Spatial and Temporal Variability of Primary and Secondary Production in the Salish Sea from a Coupled Model (SalishSeaCast with SMELT) – Part 2

We have developed a model that simulates currents, nutrient distributions, and plankton growth in the Salish Sea. This project focuses on continued development of that model and its application to answering scientific questions. These questions include: 1) How much does the timing and amount of plankton growth vary from year to year, and what factors explain increases or decreases? 2) What is the impact of the timing and amount of plankton growth in the Salish Sea on food availability for salmon populations, particularly along migration routes? Answering these questions directly contributes to the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s investigation of the drivers of declines in Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead salmon populations. This work addresses the hypothesis that declines in Salish Sea salmon populations may be due to changes in the timing or amount of phytoplankton and zooplankton growth in the Salish Sea.

Faculty Supervisor:

Susan Allen


Elise Olson


Pacific Salmon Foundation


Geography / Geology / Earth science




University of British Columbia



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