Ana Sofia Ferreira
Growth and survival play an important role in early life stages. They act as driving forces of recruitment, affecting recruitment outcome. Both predation and starvation are two main factors influencing survival of newly hatched fish larvae. This critical period is associated with the "match-mismatch hypothesis", which states that survival of fish larvae depends on whether the peaks of both hatching of the larvae and phyto- plankton production match in space and time.
This PhD project focuses on bottom-up controls (prey availability). My main aim is to assess how variations in spring bloom affect larval and juvenile fish growth and survi- val. I will first investigate spring bloom dynamics of the northeast Atlantic by assessing its magnitude, timing, duration, and inter-annual variability. I also aim at characteri- zing the climate and oceanographic forcing conditions, which may lead to different responses of species or groups of phytoplankton. One of the main outputs of satellite imagery is ocean colour, which together with sea surface temperature and height will serve as the main source of data for assessing phytoplankton bloom dynamics. I will then link these results with zooplankton abundance and larval and juvenile fish distri- butions.