2005 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 , University of Southern Mississippi
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: December 1, 2001 through November 30, 2005 (Extended to May 20, 2007)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2004 through November 30, 2005
RFA: Environmental Indicators in the Estuarine Environment Research Program (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Ecosystems

Objective:

The modeling group had three objectives: models for scaling individual-level effects of hypoxia on croaker to the population level, models for scaling indicators of grass shrimp to the population and community levels, and program-wide integration of results. We have completed development of the physiological model of an individual female croaker-like fish that simulates the reproductive process of vitellogenesis. The model helps interpret indicator data by relating indicators to the ecological output of cumulative vitellogenin production. We have also finalized the 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 results of simulating the effects of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for a Gulf of Mexico version and a mid-Atlantic Bight version have been completed, and we will next simulate hypoxia effects using the laboratory results from Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico (CEER-GOM)-sponsored experiments. We have completed an initial version of the individual-based fish community model of a 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 dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions superimposed on different arrangements of vegetated and open water cells. We continued our attempt at program-wide integration by conducting a meeting with all project principal investigators (PIs) during year 4. Over 50 indicators collected during coordinated sampling in July and August in Pensacola and Mobile Bays were standardized and compared for consistency within and among components, between sampling times and stations, and by their time scale of responsiveness to dissolved oxygen concentrations. The analysis showed that, despite our best efforts, there existed several major gaps and disconnects in the data when compared across program components and among bays. We decided to make one more attempt at program-wide integration when all of the data become available in the next year.

The effort of the Louisiana State University (LSU) modeling group centered on the two major objectives originally stated in the proposal, as well as some effort in an additional objective of program-wide integration. The three objectives of the modeling effort are:

Objective 1: Refine and Test Predictive Models for Scaling Individual-Level Effects on Croaker to the Population Level

This objective is under the program component entitled “Reproductive Function in Estuarine Fishes ” (R829458C005).

Objective 2: Use Reproductive and DO Stress Indicator Data for Population and Community Modeling of Fundulus, Sheepshead Minnow, and Grass Shrimp

This objective is under the program component entitled “Molecular Indicators of Dissolved Oxygen Stress in Crustaceans ” (R829458C003).

Objective 3: Integration of Results Among the Components of the CEER-GOM Program.

This objective is part of the effort for more program-wide integration.

The progress of the LSU modeling group for this year is summarized below, organized by model and linked to the objectives.

Progress Summary:

Physiological Model

We have completed development of the physiological model of an individual female croaker-like fish that simulates the reproductive process of vitellogenesis. During year 3, we published the physiological model in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, which included the simulation of the effects of cadmium and PCBs. This year we applied the model to hypoxia as the stressor based on experiments performed by Peter Thomas (R829458C005) as part of the CEER-GOM. We also applied the physiological model to Peter Thomas’ field-measured indicators on croaker in Pensacola Bay. The results of the application of the model to hypoxia and to the Pensacola Bay field data appeared as a chapter in Cheryl Murphy’s dissertation. We plan on publishing the hypoxia and field data comparison during this next year. The physiological model relates to Objective 1.

Croaker Population Model

We finalized the 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 results of simulating the effects of mercury and PCBs for a Gulf of Mexico version and a mid-Atlantic Bight version appeared as two chapters in Cheryl Murphy’s dissertation. This next year we will use the laboratory results from CEER-GOM-sponsored experiments on croaker and simulate both the effects of hypoxia only and global climate change (which include hypoxia) on long-term croaker population dynamics. The linked models relate to Objective 1.

Fish Community Model

We have completed an initial version of the individual-based fish community model of a 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. The results of this analysis will appear as two chapters in Shaye Sable’s Ph.D. dissertation. As with last year, we continued to obtain field data from other CEER-GOM components (e.g., DO, benthos, indicator values of exposure on shrimp, Sheepshead minnow, and Fundulus) in order to perform simulations tailored to CEER-GOM results. We are now working on a mini-model, within the larger community model, to relate fluctuating DO conditions to effects on growth, mortality, and reproduction of grass shrimp. We are trying to use the laboratory results by CEER-GOM that used constant exposures to infer the effects of fluctuating exposures that occur in nature. We expect completion of the community model analysis during the next year. The community model was initiated to address Objective 2 (population responses of grass shrimp) and Objective 3 (program-wide integration).

Program-Wide Integration

We continued our attempt at program-wide integration by conducting a meeting with all project PIs during year 4 (March 30-31, 2006). During previous years, Pensacola and Mobile Bays were sampled by CEER-GOM program components in a highly coordinated design. The second integration workshop was held during this year involving all CEER-GOM components and investigators to evaluate the results of the application of the integration using a subset of the available data. Over 50 indicators collected during coordinated sampling in July and August in Pensacola and Mobile Bays 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 were applied to the indicator values. The analysis showed that, despite our best efforts, there existed several major gaps and disconnects in the data when compared across program components and among bays, and that once we had put all together, we were still severely data limited for a statistical (quantitative) analysis approach to integration. We decided to make one more attempt at program-wide integration when all of the data become available in the next year. The analysis of the monitoring data is a joint effort of Kenneth Rose and Peter Noble of the Data Management and Analysis component (R829458C004), with close cooperation of all investigators of the other components. This analysis relates to Objective 3 (inte gration across CEER-GOM).

Students Supported

CEER-GOM research constituted Cheryl Murphy’s Ph.D. dissertation and will be 1-2 chapters of Shaye Sable’s Ph.D. dissertation.


Journal Articles on this Report : 1 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 Fuiman LA, Rose KA, Cowan Jr. JH, Smith EP. Survival skills required for predator evasion by fish larvae and their relation to laboratory measures of performance. Animal Behaviour 2006;71(6):1389-1399. R829458C009 (2005)
  • Abstract: Science Direct Abstract
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, ECOSYSTEMS, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Ecology, estuarine research, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Aquatic Ecosystem, Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Monitoring, Atmosphere, Gulf of Mexico, Ecological Indicators, monitoring, ecoindicator, ecological exposure, remote sensing, estuaries, estuarine integrity, Mobile Bay, dissolved oxygen status, Galveston Bay, Apalachicola Bay, estuarine ecoindicator, environmental indicators, environmental stress, estuarine waters, restoration, water quality, GIS, 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
  • 2004 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