Climate change and deepening of the North Sea fish assemblage: a biotic indicator of warming seas

Climate change and deepening of the North Sea fish assemblage: a biotic indicator of warming seas Summary 1 Climate change impacts have been observed on individual species and species subsets; however, it remains to be seen whether there are systematic, coherent assemblage‐wide responses to climate change that could be used as a representative indicator of changing biological state. 2 European shelf seas are warming faster than the adjacent land masses and faster than the global average. We explore the year‐by‐year distributional response of North Sea bottom‐dwelling (demersal) fishes to temperature change over the 25 years from 1980 to 2004. The centres of latitudinal and depth distributions of 28 fishes were estimated from species‐abundance–location data collected on an annual fish monitoring survey. 3 Individual species responses were aggregated into 19 assemblages reflecting physiology (thermal preference and range), ecology (body size and abundance‐occupancy patterns), biogeography (northern, southern and presence of range boundaries), and susceptibility to human impact (fishery target, bycatch and non‐target species). 4 North Sea winter bottom temperature has increased by 1·6 °C over 25 years, with a 1 °C increase in 1988–1989 alone. During this period, the whole demersal fish assemblage deepened by ~3·6 m decade−1 and the deepening was coherent for most assemblages. 5 The latitudinal response to warming was heterogeneous, and reflects (i) a northward shift in the mean latitude of abundant, widespread thermal specialists, and (ii) the southward shift of relatively small, abundant southerly species with limited occupancy and a northern range boundary in the North Sea. 6 Synthesis and applications. The deepening of North Sea bottom‐dwelling fishes in response to climate change is the marine analogue of the upward movement of terrestrial species to higher altitudes. The assemblage‐level depth responses, and both latitudinal responses, covary with temperature and environmental variability in a manner diagnostic of a climate change impact. The deepening of the demersal fish assemblage in response to temperature could be used as a biotic indicator of the effects of climate change in the North Sea and other semi‐enclosed seas. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Ecology Wiley

Climate change and deepening of the North Sea fish assemblage: a biotic indicator of warming seas

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/climate-change-and-deepening-of-the-north-sea-fish-assemblage-a-biotic-JEvV3Bvfj5
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
ISSN
0021-8901
eISSN
1365-2664
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01488.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Summary 1 Climate change impacts have been observed on individual species and species subsets; however, it remains to be seen whether there are systematic, coherent assemblage‐wide responses to climate change that could be used as a representative indicator of changing biological state. 2 European shelf seas are warming faster than the adjacent land masses and faster than the global average. We explore the year‐by‐year distributional response of North Sea bottom‐dwelling (demersal) fishes to temperature change over the 25 years from 1980 to 2004. The centres of latitudinal and depth distributions of 28 fishes were estimated from species‐abundance–location data collected on an annual fish monitoring survey. 3 Individual species responses were aggregated into 19 assemblages reflecting physiology (thermal preference and range), ecology (body size and abundance‐occupancy patterns), biogeography (northern, southern and presence of range boundaries), and susceptibility to human impact (fishery target, bycatch and non‐target species). 4 North Sea winter bottom temperature has increased by 1·6 °C over 25 years, with a 1 °C increase in 1988–1989 alone. During this period, the whole demersal fish assemblage deepened by ~3·6 m decade−1 and the deepening was coherent for most assemblages. 5 The latitudinal response to warming was heterogeneous, and reflects (i) a northward shift in the mean latitude of abundant, widespread thermal specialists, and (ii) the southward shift of relatively small, abundant southerly species with limited occupancy and a northern range boundary in the North Sea. 6 Synthesis and applications. The deepening of North Sea bottom‐dwelling fishes in response to climate change is the marine analogue of the upward movement of terrestrial species to higher altitudes. The assemblage‐level depth responses, and both latitudinal responses, covary with temperature and environmental variability in a manner diagnostic of a climate change impact. The deepening of the demersal fish assemblage in response to temperature could be used as a biotic indicator of the effects of climate change in the North Sea and other semi‐enclosed seas.

Journal

Journal of Applied EcologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2008

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off