Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
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.
Biesot, P. M.,
Johnson, D. R.,
Lipcius, R. N.
(2011). Climate-Related Hydrological Regimes and Their Effects on Abundance of Juvenile Blue Crabs (Callinectes sapidus) in the Northcentral Gulf of Mexico. Fishery Bulletin, 109(2), 139-146.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/579