Close Window

Remote sensing of planktonic copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Calanus) in the western North Atlantic

Rebekah Shunmugapandi,  Bigelow Laboratory of Ocean Sciences, (Presenter)
Catherine Mitchell,  Bigelow Laboratory For Ocean Sciences,

The planktonic copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Calanus) plays a vital role in the marine food web as a crucial link between phytoplankton and higher trophic levels. Calanus are the prey source for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. However, accurately estimating the spatiotemporal abundance and distribution of Calanus can be challenging using traditional ship-based measurements. By demonstrating the potential utility of ocean color remote sensing and radiative transfer modeling, this study provides important insights for detecting Calanus in the western North Atlantic.
The presence of astaxanthin pigment in Calanus strongly absorbs blue and green light, which significantly affects the reflective remote sensing signals. By analyzing satellite images, the study found large areas of red pixels, particularly during the summer months of June to August, suggesting the dense patches of Calanus. These observations align with Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) time-series observations of the highest abundance of this copepod in the western North Atlantic. Further, through radiative transfer modeling, our study found that including Calanus absorption in a bio-optical model improved the estimation of reflectance within the dense patches of red pixels..
Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential utility of ocean color remote sensing and radiative transfer modelling for identifying and quantifying the abundance of Calanus in western North Atlantic. Using ocean color remote sensing could provide important insights into the spatiotemporal variability of Calanus and it’s role in marine ecosystems and potentially aid in protecting the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Poster: Poster_Shunmugapandi_3-38_180_35.pdf 

Associated Project(s): 

Poster Location ID: 3-38

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: Poster Session 3

Session Date: Thu (May 11) 3:00-5:00 PM

CCE Program: BDEC

Close Window