmental stress, estuarine ecoindicator, estuarine integrity,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, Water, ECOSYSTEMS, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, estuarine research, Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Aquatic Ecosystem, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Monitoring, Atmosphere, Gulf of Mexico, Ecological Indicators, monitoring, remote sensing, ecoindicator, ecological exposure, estuaries, estuarine integrity, Mobile Bay, dissolved oxygen status, Galveston Bay, Apalachicola Bay, estuarine ecoindicator, environmental indicators, environmental stress, GIS, restoration, water quality, estuarine waters, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program

Relevant Websites:

http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/ceer_gom/ Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2002
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R829458    EAGLES - Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R829458C001 Remote Sensing of Water Quality
    R829458C002 Microbial Biofilms as Indicators of Estuarine Ecosystem Condition
    R829458C003 Individual Level Indicators: Molecular Indicators of Dissolved Oxygen Stress in Crustaceans
    R829458C004 Data Management and Analysis
    R829458C005 Individual Level Indicators: Reproductive Function in Estuarine Fishes
    R829458C006 Collaborative Efforts Between CEER-GOM and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-Gulf Ecology Division (GED)
    R829458C007 GIS and Terrestrial Remote Sensing
    R829458C008 Macrobenthic Process Indicators of Estuarine Condition for the Northern Gulf of Mexico
    R829458C009 Modeling and Integration