Caring about the future

ProRecruit - Shelf processes controlling recruitment to littoral populations in an eastern oceanic boundary: using barnacles and crabs as models
Coordinator - Henrique Queiroga
Programme - POCTI/BSE/36663/1999
Execution dates - 2001-10-01 - 2005-03-31 (42 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 52187 €
Total Funding - 225000 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Participating Institutions
IPIMAR, Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade de Évora

Project Description

The objectives of ProRecruit are to describe the temporal variability of recruitment of coastal invertebrate species having a planktonic larval phase in their life cycle, and to understand the interactions of physical forcing and larval biology that control the supply of larvae to coastal systems. The environmental setting where this project will take place is the western Iberian coast, located on the eastern margin of a large oceanic basin. This is a strongly wind-driven system, where the shelf circulation tends to be dominated by upwelling and downwelling events controlled by along-shore winds.
The specific aims of ProRecruit are:
1. To develop a conceptual framework and simple models for a better understanding and planning of field and modelling work.
2. To describe onshore recruitment patterns of megalopae and barnacle larvae in selected littoral systems, and analyse between systems and between years variability.
3. To describe shelf physical oceanography and tridimensional distribution of megalopae and cyprids adjacent to the systems, and identify all possible interactions underlying the distributions of both fields.
4. To model atmospheric forcing and shelf circulation, and their effects on larval advection.
5. To relate recruitment in the systems to offshore forcing.
To achieve these objectives ProRecruit will use two taxonomic and ecological different groups as biological models. A high frequency monitoring programme of onshore recruitment events will be implemented at 3 geographic locations, with the use of specific artificial settlement substrates. Simultaneous offshore sampling, during selected periods within the reproductive season, will determine horizontal and vertical distribution of the larvae on the shelf. Onshore and shelf hydrology and meteorology measurements will be made at compatible geographical scales, to describe the 3-D structure of the physical system and identify forcing agents. Physical and biological interactions will be analysed with the use of numerical oceanographic and atmospheric circulation models, in order to describe recruitment mechanisms.
The work programme is divided into 5 main tasks (Analysis of historical biological and physical data, Temporal and spatial patterns of larval recruitment, Shelf physical oceanography and tridimensional distribution of larvae, Numerical modelling of coastal processes, Workshop organising, final report and scientific management), organised into subtasks. Specific co-ordinators, teams, objectives, methodology and deliverables are identified for each of the tasks and subtasks. The duration of the project is 36 months and fieldwork will take place along 2 years.
ProRecruit is co-ordinated by the University of Aveiro. The other institutions that participate in the project are the Instituto de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar, the University of Lisbon and the University of Évora.
ProRecuit will be an interdisciplinary study of natural processes that occur on the shelf, driven by atmospheric events. It will contribute to the understanding of recruitment mechanisms of commercially important groups, laying scientific bases for the management of shelf natural resources. It will contribute to the development of national human resources in marine sciences, by including a strong component of training and exchange of expertise with national and international scientists participating in international co-operative programmes. It will use available national platforms for sea work and will contribute to the acquisition of strategic observational equipment that does not exist in Portugal. Therefore, ProRecuit will contribute to the objectives of the "Programa Dinamizador das Ciências e Tecnologias do Mar".

CESAM members on this project

CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020