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      Enhanced fish production during a period of extreme global warmth

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          Abstract

          Marine ecosystem models predict a decline in fish production with anthropogenic ocean warming, but how fish production equilibrates to warming on longer timescales is unclear. We report a positive nonlinear correlation between ocean temperature and pelagic fish production during the extreme global warmth of the Early Paleogene Period (62-46 million years ago [Ma]). Using data-constrained modeling, we find that temperature-driven increases in trophic transfer efficiency (the fraction of production passed up trophic levels) and primary production can account for the observed increase in fish production, while changes in predator-prey interactions cannot. These data provide new insight into upper-trophic-level processes constrained from the geological record, suggesting that long-term warming may support more productive food webs in subtropical pelagic ecosystems.

          Abstract

          Fish production is predicted to decrease with anthropogenic global warming. Here the authors analyse fish fossil assemblages from 62–46 My old deep-sea sediments and instead find a positive correlation between fish production and ocean temperature over geological timescales, which a data-constrained model explains in terms of trophic transfer efficiency and primary production.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Global warming benefits the small in aquatic ecosystems.

          Understanding the ecological impacts of climate change is a crucial challenge of the twenty-first century. There is a clear lack of general rules regarding the impacts of global warming on biota. Here, we present a metaanalysis of the effect of climate change on body size of ectothermic aquatic organisms (bacteria, phyto- and zooplankton, and fish) from the community to the individual level. Using long-term surveys, experimental data and published results, we show a significant increase in the proportion of small-sized species and young age classes and a decrease in size-at-age. These results are in accordance with the ecological rules dealing with the temperature-size relationships (i.e., Bergmann's rule, James' rule and Temperature-Size Rule). Our study provides evidence that reduced body size is the third universal ecological response to global warming in aquatic systems besides the shift of species ranges toward higher altitudes and latitudes and the seasonal shifts in life cycle events.
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            Photosynthesis and fish production in the sea.

             J H RYTHER (1969)
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              Primary production required to sustain global fisheries

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                gbritten@mit.edu
                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2041-1723
                6 November 2020
                6 November 2020
                2020
                : 11
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.116068.8, ISNI 0000 0001 2341 2786, Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ; Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
                [2 ]GRID grid.38142.3c, ISNI 000000041936754X, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, , Harvard University, ; Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
                [3 ]GRID grid.38142.3c, ISNI 000000041936754X, Society of Fellows, , Harvard University, ; Cambridge, USA
                [4 ]GRID grid.47100.32, ISNI 0000000419368710, Present Address: Earth and Planetary Sciences, , Yale University, ; New Haven, CT 06520 USA
                Article
                19462
                10.1038/s41467-020-19462-w
                7648762
                33159071
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                © The Author(s) 2020

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                climate-change ecology, palaeoecology, palaeontology, marine biology

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