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Influence of climate change and trophic coupling across four trophic levels in the Celtic Sea.

Lauria V, Attrill MJ, Pinnegar JK, Brown A, Edwards M, Votier SC - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: Climate change has had profound effects upon marine ecosystems, impacting across all trophic levels from plankton to apex predators.Changes in plankton community structure were found, however this was not related to SST or NAO.There was evidence of direct effects of spring NAO (on black-legged kittiwake population growth rate: p = 0.03, slope = 0.0314 ± 0.014) as well as indirect bottom-up effects of lagged spring SST (on razorbill breeding success: p = 0.01, slope = -0.144 ± 0.05).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, Plymouth University, Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom. valentina.lauria@nuigalway.ie

ABSTRACT
Climate change has had profound effects upon marine ecosystems, impacting across all trophic levels from plankton to apex predators. Determining the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems requires understanding the direct effects on all trophic levels as well as indirect effects mediated by trophic coupling. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate change on the pelagic food web in the Celtic Sea, a productive shelf region in the Northeast Atlantic. Using long-term data, we examined possible direct and indirect 'bottom-up' climate effects across four trophic levels: phytoplankton, zooplankton, mid-trophic level fish and seabirds. During the period 1986-2007, although there was no temporal trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAO), the decadal mean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the Celtic Sea increased by 0.66 ± 0.02 °C. Despite this, there was only a weak signal of climate change in the Celtic Sea food web. Changes in plankton community structure were found, however this was not related to SST or NAO. A negative relationship occurred between herring abundance (0- and 1-group) and spring SST (0-group: p = 0.02, slope = -0.305 ± 0.125; 1-group: p = 0.04, slope = -0.410 ± 0.193). Seabird demographics showed complex species-specific responses. There was evidence of direct effects of spring NAO (on black-legged kittiwake population growth rate: p = 0.03, slope = 0.0314 ± 0.014) as well as indirect bottom-up effects of lagged spring SST (on razorbill breeding success: p = 0.01, slope = -0.144 ± 0.05). Negative relationships between breeding success and population growth rate of razorbills and common guillemots may be explained by interactions between mid-trophic level fish. Our findings show that the impacts of climate change on the Celtic Sea ecosystem is not as marked as in nearby regions (e.g. the North Sea), emphasizing the need for more research at regional scales.

Show MeSH
The Celtic Sea region (adapted from OSPAR, 2000).The Celtic Sea region considered in this study (49–53° N, 4–10°W). Including oceanographic features and the seabird colony investigated in this study (Skomer Island: 51°40N, 05°15W). The Irish Shelf Front occurs to the south and west of Ireland and exists all year-round. This front marks the boundary between waters of the shelf (often mixed vertically by the tide) and offshore North Atlantic waters. In addition there are two seasonal fronts systems which tend to develop during spring: the Celtic Sea front (dividing the Celtic Sea from the Irish Sea) and the Ushant Front, which develops from the coast of Brittany and extends to the western English Channel (dividing the Celtic Sea from the English Channel).
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pone-0047408-g001: The Celtic Sea region (adapted from OSPAR, 2000).The Celtic Sea region considered in this study (49–53° N, 4–10°W). Including oceanographic features and the seabird colony investigated in this study (Skomer Island: 51°40N, 05°15W). The Irish Shelf Front occurs to the south and west of Ireland and exists all year-round. This front marks the boundary between waters of the shelf (often mixed vertically by the tide) and offshore North Atlantic waters. In addition there are two seasonal fronts systems which tend to develop during spring: the Celtic Sea front (dividing the Celtic Sea from the Irish Sea) and the Ushant Front, which develops from the coast of Brittany and extends to the western English Channel (dividing the Celtic Sea from the English Channel).

Mentions: The Celtic Sea is an area of the northeast Atlantic continental shelf, southwest of the United Kingdom (Figure 1). It represents a transition zone between the Atlantic Ocean and coastal waters of the Bristol Channel and Irish Sea. There is a persistent north-westwards current running from Brittany to the Bristol Channel, as well as oceanographic fronts (the Irish Shelf, the Celtic Sea and Ushant fronts), which tend to inhibit lateral dispersal of phytoplankton [19].


Influence of climate change and trophic coupling across four trophic levels in the Celtic Sea.

Lauria V, Attrill MJ, Pinnegar JK, Brown A, Edwards M, Votier SC - PLoS ONE (2012)

The Celtic Sea region (adapted from OSPAR, 2000).The Celtic Sea region considered in this study (49–53° N, 4–10°W). Including oceanographic features and the seabird colony investigated in this study (Skomer Island: 51°40N, 05°15W). The Irish Shelf Front occurs to the south and west of Ireland and exists all year-round. This front marks the boundary between waters of the shelf (often mixed vertically by the tide) and offshore North Atlantic waters. In addition there are two seasonal fronts systems which tend to develop during spring: the Celtic Sea front (dividing the Celtic Sea from the Irish Sea) and the Ushant Front, which develops from the coast of Brittany and extends to the western English Channel (dividing the Celtic Sea from the English Channel).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3472987&req=5

pone-0047408-g001: The Celtic Sea region (adapted from OSPAR, 2000).The Celtic Sea region considered in this study (49–53° N, 4–10°W). Including oceanographic features and the seabird colony investigated in this study (Skomer Island: 51°40N, 05°15W). The Irish Shelf Front occurs to the south and west of Ireland and exists all year-round. This front marks the boundary between waters of the shelf (often mixed vertically by the tide) and offshore North Atlantic waters. In addition there are two seasonal fronts systems which tend to develop during spring: the Celtic Sea front (dividing the Celtic Sea from the Irish Sea) and the Ushant Front, which develops from the coast of Brittany and extends to the western English Channel (dividing the Celtic Sea from the English Channel).
Mentions: The Celtic Sea is an area of the northeast Atlantic continental shelf, southwest of the United Kingdom (Figure 1). It represents a transition zone between the Atlantic Ocean and coastal waters of the Bristol Channel and Irish Sea. There is a persistent north-westwards current running from Brittany to the Bristol Channel, as well as oceanographic fronts (the Irish Shelf, the Celtic Sea and Ushant fronts), which tend to inhibit lateral dispersal of phytoplankton [19].

Bottom Line: Climate change has had profound effects upon marine ecosystems, impacting across all trophic levels from plankton to apex predators.Changes in plankton community structure were found, however this was not related to SST or NAO.There was evidence of direct effects of spring NAO (on black-legged kittiwake population growth rate: p = 0.03, slope = 0.0314 ± 0.014) as well as indirect bottom-up effects of lagged spring SST (on razorbill breeding success: p = 0.01, slope = -0.144 ± 0.05).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, Plymouth University, Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom. valentina.lauria@nuigalway.ie

ABSTRACT
Climate change has had profound effects upon marine ecosystems, impacting across all trophic levels from plankton to apex predators. Determining the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems requires understanding the direct effects on all trophic levels as well as indirect effects mediated by trophic coupling. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate change on the pelagic food web in the Celtic Sea, a productive shelf region in the Northeast Atlantic. Using long-term data, we examined possible direct and indirect 'bottom-up' climate effects across four trophic levels: phytoplankton, zooplankton, mid-trophic level fish and seabirds. During the period 1986-2007, although there was no temporal trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAO), the decadal mean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the Celtic Sea increased by 0.66 ± 0.02 °C. Despite this, there was only a weak signal of climate change in the Celtic Sea food web. Changes in plankton community structure were found, however this was not related to SST or NAO. A negative relationship occurred between herring abundance (0- and 1-group) and spring SST (0-group: p = 0.02, slope = -0.305 ± 0.125; 1-group: p = 0.04, slope = -0.410 ± 0.193). Seabird demographics showed complex species-specific responses. There was evidence of direct effects of spring NAO (on black-legged kittiwake population growth rate: p = 0.03, slope = 0.0314 ± 0.014) as well as indirect bottom-up effects of lagged spring SST (on razorbill breeding success: p = 0.01, slope = -0.144 ± 0.05). Negative relationships between breeding success and population growth rate of razorbills and common guillemots may be explained by interactions between mid-trophic level fish. Our findings show that the impacts of climate change on the Celtic Sea ecosystem is not as marked as in nearby regions (e.g. the North Sea), emphasizing the need for more research at regional scales.

Show MeSH