Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products

Mark R. Payne*, Alistair J. Hobday, Brian R. MacKenzie, Desiree Tommasi, Danielle P. Dempsey, Sascha Fassler, Alan C. Haynie, Rubao Ji, Gang Liu, Patrick D. Lynch, Daniela Matei, Anna K. Miesner, Katherine E. Mills, Kjersti O. Strand, Ernesto Villarino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent years have seen a rapid expansion in the ability of earth system models to describe and predict the physical state of the ocean. Skilful forecasts ranging from seasonal (3 months) to decadal (5-10 years) time scales are now a reality. With the advance of these forecasts of ocean physics, the first generation of marine ecological forecasts has started to emerge. Such forecasts are potentially of great value in the management of living marine resources and for all of those who are dependent on the ocean for both nutrition and their livelihood; however, this is still a field in its infancy. We review the state of the art in this emerging field and identify the lessons that can be learnt and carried forward from these pioneering efforts. The majority of this first wave of products are forecasts of spatial distributions, possibly reflecting the inherent suitability of this response variable to the task of forecasting. Promising developments are also seen in forecasting fish-stock recruitment where, despite well-recognized challenges in understanding and predicting this response, new process knowledge and model approaches that could form a basis for forecasting are becoming available. Forecasts of phenology and coral-bleaching events are also being applied to monitoring and industry decisions. Moving marine ecological forecasting forward will require striking a balance between what is feasible and what is useful. We propose here a set of criteria to quickly identify "low-hanging fruit" that can potentially be predicted; however, ensuring the usefulness of forecast products also requires close collaboration with actively engaged end-users. Realizing the full potential of marine ecological forecasting will require bridging the gaps between marine ecology and climatology on the one-hand, and between science and end-users on the other. Nevertheless, the successes seen thus far and the potential to develop further products suggest that the field of marine ecological forecasting can be expected to flourish in the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Article number289
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume4
Issue numberSEP
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

oceans
marine science
marine resources
infancy
physics
livelihood
phenology
spatial distribution
ocean
nutrition
industry
Climatology
monitoring
coral bleaching
Ecology
Nutrition
Bleaching
fish
Fish
Spatial distribution

Keywords

  • Ecological forecasting
  • Ecological prediction
  • Marine ecological forecasting
  • Phenology
  • Recruitment
  • Seasonal-to-decadal-forecasting
  • Spatial distribution

Cite this

Payne, M. R., Hobday, A. J., MacKenzie, B. R., Tommasi, D., Dempsey, D. P., Fassler, S., ... Villarino, E. (2017). Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4(SEP), [289]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00289
Payne, Mark R. ; Hobday, Alistair J. ; MacKenzie, Brian R. ; Tommasi, Desiree ; Dempsey, Danielle P. ; Fassler, Sascha ; Haynie, Alan C. ; Ji, Rubao ; Liu, Gang ; Lynch, Patrick D. ; Matei, Daniela ; Miesner, Anna K. ; Mills, Katherine E. ; Strand, Kjersti O. ; Villarino, Ernesto. / Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products. In: Frontiers in Marine Science. 2017 ; Vol. 4, No. SEP.
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Payne, MR, Hobday, AJ, MacKenzie, BR, Tommasi, D, Dempsey, DP, Fassler, S, Haynie, AC, Ji, R, Liu, G, Lynch, PD, Matei, D, Miesner, AK, Mills, KE, Strand, KO & Villarino, E 2017, 'Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products', Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 4, no. SEP, 289. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00289

Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products. / Payne, Mark R.; Hobday, Alistair J.; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Tommasi, Desiree; Dempsey, Danielle P.; Fassler, Sascha; Haynie, Alan C.; Ji, Rubao; Liu, Gang; Lynch, Patrick D.; Matei, Daniela; Miesner, Anna K.; Mills, Katherine E.; Strand, Kjersti O.; Villarino, Ernesto.

In: Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 4, No. SEP, 289, 12.09.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products

AU - Payne, Mark R.

AU - Hobday, Alistair J.

AU - MacKenzie, Brian R.

AU - Tommasi, Desiree

AU - Dempsey, Danielle P.

AU - Fassler, Sascha

AU - Haynie, Alan C.

AU - Ji, Rubao

AU - Liu, Gang

AU - Lynch, Patrick D.

AU - Matei, Daniela

AU - Miesner, Anna K.

AU - Mills, Katherine E.

AU - Strand, Kjersti O.

AU - Villarino, Ernesto

PY - 2017/9/12

Y1 - 2017/9/12

N2 - Recent years have seen a rapid expansion in the ability of earth system models to describe and predict the physical state of the ocean. Skilful forecasts ranging from seasonal (3 months) to decadal (5-10 years) time scales are now a reality. With the advance of these forecasts of ocean physics, the first generation of marine ecological forecasts has started to emerge. Such forecasts are potentially of great value in the management of living marine resources and for all of those who are dependent on the ocean for both nutrition and their livelihood; however, this is still a field in its infancy. We review the state of the art in this emerging field and identify the lessons that can be learnt and carried forward from these pioneering efforts. The majority of this first wave of products are forecasts of spatial distributions, possibly reflecting the inherent suitability of this response variable to the task of forecasting. Promising developments are also seen in forecasting fish-stock recruitment where, despite well-recognized challenges in understanding and predicting this response, new process knowledge and model approaches that could form a basis for forecasting are becoming available. Forecasts of phenology and coral-bleaching events are also being applied to monitoring and industry decisions. Moving marine ecological forecasting forward will require striking a balance between what is feasible and what is useful. We propose here a set of criteria to quickly identify "low-hanging fruit" that can potentially be predicted; however, ensuring the usefulness of forecast products also requires close collaboration with actively engaged end-users. Realizing the full potential of marine ecological forecasting will require bridging the gaps between marine ecology and climatology on the one-hand, and between science and end-users on the other. Nevertheless, the successes seen thus far and the potential to develop further products suggest that the field of marine ecological forecasting can be expected to flourish in the coming years.

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KW - Ecological forecasting

KW - Ecological prediction

KW - Marine ecological forecasting

KW - Phenology

KW - Recruitment

KW - Seasonal-to-decadal-forecasting

KW - Spatial distribution

U2 - 10.3389/fmars.2017.00289

DO - 10.3389/fmars.2017.00289

M3 - Article

VL - 4

JO - Frontiers in Marine Science

JF - Frontiers in Marine Science

SN - 2296-7745

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Payne MR, Hobday AJ, MacKenzie BR, Tommasi D, Dempsey DP, Fassler S et al. Lessons from the first generation of marine ecological forecast products. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2017 Sep 12;4(SEP). 289. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00289