Biodiversity and ecosystems: Change at the community level

Edwards, M 2011 Biodiversity and ecosystems: Change at the community level. Nature Climate Change, 1. 398–399.

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Some commercial fish species of the northeast Atlantic Ocean have relocated in response to warming. The impact of warming on marine assemblages in the region may already be much greater than appreciated, however, with over 70% of common demersal fish species responding through changes in abundance, rather than range. The northeast Atlantic Ocean is one of the most productive marine ecoregions in the world with a substantial commercial fishery. It is also a region that has undergone particularly rapid warming over the past 50 years, up to four times faster than the global average1. Compared with other marine regions worldwide, the biological response in the northeast Atlantic Ocean has been particularly dramatic, reflecting this rapid warming. Studies have documented biogeographical movements in marine plankton of over 1,000 km northwards2 and advances in the onset of key life-history events by six to eight weeks3. In addition, there has been limited evidence of distributional shifts in some fish species along latitudinal and depth gradients in response to warming4, 5. Writing in Current Biology, Stephen Simpson and colleagues6 present the most comprehensive analysis so far of the impact of warming on commercially important European continental-shelf fish species in the region, and in doing so show that there has been a profound reorganization of local communities.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 17:56

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