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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.

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Environmental variables used for model construction.A: Winter NAO index; B: Spring NAO index; C: Sea Surface Temperature (°C). Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.
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pone-0047408-g002: Environmental variables used for model construction.A: Winter NAO index; B: Spring NAO index; C: Sea Surface Temperature (°C). Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.

Mentions: Two different versions of the NAO index were used in this study: spring NAO during the seabird breeding season (SNAO, March–June) and winter NAO (WNAO, December–March) in order to test respectively for direct and indirect effects of climate change respectively. Monthly data from 1986 to 2007 were downloaded from the University Corporation from theAtmospheric Research (UCAR) website, Climate Analysis section http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#naostatmon) and an annual value for each index calculated (Fig. 2a, b).


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)

Environmental variables used for model construction.A: Winter NAO index; B: Spring NAO index; C: Sea Surface Temperature (°C). Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0047408-g002: Environmental variables used for model construction.A: Winter NAO index; B: Spring NAO index; C: Sea Surface Temperature (°C). Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.
Mentions: Two different versions of the NAO index were used in this study: spring NAO during the seabird breeding season (SNAO, March–June) and winter NAO (WNAO, December–March) in order to test respectively for direct and indirect effects of climate change respectively. Monthly data from 1986 to 2007 were downloaded from the University Corporation from theAtmospheric Research (UCAR) website, Climate Analysis section http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#naostatmon) and an annual value for each index calculated (Fig. 2a, b).

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
Related in: MedlinePlus