Have climate induced changes in zooplankton communities led to poor conditions for larval fish growth? A test on cod larvae on the UK shelf

Pitois, SG; Fox, CJ. 2007 Have climate induced changes in zooplankton communities led to poor conditions for larval fish growth? A test on cod larvae on the UK shelf. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract/Summary

Climate effects have been shown to be at least partly responsible for the reorganisation in the plankton ecosystem on the shelf seas of NW Europe over the last 50 years. Most fish larvae feed primarily on zooplankton, so changes in zooplankton quantity, quality and seasonal timing have been hypothesized to be a key factor affecting their survival. To investigate this we have implemented a 1-dimensional trophodynamic growth model of cod larvae for the waters around the UK covering the period 1960 to 2003. Larval growth is modelled as the difference between the amount of food absorbed by the larva and its various metabolic costs. Prey availability is based upon the biomass and size of available preys (i.e. adults and nauplii copepods and cladocerans) taken from the Continuous Plankton Recorder dataset. Temperature and wind forcing are also taken into account. Results suggest that observed changes in plankton community structure may have had less impact than previously suggested. This is because changes in prey availability may be compensated for by increased temperatures resulting in little overall impact on potential larval growth. Stock recovery, at least in the short term is likely to be more dependent upon conserving the year classes recruited to allow spawning stock biomass to rebuild. If as our model suggests, the larvae are still able to survive in the changing environment, reduction in fishing on the adults is needed to allow the stock to recover.

Item Type: Publication - Book
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Human and Climate Forcing of Zooplankton Populations. p. 207. 2007. 4. Int. Zooplankton Production Symp., Hiroshima (Japan), 28 May-1 Jun 2007 Book Monograph; Conference; Summary
Additional Keywords: Article Subject Terms: Indexing in process
Divisions: Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:11
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5897

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