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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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Related in: MedlinePlus

Apex predators variables used for model construction.A: kittiwake productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size), and B: population count; C: guillemot productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and D: population count; E: Razorbill productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and F: population count; G: puffin productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and H: population count. Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.
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pone-0047408-g004: Apex predators variables used for model construction.A: kittiwake productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size), and B: population count; C: guillemot productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and D: population count; E: Razorbill productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and F: population count; G: puffin productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and H: population count. Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.

Mentions: Data on breeding success and population estimates for kittiwake, guillemot, razorbill and puffin breeding on Skomer Island, Wales (51°40N, 05°15W; Fig. 1) were extracted from the Seabird Monitoring Programme Database at www.defra.jncc.gov.uk/smp. These data spanned the period from 1986 to 2007 (Fig. 4) with 22 years for kittiwake, 19 for guillemot, 15 for razorbill and 20 for puffin.


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)

Apex predators variables used for model construction.A: kittiwake productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size), and B: population count; C: guillemot productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and D: population count; E: Razorbill productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and F: population count; G: puffin productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and H: population count. Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0047408-g004: Apex predators variables used for model construction.A: kittiwake productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size), and B: population count; C: guillemot productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and D: population count; E: Razorbill productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and F: population count; G: puffin productivity (number of fledged chicks per breeding pair, weighted for sample size) and H: population count. Fitted linear regressions indicate significant temporal trends.
Mentions: Data on breeding success and population estimates for kittiwake, guillemot, razorbill and puffin breeding on Skomer Island, Wales (51°40N, 05°15W; Fig. 1) were extracted from the Seabird Monitoring Programme Database at www.defra.jncc.gov.uk/smp. These data spanned the period from 1986 to 2007 (Fig. 4) with 22 years for kittiwake, 19 for guillemot, 15 for razorbill and 20 for puffin.

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