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Drawing lessons from scaling and multiscaling field properties: A new step into the reality of
physical-biological coupling in marine environments

Laurent Seuront, Ph.D.
Tokyo University of Fisheries

Wednesday, April 19, 2000
3:00 p.m.—Pacific Forum

In light of the growing awareness of the intermittent nature of both physical and biological patterns and processes in marine sciences, and the emergence of hot topics such as those related to thin layers properties, there is a real need to focus first on the precise nature of couplings between physics and biology. Next we must focus on the potential effects of these structures on ecosystem functioning in order to improve estimates of stocks and fluxes associated with intermittent distributions of resources and exploiters which will not be robust unless all processes are understood in detail.

First, I will review some recent aspects of the structure of both physical and biological fields distributions over a wide range of space and time scales and provide some illustrations of their scaling and multiscaling properties, which seem to be the rule in the open as in the coastal ocean, whatever the hydrodynamical conditions might be. I will then present an original testing procedure for determining the existence and the nature of the coupling between two stochastic processes (e.g. simultaneously recorded time series of turbulent energy dissipation rates and phytoplankton concentrations). And finally, I will present new modeling approaches, based on the individual adaptative behavior of plankton organisms, aimed at studying the potential effects of intermittent fields on the general functioning of pelagic ecosystems.

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 Last updated: December 19, 2000