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      Climatically driven fluctuations in Southern Ocean ecosystems

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          Abstract

          Determining how climate fluctuations affect ocean ecosystems requires an understanding of how biological and physical processes interact across a wide range of scales. Here we examine the role of physical and biological processes in generating fluctuations in the ecosystem around South Georgia in the South Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Anomalies in sea surface temperature (SST) in the South Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean have previously been shown to be generated through atmospheric teleconnections with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-related processes. These SST anomalies are propagated via the Antarctic Circumpolar Current into the South Atlantic (on time scales of more than 1 year), where ENSO and Southern Annular Mode-related atmospheric processes have a direct influence on short (less than six months) time scales. We find that across the South Atlantic sector, these changes in SST, and related fluctuations in winter sea ice extent, affect the recruitment and dispersal of Antarctic krill. This oceanographically driven variation in krill population dynamics and abundance in turn affects the breeding success of seabird and marine mammal predators that depend on krill as food. Such propagating anomalies, mediated through physical and trophic interactions, are likely to be an important component of variation in ocean ecosystems and affect responses to longer term change. Population models derived on the basis of these oceanic fluctuations indicate that plausible rates of regional warming of 1 oC over the next 100 years could lead to more than a 95% reduction in the biomass and abundance of krill across the Scotia Sea by the end of the century.

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          Most cited references 86

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          Ecological effects of climate fluctuations.

          Climate influences a variety of ecological processes. These effects operate through local weather parameters such as temperature, wind, rain, snow, and ocean currents, as well as interactions among these. In the temperate zone, local variations in weather are often coupled over large geographic areas through the transient behavior of atmospheric planetary-scale waves. These variations drive temporally and spatially averaged exchanges of heat, momentum, and water vapor that ultimately determine growth, recruitment, and migration patterns. Recently, there have been several studies of the impact of large-scale climatic forcing on ecological systems. We review how two of the best-known climate phenomena-the North Atlantic Oscillation and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation-affect ecological patterns and processes in both marine and terrestrial systems.
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            Analytical Population Dynamics

             T. Royama (1992)
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              Signal Versus Noise in the Southern Oscillation

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proc Biol Sci
                RSPB
                Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                The Royal Society (London )
                0962-8452
                1471-2954
                17 October 2007
                22 December 2007
                : 274
                : 1629
                : 3057-3067
                Affiliations
                [1 ]British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0ET, UK
                [2 ]Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Author for correspondence ( e.murphy@ 123456bas.ac.uk )
                Article
                rspb20071180
                10.1098/rspb.2007.1180
                2211519
                17939986
                Copyright © 2007 The Royal Society

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Life sciences

                predators, climate, el niño southern oscillation, southern ocean, krill, ecosystem

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