Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2011

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Abstract

The abundance of juvenile blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) in the northcentral Gulf of Mexico was investigated in response to climate-related hydrological regimes. Two distinct periods of blue crab abundance (1, 1973-94 and 2, 1997-2005) were associated with two opposite climate-related hydrological regimes. Period 1 was characterized by high numbers of crabs, whereas period 2 was characterized by low numbers of crabs. The cold phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and high north-south wind momentum were associated with period 1. Hydrological conditions associated with phases of the AMO and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in conjunction with the north-south wind momentum may favor blue crab productivity by influencing blue crab predation dynamics through the exclusion of predators. About 25% (22-28%) of the variability in blue crab abundance was explained by a north south wind momentum in concert with either salinity, precipitation, or the Palmer drought severity index, or by a combination of the NAO and precipitation.

Publication Title

Fishery Bulletin

Volume

109

Issue

2

First Page

139

Last Page

146

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