S189 The Impact of Climatological Variables on Kelp Canopy Area in the Santa Barbara Channel

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Katelyn M. Zigner, Northwest Indiana Chapter of NWA/AMS, Valparaiso, IN; and J. Bausell and R. Kudela

Kelp canopy area (KCA), a proxy for kelp forest health, has important implications for small and large-scale processes pertaining to fisheries, near shore currents, and marine ecosystems. As part of the NASA Student Airborne Research Program, this study examines the impact of ocean chemistry and climatological variables on KCA in the Santa Barbara Channel through time series analysis. El Niņo Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO), North Pacific Oscillation (NPO), and upwelling indices as well as sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, nitrate, and chlorophyll-a concentrations taken within the Santa Barbara channel (1990-2014) were acquired from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI), and o3d NPGO websites. These data were then averaged for winter (November-January) and summer (May-August) seasons and compared to KCA measurements derived from Landsat images via unsupervised classification. Regression, cumulative sum tests, and cross-correlation coefficients revealed a two year lag between KCA and the NPGO, indicating the presence of an additional factor driving both variables. Further analyses suggests that the NPO may be this driving factor, as indicated by the correlation (lag 0) with KCA. Comparing relationships between kelp and other variables over various time periods supports the acceleration of the NPGO and other variables in more recent years. Exploring relationships between KCA, NPGO, and NPO may provide insight into potential impacts of climate change on coastal marine ecosystems.
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