Prof. Anthony J. Richardson
Plankton are the microscopic plants and animals at the base of the marine foodweb that produce half the oxygen we breathe and support most of the fish we consume. Despite nearly a century of research into the efficiency of marine foodwebs, there remain key unanswered questions about how some of the largest fisheries in the world such as those for tuna are supported in the vast nutrient-poor regions that have very little plankton. Using a size spectrum model, we will explore this conundrum by testing the general marine ecological theory that the length of food chains is critical to the amount and distribution of fish in different regions of the ocean. This talk will explore how getting the zooplankton right in mathematical models of the marine foodweb is important for explaining the amount and distribution of fish in the ocean.