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Open AccessArticle

Links between Phenology of Large Phytoplankton and Fisheries in the Northern and Central Red Sea

1
Program of Earth Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 157 72 Athens, Greece
3
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn TR10 9FE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020231
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 9 December 2020 / Accepted: 7 January 2021 / Published: 11 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Fisheries and Aquaculture)
Phytoplankton phenology and size structure are key ecological indicators that influence the survival and recruitment of higher trophic levels, marine food web structure, and biogeochemical cycling. For example, the presence of larger phytoplankton cells supports food chains that ultimately contribute to fisheries resources. Monitoring these indicators can thus provide important information to help understand the response of marine ecosystems to environmental change. In this study, we apply the phytoplankton size model of Gittings et al. (2019b) to 20-years of satellite-derived ocean colour observations in the northern and central Red Sea, and investigate interannual variability in phenology metrics for large phytoplankton (>2 µm in cell diameter). Large phytoplankton consistently bloom in the winter. However, the timing of bloom initiation and termination (in autumn and spring, respectively) varies between years. In the autumn/winter of 2002/2003, we detected a phytoplankton bloom, which initiated ~8 weeks earlier and lasted ~11 weeks longer than average. The event was linked with an eddy dipole in the central Red Sea, which increased nutrient availability and enhanced the growth of large phytoplankton. The earlier timing of food availability directly impacted the recruitment success of higher trophic levels, as represented by the maximum catch of two commercially important fisheries (Sardinella spp. and Teuthida) in the following year. The results of our analysis are essential for understanding trophic linkages between phytoplankton and fisheries and for marine management strategies in the Red Sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytoplankton; size structure; phenology; ocean colour; remote sensing; red sea; fisheries phytoplankton; size structure; phenology; ocean colour; remote sensing; red sea; fisheries
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gittings, J.A.; Raitsos, D.E.; Brewin, R.J.W.; Hoteit, I. Links between Phenology of Large Phytoplankton and Fisheries in the Northern and Central Red Sea. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 231. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020231

AMA Style

Gittings JA, Raitsos DE, Brewin RJW, Hoteit I. Links between Phenology of Large Phytoplankton and Fisheries in the Northern and Central Red Sea. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(2):231. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020231

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gittings, John A.; Raitsos, Dionysios E.; Brewin, Robert J.W.; Hoteit, Ibrahim. 2021. "Links between Phenology of Large Phytoplankton and Fisheries in the Northern and Central Red Sea" Remote Sens. 13, no. 2: 231. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020231

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