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      Essential ocean variables for global sustained observations of biodiversity and ecosystem changes

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          Climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity.

          Contributing roughly half of the biosphere's net primary production (NPP), photosynthesis by oceanic phytoplankton is a vital link in the cycling of carbon between living and inorganic stocks. Each day, more than a hundred million tons of carbon in the form of CO2 are fixed into organic material by these ubiquitous, microscopic plants of the upper ocean, and each day a similar amount of organic carbon is transferred into marine ecosystems by sinking and grazing. The distribution of phytoplankton biomass and NPP is defined by the availability of light and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate, iron). These growth-limiting factors are in turn regulated by physical processes of ocean circulation, mixed-layer dynamics, upwelling, atmospheric dust deposition, and the solar cycle. Satellite measurements of ocean colour provide a means of quantifying ocean productivity on a global scale and linking its variability to environmental factors. Here we describe global ocean NPP changes detected from space over the past decade. The period is dominated by an initial increase in NPP of 1,930 teragrams of carbon a year (Tg C yr(-1)), followed by a prolonged decrease averaging 190 Tg C yr(-1). These trends are driven by changes occurring in the expansive stratified low-latitude oceans and are tightly coupled to coincident climate variability. This link between the physical environment and ocean biology functions through changes in upper-ocean temperature and stratification, which influence the availability of nutrients for phytoplankton growth. The observed reductions in ocean productivity during the recent post-1999 warming period provide insight on how future climate change can alter marine food webs.
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            Plankton effect on cod recruitment in the North Sea.

            The Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) has been overexploited in the North Sea since the late 1960s and great concern has been expressed about the decline in cod biomass and recruitment. Here we show that, in addition to the effects of overfishing, fluctuations in plankton have resulted in long-term changes in cod recruitment in the North Sea (bottom-up control). Survival of larval cod is shown to depend on three key biological parameters of their prey: the mean size of prey, seasonal timing and abundance. We suggest a mechanism, involving the match/mismatch hypothesis, by which variability in temperature affects larval cod survival and conclude that rising temperature since the mid-1980s has modified the plankton ecosystem in a way that reduces the survival of young cod.
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              Marine taxa track local climate velocities.

              Organisms are expected to adapt or move in response to climate change, but observed distribution shifts span a wide range of directions and rates. Explanations often emphasize biological distinctions among species, but general mechanisms have been elusive. We tested an alternative hypothesis: that differences in climate velocity-the rate and direction that climate shifts across the landscape-can explain observed species shifts. We compiled a database of coastal surveys around North America from 1968 to 2011, sampling 128 million individuals across 360 marine taxa. Climate velocity explained the magnitude and direction of shifts in latitude and depth much more effectively than did species characteristics. Our results demonstrate that marine species shift at different rates and directions because they closely track the complex mosaic of local climate velocities.

                Author and article information

                Global Change Biology
                Glob Change Biol
                April 05 2018
                [1 ]Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies; University of Tasmania; Hobart Tas. Australia
                [2 ]Departamento de Estudios Ambientales; Universidad Simón Bolívar; Caracas Venezuela
                [3 ]Australian Institute of Marine Science; Townsville Qld Australia
                [4 ]Oceans Institute; University of Western Australia; Crawley WA Australia
                [5 ]CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere; Hobart Tas. Australia
                [6 ]Marine Mammal Commission; Bethesda MD USA
                [7 ]Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO; IOC Project Office for IODE; Oostende Belgium
                [8 ]Marine Biology Research Division; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; La Jolla CA USA
                [9 ]National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Office of International Affairs; Washington DC USA
                [10 ]Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS); Nanaimo BC Canada
                [11 ]Department of Biology; University of Pisa; CoNISMa; Pisa Italy
                [12 ]University of California San Diego; La Jolla CA USA
                [13 ]UN Environment-World Conservation Monitoring Centre; Cambridge UK
                [14 ]Research and Development Center for Global Change (RCGC); JAMSTEC; Yokohama Japan
                [15 ]Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network; Smithsonian Institution; Edgewater MD USA
                [16 ]Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab; Nicholas School of the Environment; Duke University; Beaufort NC USA
                [17 ]Intergovermental Oceanographic Commission IOC/UNESCO; Paris France
                [18 ]Ocean Sciences Department; University of California Santa Cruz; Santa Cruz CA USA
                [19 ]Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD); UMR MARBEC 248; Université Montpellier; Montpellier France
                [20 ]Department of Oceanography; University of Cape Town; Rondebosch South Africa
                [21 ]Institute for Marine Remote Sensing/IMaRS; College of Marine Science; University of South Florida; St. Petersburg FL USA
                [22 ]CORDIO East Africa; Mombasa Kenya
                [23 ]Department of Biological Sciences; Ma-Re Institute; University of Cape Town; Rondebosch South Africa
                © 2018




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