Using the Kelp Forest Array as a research platform, we (Oliver Fringer, Jody Beers, Steve Litvin – Stanford, Brock Woodson – UGA) are investigating the impacts of short-period hypoxia exposure on nearshore rockfishes. This project combines physiological experiments to address effects of oxygen limitation, (Beers), ecological surveys and acoustic video monitoriing to address habitat and predator susceptibility during hypoxic conditions (Litvin, Woodson), and high resolution modeling (Fringer with graduate student Bobby Arthur). Our end goal is to develop a coupled biological-phyiscal model of internal wave driven hypoxia and rockfish exposure. Photo credit: C. Boch.
Image of internal wave breaking on sea floor. These waves transport low dissolved oxygen waters into nearshore regions where they affect rockfish physiology and behavior. In this region, respiration acts to draw down oxygen further, but this is countered by reoxygenation through mixing and photosynthesis leading to high variability at both diurnal and tidal time scales.
This work is funded by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment through the Environmental Venture Program (EVP).