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US West Coast Regional Habitat Compression Indices

November 14, 2022

Climate variability and long-term change will impact upwelling intensity, timing, and persistence, thereby potentially threatening resilience of coastal food webs and stability of ecosystem services in the California Current large marine ecosystem. A recent paper describes variability in "cool water thermal habitat" as a new ecological indicator that informs monitoring of ecosystem shifts in coastal upwelling systems and the fisheries they support. The Habitat Compression Index (HCI) quantifies the spatial footprint of cool upwelled waters in the surface mixed-layer using ocean model products and satellite observations of sea surface temperature over four regions in the California Current. The HCI provides one means for monitoring ecosystem shifts in coastal upwelling systems, and thereby offers management context for assessing risk to these systems and associated fisheries.

Link to this paper, published in the November issue of the journal Ecological Indicators.