Science.gov

Sample records for marine ecosystems climatic

  1. Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doney, Scott C.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Emmett Duffy, J.; Barry, James P.; Chan, Francis; English, Chad A.; Galindo, Heather M.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Hollowed, Anne B.; Knowlton, Nancy; Polovina, Jeffrey; Rabalais, Nancy N.; Sydeman, William J.; Talley, Lynne D.

    2012-01-01

    In marine ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change are associated with concurrent shifts in temperature, circulation, stratification, nutrient input, oxygen content, and ocean acidification, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Population-level shifts are occurring because of physiological intolerance to new environments, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in species interactions. Together with local climate-driven invasion and extinction, these processes result in altered community structure and diversity, including possible emergence of novel ecosystems. Impacts are particularly striking for the poles and the tropics, because of the sensitivity of polar ecosystems to sea-ice retreat and poleward species migrations as well as the sensitivity of coral-algal symbiosis to minor increases in temperature. Midlatitude upwelling systems, like the California Current, exhibit strong linkages between climate and species distributions, phenology, and demography. Aggregated effects may modify energy and material flows as well as biogeochemical cycles, eventually impacting the overall ecosystem functioning and services upon which people and societies depend.

  2. Effect of climate change on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vikebo, F. B.; Sundby, S.; Aadlandsvik, B.; Fiksen, O.

    2003-04-01

    As a part of the INTEGRATION project, headed by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, funded by the German Research Council, the impact of climate change scenarios on marine fish populations will be addressed on a spesific population basis and will focus on fish populations in the northern North Atlantic with special emphasis on cod. The approach taken will mainly be a modelling study supported by analysis of existing data on fish stocks and climate. Through down-scaling and nesting techniques, various climate change scenarios with reduced THC in the North Atlantic will be investigated with higher spatial resolution for selected shelf areas. The hydrodynamical model used for the regional ocean modeling is ROMS (http://marine.rutgers.edu/po/models/roms/). An individual based model will be implemented into the larval drift module to simulate growth of the larvae along the drift paths.

  3. Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Brierley, Andrew S; Kingsford, Michael J

    2009-07-28

    Human activities are releasing gigatonnes of carbon to the Earth's atmosphere annually. Direct consequences of cumulative post-industrial emissions include increasing global temperature, perturbed regional weather patterns, rising sea levels, acidifying oceans, changed nutrient loads and altered ocean circulation. These and other physical consequences are affecting marine biological processes from genes to ecosystems, over scales from rock pools to ocean basins, impacting ecosystem services and threatening human food security. The rates of physical change are unprecedented in some cases. Biological change is likely to be commensurately quick, although the resistance and resilience of organisms and ecosystems is highly variable. Biological changes founded in physiological response manifest as species range-changes, invasions and extinctions, and ecosystem regime shifts. Given the essential roles that oceans play in planetary function and provision of human sustenance, the grand challenge is to intervene before more tipping points are passed and marine ecosystems follow less-buffered terrestrial systems further down a spiral of decline. Although ocean bioengineering may alleviate change, this is not without risk. The principal brake to climate change remains reduced CO(2) emissions that marine scientists and custodians of the marine environment can lobby for and contribute to. This review describes present-day climate change, setting it in context with historical change, considers consequences of climate change for marine biological processes now and in to the future, and discusses contributions that marine systems could play in mitigating the impacts of global climate change.

  4. The impact of climate change on the world's marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Bruno, John F

    2010-06-18

    Marine ecosystems are centrally important to the biology of the planet, yet a comprehensive understanding of how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them has been poorly developed. Recent studies indicate that rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations are driving ocean systems toward conditions not seen for millions of years, with an associated risk of fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation. The impacts of anthropogenic climate change so far include decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, reduced abundance of habitat-forming species, shifting species distributions, and a greater incidence of disease. Although there is considerable uncertainty about the spatial and temporal details, climate change is clearly and fundamentally altering ocean ecosystems. Further change will continue to create enormous challenges and costs for societies worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.

  5. Climate-driven regime shift of a temperate marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wernberg, Thomas; Bennett, Scott; Babcock, Russell C; de Bettignies, Thibaut; Cure, Katherine; Depczynski, Martial; Dufois, Francois; Fromont, Jane; Fulton, Christopher J; Hovey, Renae K; Harvey, Euan S; Holmes, Thomas H; Kendrick, Gary A; Radford, Ben; Santana-Garcon, Julia; Saunders, Benjamin J; Smale, Dan A; Thomsen, Mads S; Tuckett, Chenae A; Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-07-08

    Ecosystem reconfigurations arising from climate-driven changes in species distributions are expected to have profound ecological, social, and economic implications. Here we reveal a rapid climate-driven regime shift of Australian temperate reef communities, which lost their defining kelp forests and became dominated by persistent seaweed turfs. After decades of ocean warming, extreme marine heat waves forced a 100-kilometer range contraction of extensive kelp forests and saw temperate species replaced by seaweeds, invertebrates, corals, and fishes characteristic of subtropical and tropical waters. This community-wide tropicalization fundamentally altered key ecological processes, suppressing the recovery of kelp forests.

  6. Interdependency of tropical marine ecosystems in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, Megan I.; Leon, Javier X.; Callaghan, David P.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Hamylton, Sarah; Brown, Christopher J.; Baldock, Tom; Golshani, Aliasghar; Phinn, Stuart R.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are linked within landscapes by the physical and biological processes they mediate. In such connected landscapes, the response of one ecosystem to climate change could have profound consequences for neighbouring systems. Here, we report the first quantitative predictions of interdependencies between ecosystems in response to climate change. In shallow tropical marine ecosystems, coral reefs shelter lagoons from incoming waves, allowing seagrass meadows to thrive. Deepening water over coral reefs from sea-level rise results in larger, more energetic waves traversing the reef into the lagoon, potentially generating hostile conditions for seagrass. However, growth of coral reef such that the relative water depth is maintained could mitigate negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass. Parameterizing physical and biological models for Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we find negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass before the middle of this century given reasonable rates of reef growth. Rates of vertical carbonate accretion typical of modern reef flats (up to 3 mm yr-1) will probably be insufficient to maintain suitable conditions for reef lagoon seagrass under moderate to high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios by 2100. Accounting for interdependencies in ecosystem responses to climate change is challenging, but failure to do so results in inaccurate predictions of habitat extent in the future.

  7. Climate warming and estuarine and marine coastal ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, V.S.

    1994-12-31

    Estuaries are physically controlled, resilient coastal ecosystems harboring environmentally tolerant species in diluted seawater. Marine coastal systems are less stressed physically and contain some environmentally less tolerant species. Both systems are biologically productive and economically significant. Because of their complex structure and function, it is difficult to predict accurately the effects of climate change, but some broad generalizations can be made. If climate warming occurs, it will raise sea-level, heat shallow waters, and modify precipitation, wind, and water circulation patterns. Rapid sea-level rise could cause the loss of salt marshes, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs, thus diminishing the ecological roles of these highly productive systems. Warmer waters could eliminate heat-sensitive species from part of their geographical range while allowing heat-tolerant species to expand their range, depending on their ability to disperse. Most thermally influenced losses of species will probably only be local, but changed distributions may lead to changed community function. It is more difficult to predict the effects of modified precipitation, wind, and water circulation patterns, but changes could affect organisms dependent on such patterns for food production (e.g., in upwelling regions) or for retention in estuaries. Aquacultural and fishery-related enterprises would be affected negatively in some regions and positively in others. 73 refs.

  8. Natural variability of marine ecosystems inferred from a coupled climate to ecosystem simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Mézo, Priscilla; Lefort, Stelly; Séférian, Roland; Aumont, Olivier; Maury, Olivier; Murtugudde, Raghu; Bopp, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    This modeling study analyzes the simulated natural variability of pelagic ecosystems in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Our model system includes a global Earth System Model (IPSL-CM5A-LR), the biogeochemical model PISCES and the ecosystem model APECOSM that simulates upper trophic level organisms using a size-based approach and three interactive pelagic communities (epipelagic, migratory and mesopelagic). Analyzing an idealized (e.g., no anthropogenic forcing) 300-yr long pre-industrial simulation, we find that low and high frequency variability is dominant for the large and small organisms, respectively. Our model shows that the size-range exhibiting the largest variability at a given frequency, defined as the resonant range, also depends on the community. At a given frequency, the resonant range of the epipelagic community includes larger organisms than that of the migratory community and similarly, the latter includes larger organisms than the resonant range of the mesopelagic community. This study shows that the simulated temporal variability of marine pelagic organisms' abundance is not only influenced by natural climate fluctuations but also by the structure of the pelagic community. As a consequence, the size- and community-dependent response of marine ecosystems to climate variability could impact the sustainability of fisheries in a warming world.

  9. Climate Change, Coral Reef Ecosystems, and Management Options for Marine Protected Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Brian D.; Gleason, Daniel F.; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M.; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E.; Miller, Steven L.; Steneck, Robert S.

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more “traditional” stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

  10. Climate change, coral reef ecosystems, and management options for marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Keller, Brian D; Gleason, Daniel F; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D; Friedlander, Alan M; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E; Miller, Steven L; Steneck, Robert S

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more "traditional" stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

  11. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henson, Stephanie A.; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G.; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L.

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a `business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike.

  12. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Henson, Stephanie A; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L

    2017-03-07

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a 'business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike.

  13. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Henson, Stephanie A.; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G.; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a ‘business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike. PMID:28267144

  14. Invasive species: an increasing threat to marine ecosystems under climate change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artioli, Yuri; Galienne, Chris; Holt, Jason; Wakelin, Sarah; Butenschön, Momme; Schrum, Corinna; Daewel, Ute; Pushpadas, Dhania; Cannaby, Heather; Salihoglu, Baris; Zavatarelli, Marco; Clementi, Emanuela; Olenin, Sergej; Allen, Icarus

    2013-04-01

    Planktonic Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) are a potential threat to marine ecosystems: a successful invasion of such organisms can alter significantly the ecosystem structure with shift in species composition that can affect different levels of the trophic network and also with local extinction of native species in the more extreme cases. Such changes will also impact some ecosystem functions like primary and secondary production or nutrient cycling, and services, like fishery, aquaculture or carbon sequestration. Understanding how climate change influences the susceptibility of a marine ecosystem to invasion is challenging as the success and the impact of an invasion depend on many different factors all tightly interconnected (e.g. time of the invasion, location, state of the ecosystem…). Here we present DivERSEM, a new version of the biogeochemical model ERSEM modified in order to account for phytoplankton diversity. With such a model, we are able to simulate invasion from phytoplankton NIS, to assess the likelihood of success of such an invasion and to estimate the potential impact on ecosystem structure, using indicator like the Biopollution index. In the MEECE project (www.meece.eu), the model has been coupled to a 1D water column model (GOTM) in two different climate scenarios (present day and the IPCC SRES A1B scenario for 2100) in 4 different European shelf seas (North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Adriatic Sea). The model has been forced with atmospheric data coming from the IPSL climate model, and nutrient concentration extracted from a set of 3D biogeochemical models running under the same climate scenario. The response of the ecosystem susceptibility to invasion to climate change has been analysed comparing the successfulness of invasions in the two time slices and its impact on community structure and ecosystem functions. At the same time, the comparison among the different basins allowed to highlight some of the characteristics that make the

  15. Variability in biomass yields of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) during climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K. )

    1993-06-01

    Results of ecosystem studies relating to variations in biomass yields are examined in relation to principle driving forces including climate change, coastal pollution, habitat degradation, and overexploitation of living marine resources. Among the ecosystems compared with regard to the different prime driving forces, affecting sustainability of biomass yields, are the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea, Kuroshio Current, California Current, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Mexico, Yellow Sea, Icelandic Shelf, and Northeast US Shelf ecosystems. The designation and management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) is, at present, an evolving scientific and geopolitical process. Sufficient progress has been made to allow for useful comparisons among different processes influencing large-scale changes in the biomass yields of LMEs. The most severely impacted LMEs are off the coasts of the continents.

  16. Combined effects of global climate change and regional ecosystem drivers on an exploited marine food web.

    PubMed

    Niiranen, Susa; Yletyinen, Johanna; Tomczak, Maciej T; Blenckner, Thorsten; Hjerne, Olle; Mackenzie, Brian R; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Neumann, Thomas; Meier, H E Markus

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate, in combination with intensive exploitation of marine resources, have caused large-scale reorganizations in many of the world's marine ecosystems during the past decades. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is one of the systems most affected. In addition to being exposed to persistent eutrophication, intensive fishing, and one of the world's fastest rates of warming in the last two decades of the 20th century, accelerated climate change including atmospheric warming and changes in precipitation is projected for this region during the 21st century. Here, we used a new multimodel approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. By the end of the 21st century, for example, the combination of intensive cod fishing and high nutrient loads projected a strongly eutrophicated and sprat-dominated ecosystem, whereas low cod fishing in combination with low nutrient loads resulted in a cod-dominated ecosystem with eutrophication levels close to present. Also, nonlinearities were observed in the sensitivity of different trophic groups to nutrient loads or fishing depending on the combination of the two. Finally, many climate variables and species biomasses were projected to levels unseen in the past. Hence, the risk for ecological surprises needs to be addressed, particularly when the results are discussed in the ecosystem-based management context.

  17. Multiple stressors, nonlinear effects and the implications of climate change impacts on marine coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Judi E; Ellis, Joanne I; Thrush, Simon F

    2016-08-01

    Global climate change will undoubtedly be a pressure on coastal marine ecosystems, affecting not only species distributions and physiology but also ecosystem functioning. In the coastal zone, the environmental variables that may drive ecological responses to climate change include temperature, wave energy, upwelling events and freshwater inputs, and all act and interact at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. To date, we have a poor understanding of how climate-related environmental changes may affect coastal marine ecosystems or which environmental variables are likely to produce priority effects. Here we use time series data (17 years) of coastal benthic macrofauna to investigate responses to a range of climate-influenced variables including sea-surface temperature, southern oscillation indices (SOI, Z4), wind-wave exposure, freshwater inputs and rainfall. We investigate responses from the abundances of individual species to abundances of functional traits and test whether species that are near the edge of their tolerance to another stressor (in this case sedimentation) may exhibit stronger responses. The responses we observed were all nonlinear and some exhibited thresholds. While temperature was most frequently an important predictor, wave exposure and ENSO-related variables were also frequently important and most ecological variables responded to interactions between environmental variables. There were also indications that species sensitive to another stressor responded more strongly to weaker climate-related environmental change at the stressed site than the unstressed site. The observed interactions between climate variables, effects on key species or functional traits, and synergistic effects of additional anthropogenic stressors have important implications for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of climate change to coastal ecosystems.

  18. Impacts of Interannual Climate Variability on Agricultural and Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cane, M. A.; Zebiak, S.; Kaplan, A.; Chen, D.

    2001-01-01

    The El Nino - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant mode of global interannual climate variability, and seems to be the only mode for which current prediction methods are more skillful than climatology or persistence. The Zebiak and Cane intermediate coupled ocean-atmosphere model has been in use for ENSO prediction for more than a decade, with notable success. However, the sole dependence of its original initialization scheme and the improved initialization on wind fields derived from merchant ship observations proved to be a liability during 1997/1998 El Nino event: the deficiencies of wind observations prevented the oceanic component of the model from reaching the realistic state during the year prior to the event, and the forecast failed. Our work on the project was concentrated on the use of satellite data for improving various stages of ENSO prediction technology: model initialization, bias correction, and data assimilation. Close collaboration with other teams of the IDS project was maintained throughout.

  19. Synchronous response of marine plankton ecosystems to climate in the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goberville, Eric; Beaugrand, Gregory; Edwards, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Over the last few decades, global warming has accelerated both the rate and magnitude of changes observed in many functional units of the Earth System. In this context, plankton are sentinel organisms because they are sensitive to subtle levels of changes in temperature and might help in identifying the current effects of climate change on pelagic ecosystems. In this paper, we performed a comparative approach in two regions of the North Atlantic (i.e. the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea) to explore the relationships between changes in marine plankton, the regional physico-chemical environment and large-scale hydro-climatic forcing using four key indices: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the East Atlantic (EA) pattern and Northern Hemisphere Temperature (NHT) anomalies. Our analyses suggest that long-term changes in the states of the two ecosystems were synchronous and correlated to the same large-scale hydro-climatic variables: NHT anomalies, the AMO and to a lesser extent the EA pattern. No significant correlation was found between long-term ecosystem modifications and the state of the NAO. Our results suggest that the effect of climate on these ecosystems has mainly occurred in both regions through the modulation of the thermal regime.

  20. Climate change. Six centuries of variability and extremes in a coupled marine-terrestrial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Black, Bryan A; Sydeman, William J; Frank, David C; Griffin, Daniel; Stahle, David W; García-Reyes, Marisol; Rykaczewski, Ryan R; Bograd, Steven J; Peterson, William T

    2014-09-19

    Reported trends in the mean and variability of coastal upwelling in eastern boundary currents have raised concerns about the future of these highly productive and biodiverse marine ecosystems. However, the instrumental records on which these estimates are based are insufficiently long to determine whether such trends exceed preindustrial limits. In the California Current, a 576-year reconstruction of climate variables associated with winter upwelling indicates that variability increased over the latter 20th century to levels equaled only twice during the past 600 years. This modern trend in variance may be unique, because it appears to be driven by an unprecedented succession of extreme, downwelling-favorable, winter climate conditions that profoundly reduce productivity for marine predators of commercial and conservation interest.

  1. Climate warming, marine protected areas and the ocean-scale integrity of coral reef ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Graham, Nicholas A J; McClanahan, Tim R; MacNeil, M Aaron; Wilson, Shaun K; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Jennings, Simon; Chabanet, Pascale; Clark, Susan; Spalding, Mark D; Letourneur, Yves; Bigot, Lionel; Galzin, René; Ohman, Marcus C; Garpe, Kajsa C; Edwards, Alasdair J; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2008-08-27

    Coral reefs have emerged as one of the ecosystems most vulnerable to climate variation and change. While the contribution of a warming climate to the loss of live coral cover has been well documented across large spatial and temporal scales, the associated effects on fish have not. Here, we respond to recent and repeated calls to assess the importance of local management in conserving coral reefs in the context of global climate change. Such information is important, as coral reef fish assemblages are the most species dense vertebrate communities on earth, contributing critical ecosystem functions and providing crucial ecosystem services to human societies in tropical countries. Our assessment of the impacts of the 1998 mass bleaching event on coral cover, reef structural complexity, and reef associated fishes spans 7 countries, 66 sites and 26 degrees of latitude in the Indian Ocean. Using Bayesian meta-analysis we show that changes in the size structure, diversity and trophic composition of the reef fish community have followed coral declines. Although the ocean scale integrity of these coral reef ecosystems has been lost, it is positive to see the effects are spatially variable at multiple scales, with impacts and vulnerability affected by geography but not management regime. Existing no-take marine protected areas still support high biomass of fish, however they had no positive affect on the ecosystem response to large-scale disturbance. This suggests a need for future conservation and management efforts to identify and protect regional refugia, which should be integrated into existing management frameworks and combined with policies to improve system-wide resilience to climate variation and change.

  2. THE RESPONSE OF MARINE ECOSYSTEMS TO CLIMATE VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A strong association is documented between variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in various trophic levels of the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic. Examples are presented for phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, fish, marine diseases, whales and s...

  3. Climatic regime shifts and their impacts on marine ecosystem and fisheries resources in Korean waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chang Ik; Lee, Jae Bong; Kim, Suam; Oh, Jai-Ho

    2000-10-01

    There were climatic regime shifts over the North Pacific in 1976 and 1988 which affected the dynamics of the marine ecosystem and fisheries resources in Korean waters. Precipitation in Korean waters showed a decadal scale climatic jump, especially of Ullungdo Island, reflecting the regime shift that occurred in the North Pacific. The variation was also detected in East Asian atmospheric systems. The Aleutian Low and North Pacific High Pressure Systems showed substantial changes in 1976 and around 1987-89. 1976 was an unusually warm year for Korea; mean sea surface temperature (SST) was higher than ‘normal’ and was accompanied by a northward shift in the thermal front. Post 1976, the volume transport of the Kuroshio Current increased and higher seawater and air temperatures persisted until 1988. Other shifts occurred after 1976 such as an increase in mixed layer depth (MLD) and biological changes in the ecosystem of Korean waters including decreases in spring primary production and an increase in autumn primary production. Primary production increased again after 1988, and was followed by a significant increase in zooplankton biomass after 1991. The 1976 regime shift was manifested by a decreased biomass and production of saury, but an increase in biomass and production of sardine and filefish in Korean waters. After 1988, recruitment, biomass, and production of sardine collapsed while those of mackerel substantially increased. Based on these observations, hypotheses on the relationship between the climate-driven oceanic changes and changes in fisheries resources were developed and are discussed.

  4. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    PubMed

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.

  5. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K A; Smith, Raymond C

    2007-01-29

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading.

  6. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K.A; Smith, Raymond C

    2006-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading. PMID:17405211

  7. Climate change impacts on U.S. coastal and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scavia, Donald; Field, John C.; Boesch, Donald F.; Buddemeier, Robert W.; Burkett, Virginia; Cayan, Daniel R.; Fogarty, Michael; Harwell, Mark A.; Howarth, Robert W.; Mason, Curt; Reed, Denise J.; Royer, Thomas C.; Sallenger, Asbury H.; Titus, James G.

    2002-01-01

    Increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases projected for the 21st century are expected to lead to increased mean global air and ocean temperatures. The National Assessment of Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (NAST 2001) was based on a series of regional and sector assessments. This paper is a summary of the coastal and marine resources sector review of potential impacts on shorelines, estuaries, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, and ocean margin ecosystems. The assessment considered the impacts of several key drivers of climate change: sea level change; alterations in precipitation patterns and subsequent delivery of freshwater, nutrients, and sediment; increased ocean temperature; alterations in circulation patterns; changes in frequency and intensity of coastal storms; and increased levels of atmospheric CO2. Increasing rates of sea-level rise and intensity and frequency of coastal storms and hurricanes over the next decades will increase threats to shorelines, wetlands, and coastal development. Estuarine productivity will change in response to alteration in the timing and amount of freshwater, nutrients, and sediment delivery. Higher water temperatures and changes in freshwater delivery will alter estuarine stratification, residence time, and eutrophication. Increased ocean temperatures are expected to increase coral bleaching and higher CO2 levels may reduce coral calcification, making it more difficult for corals to recover from other disturbances, and inhibiting poleward shifts. Ocean warming is expected to cause poleward shifts in the ranges of many other organisms, including commercial species, and these shifts may have secondary effects on their predators and prey. Although these potential impacts of climate change and variability will vary from system to system, it is important to recognize that they will be superimposed upon, and in many cases intensify, other ecosystem stresses (pollution, harvesting, habitat destruction

  8. Modelling marine community responses to climate-driven species redistribution to guide monitoring and adaptive ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Marzloff, Martin Pierre; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Hamon, Katell G; Hoshino, Eriko; Jennings, Sarah; van Putten, Ingrid E; Pecl, Gretta T

    2016-07-01

    As a consequence of global climate-driven changes, marine ecosystems are experiencing polewards redistributions of species - or range shifts - across taxa and throughout latitudes worldwide. Research on these range shifts largely focuses on understanding and predicting changes in the distribution of individual species. The ecological effects of marine range shifts on ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as human coastal communities, can be large, yet remain difficult to anticipate and manage. Here, we use qualitative modelling of system feedback to understand the cumulative impacts of multiple species shifts in south-eastern Australia, a global hotspot for ocean warming. We identify range-shifting species that can induce trophic cascades and affect ecosystem dynamics and productivity, and evaluate the potential effectiveness of alternative management interventions to mitigate these impacts. Our results suggest that the negative ecological impacts of multiple simultaneous range shifts generally add up. Thus, implementing whole-of-ecosystem management strategies and regular monitoring of range-shifting species of ecological concern are necessary to effectively intervene against undesirable consequences of marine range shifts at the regional scale. Our study illustrates how modelling system feedback with only limited qualitative information about ecosystem structure and range-shifting species can predict ecological consequences of multiple co-occurring range shifts, guide ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and help prioritise future research and monitoring.

  9. [Modulating marine ecosystem by marine viruses--a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Bai, Shijie; Cai, Wenwei; Zheng, Tianling

    2009-05-01

    Marine viruses play great roles in the marine ecological system such as modulating the biodiversity and species population, regulating the nutrient cycling, intervening gene transfer and influencing climate changes. Recent research achievements on marine viruses were reviewed in this paper. We focused on the modulating role of marine viruses in marine ecosystem and discussed future research perspectives.

  10. The Mediterranean climate as a template for Mediterranean marine ecosystems: the example of the northeast Spanish littoral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, Carlos M.; Agustí, Susana; Kennedy, Hilary; Vaqué, Dolors

    1999-08-01

    The Mediterranean climate exerts a major influence on the basic properties of the Mediterranean Sea, which constrains the structure and dynamics of the ecosystem. Seasonal variations in the marine climate follow the expected unimodal seasonality only for temperature, while most other forcing factors show a complex variance structure, with dominant time scales of 50-100 days (e.g. wave action), and with some of the factors acting as random factors (‘white noise’) at the annual scale (e.g. rainfall), thereby limiting the predictability of the system. The resulting ecosystem seasonality is unconventional and poorly linked to temperature. The prolonged period of high atmospheric pressure and associated high irradiance and calm waters in late winter is the main seasonal trigger in the NW Mediterranean Sea, setting the development of a phytoplankton bloom, as well as the recruitment of the benthos. Decadal changes in the Mediterranean marine climate are characterized by the dominance of oscillations with a 22-year period, suggesting an important solar forcing on the climate. This forcing masks the monotonous trends, such as the warming and increased sea level in the Mediterranean, expected from anthropogenic forcing. Records of decadal changes in the ecosystem often display a monotonous trend in the deterioration of water quality, indicative of human effects as the main forcing agent, while climatic forcing, which displays oscillatory variation, is of secondary importance. The paucity of long-term records precludes a robust analysis of ecosystem response to decadal climatic forcing. This absence can be partially remediated by the ability to interrogate the long-lived organisms that represent an important, albeit endangered component of Mediterranean biodiversity, to extract records (e.g. growth, temperature, changes in the nature of the dissolved inorganic carbon pool) of the changes they have witnessed.

  11. Marine Ecosystem Response to Rapid Climate Warming on the West Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducklow, H.; Baker, K. S.; Doney, S. C.; Fraser, B.; Martinson, D. G.; Meredith, M. P.; Montes-Hugo, M. A.; Sailley, S.; Schofield, O.; Sherrell, R. M.; Stammerjohn, S. E.; Steinberg, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    The Palmer, Antarctica LTER builds on meteorological, ocean color and seabird observations since the late 1970s. It occupies annually in summer a regional-scale grid extending 700 km northward from Charcot Island to Anvers Island, and 200 km cross-shelf from the coast to the shelfbreak. In addition to routine CTD profiles and zooplankton tows throughout the grid, the observing system also includes Slocum Glider surveys and thermistor moorings. Geophysical changes include +6C atmospheric warming in winter since 1950, a 20% increase in heat content over the continental shelf since 1990, a surface ocean warming of +1C since 1950, an 83-day reduction in sea ice duration (advance 48 days later, retreat 35 days earlier) over the greater southern Bellingshausen Sea region from 1979-2007, intensification of westerly winds and differential changes in cloudiness. In response to these large changes in the regional climate, the marine ecosystem of the western Peninsula is changing at all trophic levels from diatoms to penguins. Ocean color indicates differential changes in phytoplankton stocks in response to regional decreases in sea ice cover. Surface chlorophyll has declined 89% in the north and increased 67% in the south. Antarctic krill and salps have declined and increased in our study area, respectively. Penguin diet sampling suggests changes in populations or distributions of the Antarctic Silverfish in the Anvers Island vicinity, possibly in response to ocean warming. Adélie penguins have declined 75% from 15000 to <3000 pairs at since 1975 in response to changes in food availability and increased late spring snow accumulation. Changes in pygoscelid penguin breeding populations in the Anvers Island vicinity of the West Antarctic Peninsula

  12. Going with the flow: the role of ocean circulation in global marine ecosystems under a changing climate.

    PubMed

    van Gennip, Simon J; Popova, Ekaterina E; Yool, Andrew; Pecl, Gretta T; Hobday, Alistair J; Sorte, Cascade J B

    2016-12-09

    Ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and reduced productivity are widely considered to be the major stressors to ocean ecosystems induced by emissions of CO2 . However, an overlooked stressor is the change in ocean circulation in response to climate change. Strong changes in the intensity and position of the western boundary currents have already been observed, and the consequences of such changes for ecosystems are beginning to emerge. In this study, we address climatically induced changes in ocean circulation on a global scale but relevant to propagule dispersal for species inhabiting global shelf ecosystems, using a high-resolution global ocean model run under the IPCC RCP 8.5 scenario. The ¼ degree model resolution allows improved regional realism of the ocean circulation beyond that of available CMIP5-class models. We use a Lagrangian approach forced by modelled ocean circulation to simulate the circulation pathways that disperse planktonic life stages. Based on trajectory backtracking, we identify present-day coastal retention, dominant flow and dispersal range for coastal regions at the global scale. Projecting into the future, we identify areas of the strongest projected circulation change and present regional examples with the most significant modifications in their dominant pathways. Climatically induced changes in ocean circulation should be considered as an additional stressor of marine ecosystems in a similar way to ocean warming or acidification.

  13. Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystem production in societies dependent on fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barange, M.; Merino, G.; Blanchard, J. L.; Scholtens, J.; Harle, J.; Allison, E. H.; Allen, J. I.; Holt, J.; Jennings, S.

    2014-03-01

    Growing human populations and changing dietary preferences are increasing global demands for fish, adding pressure to concerns over fisheries sustainability. Here we develop and link models of physical, biological and human responses to climate change in 67 marine national exclusive economic zones, which yield approximately 60% of global fish catches, to project climate change yield impacts in countries with different dependencies on marine fisheries. Predicted changes in fish production indicate increased productivity at high latitudes and decreased productivity at low/mid latitudes, with considerable regional variations. With few exceptions, increases and decreases in fish production potential by 2050 are estimated to be <10% (mean +3.4%) from present yields. Among the nations showing a high dependency on fisheries, climate change is predicted to increase productive potential in West Africa and decrease it in South and Southeast Asia. Despite projected human population increases and assuming that per capita fish consumption rates will be maintained, ongoing technological development in the aquaculture industry suggests that projected global fish demands in 2050 could be met, thus challenging existing predictions of inevitable shortfalls in fish supply by the mid-twenty-first century. This conclusion, however, is contingent on successful implementation of strategies for sustainable harvesting and effective distribution of wild fish products from nations and regions with a surplus to those with a deficit. Changes in management effectiveness and trade practices will remain the main influence on realized gains or losses in global fish production.

  14. Climate Action Benefits: Ecosystems

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This page provides background on the relationship between ecosystems and climate change and describes what the CIRA Ecosystems analyses cover. It provides links to the subsectors Coral Reefs, Shellfish, Freshwater Fish, Wildfire, and Carbon Storage.

  15. Implications of climate change for northern Canada: freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Prowse, Terry D; Furgal, Chris; Wrona, Fred J; Reist, James D

    2009-07-01

    Climate variability and change is projected to have significant effects on the physical, chemical, and biological components of northern Canadian marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems. As the climate continues to change, there will be consequences for biodiversity shifts and for the ranges and distribution of many species with resulting effects on availability, accessibility, and quality of resources upon which human populations rely. This will have implications for the protection and management of wildlife, fish, and fisheries resources; protected areas; and forests. The northward migration of species and the disruption and competition from invading species are already occurring and will continue to affect marine, terrestrial, and freshwater communities. Shifting environmental conditions will likely introduce new animal-transmitted diseases and redistribute some existing diseases, affecting key economic resources and some human populations. Stress on populations of iconic wildlife species, such as the polar bear, ringed seals, and whales, will continue as a result of changes in critical sea-ice habitat interactions. Where these stresses affect economically and culturally important species, they will have significant effects on people and regional economies. Further integrated, field-based monitoring and research programs, and the development of predictive models are required to allow for more detailed and comprehensive projections of change to be made, and to inform the development and implementation of appropriate adaptation, wildlife, and habitat conservation and protection strategies.

  16. Paleoecological studies on variability in marine fish populations: A long-term perspective on the impacts of climatic change on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, Bruce P.; Alheit, Jürgen; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Field, David B.; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Struck, Ulrich

    2010-02-01

    reorganizations in the earth's climate system. Additional sedimentary records of marine fish abundance and corresponding paleoenvironmental conditions are likely to further enhance our understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics.

  17. The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts

    PubMed Central

    Vergés, Adriana; Steinberg, Peter D.; Hay, Mark E.; Poore, Alistair G. B.; Campbell, Alexandra H.; Ballesteros, Enric; Heck, Kenneth L.; Booth, David J.; Coleman, Melinda A.; Feary, David A.; Figueira, Will; Langlois, Tim; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M.; Mizerek, Toni; Mumby, Peter J.; Nakamura, Yohei; Roughan, Moninya; van Sebille, Erik; Gupta, Alex Sen; Smale, Dan A.; Tomas, Fiona; Wernberg, Thomas; Wilson, Shaun K.

    2014-01-01

    Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to ‘barrens’ when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs. PMID:25009065

  18. The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts.

    PubMed

    Vergés, Adriana; Steinberg, Peter D; Hay, Mark E; Poore, Alistair G B; Campbell, Alexandra H; Ballesteros, Enric; Heck, Kenneth L; Booth, David J; Coleman, Melinda A; Feary, David A; Figueira, Will; Langlois, Tim; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M; Mizerek, Toni; Mumby, Peter J; Nakamura, Yohei; Roughan, Moninya; van Sebille, Erik; Gupta, Alex Sen; Smale, Dan A; Tomas, Fiona; Wernberg, Thomas; Wilson, Shaun K

    2014-08-22

    Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to 'barrens' when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs.

  19. Climate change is projected to reduce carrying capacity and redistribute species richness in North Pacific pelagic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Woodworth-Jefcoats, Phoebe A; Polovina, Jeffrey J; Drazen, Jeffrey C

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is expected to impact all aspects of marine ecosystems, including fisheries. Here, we use output from a suite of 11 earth system models to examine projected changes in two ecosystem-defining variables: temperature and food availability. In particular, we examine projected changes in epipelagic temperature and, as a proxy for food availability, zooplankton density. We find that under RCP8.5, a high business-as-usual greenhouse gas scenario, increasing temperatures may alter the spatial distribution of tuna and billfish species richness across the North Pacific basin. Furthermore, warmer waters and declining zooplankton densities may act together to lower carrying capacity for commercially valuable fish by 2-5% per decade over the 21st century. These changes have the potential to significantly impact the magnitude, composition, and distribution of commercial fish catch across the pelagic North Pacific. Such changes will in turn ultimately impact commercial fisheries' economic value. Fishery managers should anticipate these climate impacts to ensure sustainable fishery yields and livelihoods.

  20. Information Needs Assessment for Coastal and Marine Management and Policy: Ecosystem Services Under Changing Climatic, Land Use, and Demographic Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Kaitlin A.; Granek, Elise F.; Lubitow, Amy

    2015-12-01

    Changing climatic, demographic, and land use conditions are projected to alter the provisioning of ecosystem services in estuarine, coastal, and nearshore marine ecosystems, necessitating mitigation and adaptation policies and management. The current paradigm of research efforts occurring in parallel to, rather than in collaboration with, decision makers will be insufficient for the rapid responses required to adapt to and mitigate for projected changing conditions. Here, we suggest a different paradigm: one where research begins by engaging decision makers in the identification of priority data needs (biophysical, economic, and social). This paper uses synthesized interview data to provide insight into the varied demands for scientific research as described by decision makers working on coastal issues in Oregon, USA. The findings highlight the need to recognize (1) the differing framing of ecosystem services by decision makers versus scientists; and (2) the differing data priorities relevant to inland versus coastal decision makers. The findings further serve to highlight the need for decision makers, scientists, and funders to engage in increased communication. This research is an important first step in advancing efforts toward evidence-based decision making in Oregon and provides a template for further research across the US.

  1. Information Needs Assessment for Coastal and Marine Management and Policy: Ecosystem Services Under Changing Climatic, Land Use, and Demographic Conditions.

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, Kaitlin A; Granek, Elise F; Lubitow, Amy

    2015-12-01

    Changing climatic, demographic, and land use conditions are projected to alter the provisioning of ecosystem services in estuarine, coastal, and nearshore marine ecosystems, necessitating mitigation and adaptation policies and management. The current paradigm of research efforts occurring in parallel to, rather than in collaboration with, decision makers will be insufficient for the rapid responses required to adapt to and mitigate for projected changing conditions. Here, we suggest a different paradigm: one where research begins by engaging decision makers in the identification of priority data needs (biophysical, economic, and social). This paper uses synthesized interview data to provide insight into the varied demands for scientific research as described by decision makers working on coastal issues in Oregon, USA. The findings highlight the need to recognize (1) the differing framing of ecosystem services by decision makers versus scientists; and (2) the differing data priorities relevant to inland versus coastal decision makers. The findings further serve to highlight the need for decision makers, scientists, and funders to engage in increased communication. This research is an important first step in advancing efforts toward evidence-based decision making in Oregon and provides a template for further research across the US.

  2. Linking climate to population variability in marine ecosystems characterized by non-simple dynamics: Conceptual templates and schematic constructs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew

    2010-02-01

    The ability to abstract and symbolize ideas and knowledge as simplified schematic constructs is an important element of scientific creativity and communication. Availability of such generalized symbolic constructs may be particularly important when addressing a complex adaptive system such as a marine ecosystem. Various examples have appeared in the climate-fisheries literature, each more or less effectively integrating hypothesized effects of several interacting environmental and/or biological processes in controlling population dynamics of exploited fish species. A selection of these are herein presented and reviewed, including match-mismatch, connectivity, school trap, loopholes, ocean triads, stable ocean hypothesis, several classes of nonlinear feedback loops (e.g., ' P2P', school-mix feedback, predator pit), as well as several prominent large-scale integrative climatic index series ( SOI, NAO, PDO). The importance of considering the potential for adaptation and/or rapid evolution is stressed. An argument is offered for the potential utility of such widely recognizable schematic concepts in offering relatively well-understood, fairly well-defined frameworks for comparative identification and elaboration of important mechanistic linkages between climate variability and fishery dynamics, as well as in easing effective communication among scientists from different regions and disciplinary backgrounds. Certain difficulties in the application of the comparative method are discussed. It is suggested that alleviation of such difficulties may be one of the major benefits of international collaborative programs such as GLOBEC and IMBER.

  3. Towards end-to-end models for investigating the effects of climate and fishing in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travers, M.; Shin, Y.-J.; Jennings, S.; Cury, P.

    2007-12-01

    End-to-end models that represent ecosystem components from primary producers to top predators, linked through trophic interactions and affected by the abiotic environment, are expected to provide valuable tools for assessing the effects of climate change and fishing on ecosystem dynamics. Here, we review the main process-based approaches used for marine ecosystem modelling, focusing on the extent of the food web modelled, the forcing factors considered, the trophic processes represented, as well as the potential use and further development of the models. We consider models of a subset of the food web, models which represent the first attempts to couple low and high trophic levels, integrated models of the whole ecosystem, and size spectrum models. Comparisons within and among these groups of models highlight the preferential use of functional groups at low trophic levels and species at higher trophic levels and the different ways in which the models account for abiotic processes. The model comparisons also highlight the importance of choosing an appropriate spatial dimension for representing organism dynamics. Many of the reviewed models could be extended by adding components and by ensuring that the full life cycles of species components are represented, but end-to-end models should provide full coverage of ecosystem components, the integration of physical and biological processes at different scales and two-way interactions between ecosystem components. We suggest that this is best achieved by coupling models, but there are very few existing cases where the coupling supports true two-way interaction. The advantages of coupling models are that the extent of discretization and representation can be targeted to the part of the food web being considered, making their development time- and cost-effective. Processes such as predation can be coupled to allow the propagation of forcing factors effects up and down the food web. However, there needs to be a stronger focus

  4. Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jochum, Malte; Schneider, Florian D; Crowe, Tasman P; Brose, Ulrich; O'Gorman, Eoin J

    2012-11-05

    Climate change has complex structural impacts on coastal ecosystems. Global warming is linked to a widespread decline in body size, whereas increased flood frequency can amplify nutrient enrichment through enhanced run-off. Altered population body-size structure represents a disruption in top-down control, whereas eutrophication embodies a change in bottom-up forcing. These processes are typically studied in isolation and little is known about their potential interactive effects. Here, we present the results of an in situ experiment examining the combined effects of top-down and bottom-up forces on the structure of a coastal marine community. Reduced average body mass of the top predator (the shore crab, Carcinus maenas) and nutrient enrichment combined additively to alter mean community body mass. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness and overall density of organisms. Reduced top-predator body mass increased community biomass. Additionally, we found evidence for an allometrically induced trophic cascade. Here, the reduction in top-predator body mass enabled greater biomass of intermediate fish predators within the mesocosms. This, in turn, suppressed key micrograzers, which led to an overall increase in microalgal biomass. This response highlights the possibility for climate-induced trophic cascades, driven by altered size structure of populations, rather than species extinction.

  5. Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Jochum, Malte; Schneider, Florian D.; Crowe, Tasman P.; Brose, Ulrich; O'Gorman, Eoin J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change has complex structural impacts on coastal ecosystems. Global warming is linked to a widespread decline in body size, whereas increased flood frequency can amplify nutrient enrichment through enhanced run-off. Altered population body-size structure represents a disruption in top-down control, whereas eutrophication embodies a change in bottom-up forcing. These processes are typically studied in isolation and little is known about their potential interactive effects. Here, we present the results of an in situ experiment examining the combined effects of top-down and bottom-up forces on the structure of a coastal marine community. Reduced average body mass of the top predator (the shore crab, Carcinus maenas) and nutrient enrichment combined additively to alter mean community body mass. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness and overall density of organisms. Reduced top-predator body mass increased community biomass. Additionally, we found evidence for an allometrically induced trophic cascade. Here, the reduction in top-predator body mass enabled greater biomass of intermediate fish predators within the mesocosms. This, in turn, suppressed key micrograzers, which led to an overall increase in microalgal biomass. This response highlights the possibility for climate-induced trophic cascades, driven by altered size structure of populations, rather than species extinction. PMID:23007084

  6. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    PubMed

    Norris, R D; Turner, S Kirtland; Hull, P M; Ridgwell, A

    2013-08-02

    The future impacts of anthropogenic global change on marine ecosystems are highly uncertain, but insights can be gained from past intervals of high atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure. The long-term geological record reveals an early Cenozoic warm climate that supported smaller polar ecosystems, few coral-algal reefs, expanded shallow-water platforms, longer food chains with less energy for top predators, and a less oxygenated ocean than today. The closest analogs for our likely future are climate transients, 10,000 to 200,000 years in duration, that occurred during the long early Cenozoic interval of elevated warmth. Although the future ocean will begin to resemble the past greenhouse world, it will retain elements of the present "icehouse" world long into the future. Changing temperatures and ocean acidification, together with rising sea level and shifts in ocean productivity, will keep marine ecosystems in a state of continuous change for 100,000 years.

  7. Anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Aronson, Richard B; Thatje, Sven; McClintock, James B; Hughes, Kevin A

    2011-03-01

    Antarctica is the most isolated continent on Earth, but it has not escaped the negative impacts of human activity. The unique marine ecosystems of Antarctica and their endemic faunas are affected on local and regional scales by overharvesting, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Global climate change is also having deleterious impacts: rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification already threaten benthic and pelagic food webs. The Antarctic Treaty System can address local- to regional-scale impacts, but it does not have purview over the global problems that impinge on Antarctica, such as emissions of greenhouse gases. Failure to address human impacts simultaneously at all scales will lead to the degradation of Antarctic marine ecosystems and the homogenization of their composition, structure, and processes with marine ecosystems elsewhere.

  8. Constructing an Eocene Marine Ecosystem Sensitivity Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'haenens, S.; Bornemann, A.; Speijer, R. P.; Hull, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    A key question in the face of current global environmental change is how marine ecosystems will respond and evolve in the future. To answer this, we first need to understand the relationship between environmental and ecosystem change - i.e., the ecosystem sensitivity. Addressing this question requires understanding of how biota respond to (a succession of) sudden environmental perturbations of varying sizes and durations in varying background conditions (i.e., climatic, oceanographic, biotic). Here, we compare new and published data from the Early to Middle Eocene greenhouse world to understand the sensitivity of marine ecosystems to background environmental change and hyperthermal events. This work focuses on the early Paleogene, because it is considered to be a good analog for a future high CO2 world. Newly generated high-resolution multiproxy datasets based on northern Atlantic DSDP Leg 48 and IODP Leg 342 material will allow us to compare the marine ecosystem responses (including bentho-pelagic systems) to abiotic drivers across climatic disruptions of differing magnitude. Initial results of a benthic foraminiferal community comparison including the PETM and ETM2 hyperthermals in the northeastern Atlantic DSDP sites 401 and 5501 suggest that benthic ecosystem sensitivity may actually be non-linearly linked to background climate states as reflected by a range of geochemical proxies (XRF, TOC, CaCO3, grain sizes, XRD clay mineralogy and foraminiferal δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca)2,3, in contrast to planktic communities4. Testing the type of scaling across different taxa, communities, initial background conditions and time scales may be the first big step to disentangle the often synergistic effects of environmental change on ecosystems5. References: 1D'haenens et al., 2012, in prep. 2Bornemann et al., 2014, EPSL 3D'haenens et al., 2014, PA 4Gibbs et al., 2012, Biogeosc. 5 Norris et al., 2013, Science

  9. Tipping elements in the Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Carlos M; Agustí, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Arrieta, Jesús M; Alcaraz, Miquel; Coello, Alexandra; Marbà, Núria; Hendriks, Iris E; Holding, Johnna; García-Zarandona, Iñigo; Kritzberg, Emma; Vaqué, Dolors

    2012-02-01

    The Arctic marine ecosystem contains multiple elements that present alternative states. The most obvious of which is an Arctic Ocean largely covered by an ice sheet in summer versus one largely devoid of such cover. Ecosystems under pressure typically shift between such alternative states in an abrupt, rather than smooth manner, with the level of forcing required for shifting this status termed threshold or tipping point. Loss of Arctic ice due to anthropogenic climate change is accelerating, with the extent of Arctic sea ice displaying increased variance at present, a leading indicator of the proximity of a possible tipping point. Reduced ice extent is expected, in turn, to trigger a number of additional tipping elements, physical, chemical, and biological, in motion, with potentially large impacts on the Arctic marine ecosystem.

  10. Marine pelagic ecosystems: the west Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, Hugh W; Baker, Karen; Martinson, Douglas G; Quetin, Langdon B; Ross, Robin M; Smith, Raymond C; Stammerjohn, Sharon E; Vernet, Maria; Fraser, William

    2007-01-29

    The marine ecosystem of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) extends from the Bellingshausen Sea to the northern tip of the peninsula and from the mostly glaciated coast across the continental shelf to the shelf break in the west. The glacially sculpted coastline along the peninsula is highly convoluted and characterized by deep embayments that are often interconnected by channels that facilitate transport of heat and nutrients into the shelf domain. The ecosystem is divided into three subregions, the continental slope, shelf and coastal regions, each with unique ocean dynamics, water mass and biological distributions. The WAP shelf lies within the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone (SIZ) and like other SIZs, the WAP system is very productive, supporting large stocks of marine mammals, birds and the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Ecosystem dynamics is dominated by the seasonal and interannual variation in sea ice extent and retreat. The Antarctic Peninsula is one among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, having experienced a 2 degrees C increase in the annual mean temperature and a 6 degrees C rise in the mean winter temperature since 1950. Delivery of heat from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has increased significantly in the past decade, sufficient to drive to a 0.6 degrees C warming of the upper 300 m of shelf water. In the past 50 years and continuing in the twenty-first century, the warm, moist maritime climate of the northern WAP has been migrating south, displacing the once dominant cold, dry continental Antarctic climate and causing multi-level responses in the marine ecosystem. Ecosystem responses to the regional warming include increased heat transport, decreased sea ice extent and duration, local declines in icedependent Adélie penguins, increase in ice-tolerant gentoo and chinstrap penguins, alterations in phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition and changes in krill recruitment, abundance and availability to predators. The climate

  11. Marine pelagic ecosystems: the West Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Ducklow, Hugh W; Baker, Karen; Martinson, Douglas G; Quetin, Langdon B; Ross, Robin M; Smith, Raymond C; Stammerjohn, Sharon E; Vernet, Maria; Fraser, William

    2006-01-01

    The marine ecosystem of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) extends from the Bellingshausen Sea to the northern tip of the peninsula and from the mostly glaciated coast across the continental shelf to the shelf break in the west. The glacially sculpted coastline along the peninsula is highly convoluted and characterized by deep embayments that are often interconnected by channels that facilitate transport of heat and nutrients into the shelf domain. The ecosystem is divided into three subregions, the continental slope, shelf and coastal regions, each with unique ocean dynamics, water mass and biological distributions. The WAP shelf lies within the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone (SIZ) and like other SIZs, the WAP system is very productive, supporting large stocks of marine mammals, birds and the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Ecosystem dynamics is dominated by the seasonal and interannual variation in sea ice extent and retreat. The Antarctic Peninsula is one among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, having experienced a 2°C increase in the annual mean temperature and a 6°C rise in the mean winter temperature since 1950. Delivery of heat from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has increased significantly in the past decade, sufficient to drive to a 0.6°C warming of the upper 300 m of shelf water. In the past 50 years and continuing in the twenty-first century, the warm, moist maritime climate of the northern WAP has been migrating south, displacing the once dominant cold, dry continental Antarctic climate and causing multi-level responses in the marine ecosystem. Ecosystem responses to the regional warming include increased heat transport, decreased sea ice extent and duration, local declines in ice-dependent Adélie penguins, increase in ice-tolerant gentoo and chinstrap penguins, alterations in phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition and changes in krill recruitment, abundance and availability to predators. The climate/ecological gradients

  12. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

  13. From global to regional and back again: common climate stressors of marine ecosystems relevant for adaptation across five ocean warming hotspots.

    PubMed

    Popova, Ekaterina; Yool, Andrew; Byfield, Valborg; Cochrane, Kevern; Coward, Andrew C; Salim, Shyam S; Gasalla, Maria A; Henson, Stephanie A; Hobday, Alistair J; Pecl, Gretta T; Sauer, Warwick H; Roberts, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    climate change impacting marine ecosystems in these areas.

  14. Observational information on a temperate reef community helps understanding the marine climate and ecosystem shift of the 1980-90s.

    PubMed

    Gatti, Giulia; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Montefalcone, Monica; Venturini, Sara; Diviacco, Giovanni; Morri, Carla

    2017-01-15

    The dearth of long-time series hampers the measurement of the ecosystem change that followed the global marine climate shift of the 1980-90s. The sessile communities of Portofino Promontory reefs (Ligurian Sea, NW Mediterranean) have been discontinuously studied since the 1950s. Collating information from various sources, three periods of investigations have been distinguished: 1) 1950-70s; 2) 1980-90s; 3) 2000-10s. A cooler phase in time 1 was followed by a rapid warming in time 2, to stabilize at about 0.5°C higher in time 3. Human pressure grew impressively, especially after the establishment of a MPA in 1999. Multivariate analyses evidenced a major change of community composition in time 2. Some species disappeared or got rarer, many found refuge at depth, and among the newcomers there were recently introduced alien species. This study demonstrated the importance of descriptive historical data to understand magnitude and pattern of change in the long term evolution of marine ecosystems.

  15. Marine viruses and global climate change.

    PubMed

    Danovaro, Roberto; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Dell'anno, Antonio; Fuhrman, Jed A; Middelburg, Jack J; Noble, Rachel T; Suttle, Curtis A

    2011-11-01

    Sea-surface warming, sea-ice melting and related freshening, changes in circulation and mixing regimes, and ocean acidification induced by the present climate changes are modifying marine ecosystem structure and function and have the potential to alter the cycling of carbon and nutrients in surface oceans. Changing climate has direct and indirect consequences on marine viruses, including cascading effects on biogeochemical cycles, food webs, and the metabolic balance of the ocean. We discuss here a range of case studies of climate change and the potential consequences on virus function, viral assemblages and virus-host interactions. In turn, marine viruses influence directly and indirectly biogeochemical cycles, carbon sequestration capacity of the oceans and the gas exchange between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. We cannot yet predict whether the viruses will exacerbate or attenuate the magnitude of climate changes on marine ecosystems, but we provide evidence that marine viruses interact actively with the present climate change and are a key biotic component that is able to influence the oceans' feedback on climate change. Long-term and wide spatial-scale studies, and improved knowledge of host-virus dynamics in the world's oceans will permit the incorporation of the viral component into future ocean climate models and increase the accuracy of the predictions of the climate change impacts on the function of the oceans.

  16. Consistent global responses of marine ecosystems to future climate change across the IPCC AR5 earth system models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabré, Anna; Marinov, Irina; Leung, Shirley

    2015-09-01

    We analyze for the first time all 16 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models with explicit marine ecological modules to identify the common mechanisms involved in projected phytoplankton biomass, productivity, and organic carbon export changes over the twenty-first century in the RCP8.5 scenario (years 2080-2099) compared to the historical scenario (years 1980-1999). All models predict decreases in primary and export production globally of up to 30 % of the historical value. We divide the ocean into biomes using upwelling velocities, sea-ice coverage, and maximum mixed layer depths. Models generally show expansion of subtropical, oligotrophic biomes and contraction of marginal sea-ice biomes. The equatorial and subtropical biomes account for 77 % of the total modern oceanic primary production (PP), but contribute 117 % to the global drop in PP, slightly compensated by an increase in PP in high latitudes. The phytoplankton productivity response to climate is surprisingly similar across models in low latitude biomes, indicating a common set of modeled processes controlling productivity changes. Ecological responses are less consistent across models in the subpolar and sea-ice biomes. Inter-hemispheric asymmetries in physical drivers result in stronger climate-driven relative decreases in biomass, productivity, and export of organic matter in the northern compared to the southern hemisphere low latitudes. The export ratio, a measure of the efficiency of carbon export to the deep ocean, decreases across low and mid-latitude biomes and models with more than one phytoplankton type, particularly in the northern hemisphere. Inter-model variability is much higher for biogeochemical than physical variables in the historical period, but is very similar among predicted 100-year biogeochemical and physical changes. We include detailed biome-by-biome analyses, discuss the decoupling between biomass, productivity and export across biomes and models, and present

  17. Marine ecology: gelatinous bells may ring change in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hay, Steve

    2006-09-05

    Gelatinous plankton are critical components of marine ecosystems. Recent studies are providing evidence of increased population outbursts of such species. Jellyfish seem to respond when an ecosystem is over-fished, and their ecology is under-researched.

  18. [Management of large marine ecosystem based on ecosystem approach].

    PubMed

    Chu, Jian-song

    2011-09-01

    Large marine ecosystem (LME) is a large area of ocean characterized by distinct oceanology and ecology. Its natural characteristics require management based on ecosystem approach. A series of international treaties and regulations definitely or indirectly support that it should adopt ecosystem approach to manage LME to achieve the sustainable utilization of marine resources. In practices, some countries such as Canada, Australia, and U.S.A. have adopted ecosystem-based approach to manage their oceans, and some international organizations such as global environment fund committee have carried out a number of LME programs based on ecosystem approach. Aiming at the sustainable development of their fisheries, the regional organizations such as Caribbean Community have established regional fisheries mechanism. However, the adoption of ecosystem approach to manage LME is not only a scientific and legal issue, but also a political matter largely depending on the political will and the mutual cooperation degree of related countries.

  19. Marine regime shifts: drivers and impacts on ecosystems services

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, J.; Yletyinen, J.; Biggs, R.; Blenckner, T.; Peterson, G.

    2015-01-01

    Marine ecosystems can experience regime shifts, in which they shift from being organized around one set of mutually reinforcing structures and processes to another. Anthropogenic global change has broadly increased a wide variety of processes that can drive regime shifts. To assess the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to such shifts and their potential consequences, we reviewed the scientific literature for 13 types of marine regime shifts and used networks to conduct an analysis of co-occurrence of drivers and ecosystem service impacts. We found that regime shifts are caused by multiple drivers and have multiple consequences that co-occur in a non-random pattern. Drivers related to food production, climate change and coastal development are the most common co-occurring causes of regime shifts, while cultural services, biodiversity and primary production are the most common cluster of ecosystem services affected. These clusters prioritize sets of drivers for management and highlight the need for coordinated actions across multiple drivers and scales to reduce the risk of marine regime shifts. Managerial strategies are likely to fail if they only address well-understood or data-rich variables, and international cooperation and polycentric institutions will be critical to implement and coordinate action across the scales at which different drivers operate. By better understanding these underlying patterns, we hope to inform the development of managerial strategies to reduce the risk of high-impact marine regime shifts, especially for areas of the world where data are not available or monitoring programmes are not in place.

  20. Climatic Impacts and resilience of coastal ecosystems and fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micheli, F.

    2012-12-01

    Marine and coastal ecosystems and human communities around the world are impacted by local anthropogenic pressures and by climate change, resulting in decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, habitat degradation, economic losses, and health and safety risks as a consequence of the changing and more variable climate. Climatic impacts occur both through altered physical conditions and variability, e.g., seawater temperature and sea level, and through a suite of chemical changes, including ocean acidification and hypoxia. In particular, time series analyses have highlighted declines in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in the ocean over the last several decades. In addition to these global trends of decreasing DO, hypoxic conditions have been documented at several coastal locations within productive upwelling-driven ecosystems, including the California Current region, resulting in high mortality of ecologically and commercially important nearshore marine species and significant economic losses. The capacity of local ecosystems and associated human communities to adapt to these pressures depends on their resilience, that is the ability of ecosystems to absorb disturbance while retaining function and continuing to provide ecosystem services, and the ability of people to adapt to change in their environment by altering their behaviors and interactions. I will present global assessments of the cumulative impacts of climatic and local anthropogenic pressures on marine ecosystems, and results of interdisciplinary research investigating the current impacts of climate change on coastal marine ecosystems and human communities of the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, and the influences of local and global feedbacks on the resilience and adaptive capacity of these systems.

  1. Middle Atlantic Bight Marine Ecosystem: A Regional Forecast Model Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, H.; Coles, V. J.; Garraffo, Z. D.

    2011-12-01

    Changes in basin scale climate patterns can drive changes in mesoscale physical oceanographic processes and subsequent alterations of ecosystem states. Climatic variability can be induced in the northeastern shelfbreak large marine ecosystem by climate oscillations, such as North Atlantic Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation; and long-term trends, such as a warming pattern. Short term variability can be induced by changes in the water masses in the northern and southern boundaries, by Gulf Stream path and transport variations, and by local mesoscale and submesoscale features. A coupled bio-physical model (HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model) is being used to forecast the evolution of the frontal and current systems of the shelf and Gulf Stream, and subsequent changes in thermal conditions and ecosystem structure over the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB). This study aims to forecast the ocean state and nutrients in the MAB, and to investigate how cross-shelf exchanges of different water masses could affect nutrient budgets, primary and secondary production, and fish populations in coastal and shelf marine ecosystems. Preliminary results are shown for a regional MAB model nested to the global 1/12o HYCOM run at NOAA/NCEP/EMC using Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) daily initialization. Elements of this simulation are nutrient influx condition at the northern and southern boundaries through regression to ocean thermodynamic variables, and nutrient input at the river mouths.

  2. Emergent Properties Delineate Marine Ecosystem Perturbation and Recovery.

    PubMed

    Link, Jason S; Pranovi, Fabio; Libralato, Simone; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Solidoro, Cosimo; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2015-11-01

    Whether there are common and emergent patterns from marine ecosystems remains an important question because marine ecosystems provide billions of dollars of ecosystem services to the global community, but face many perturbations with significant consequences. Here, we develop cumulative trophic patterns for marine ecosystems, featuring sigmoidal cumulative biomass (cumB)-trophic level (TL) and 'hockey-stick' production (cumP)-cumB curves. The patterns have a trophodynamic theoretical basis and capitalize on emergent, fundamental, and invariant features of marine ecosystems. These patterns have strong global support, being observed in over 120 marine ecosystems. Parameters from these curves elucidate the direction and magnitude of marine ecosystem perturbation or recovery; if biomass and productivity can be monitored effectively over time, such relations may prove to be broadly useful. Curve parameters are proposed as possible ecosystem thresholds, perhaps to better manage the marine ecosystems of the world.

  3. Climate of the Arctic marine environment.

    PubMed

    Walsh, John E

    2008-03-01

    The climate of the Arctic marine environment is characterized by strong seasonality in the incoming solar radiation and by tremendous spatial variations arising from a variety of surface types, including open ocean, sea ice, large islands, and proximity to major landmasses. Interannual and decadal-scale variations are prominent features of Arctic climate, complicating the distinction between natural and anthropogenically driven variations. Nevertheless, climate models consistently indicate that the Arctic is the most climatically sensitive region of the Northern Hemisphere, especially near the sea ice margins. The Arctic marine environment has shown changes over the past several decades, and these changes are part of a broader global warming that exceeds the range of natural variability over the past 1000 years. Record minima of sea ice coverage during the past few summers and increased melt from Greenland have important implications for the hydrographic regime of the Arctic marine environment. The recent changes in the atmosphere (temperature, precipitation, pressure), sea ice, and ocean appear to be a coordinated response to systematic variations of the large-scale atmospheric circulation, superimposed on a general warming that is likely associated with increasing greenhouse gases. The changes have been sufficiently large in some sectors (e.g., the Bering/Chukchi Seas) that consequences for marine ecosystems appear to be underway. Global climate models indicate an additional warming of several degrees Celsius in much of the Arctic marine environment by 2050. However, the warming is seasonal (largest in autumn and winter), spatially variable, and closely associated with further retreat of sea ice. Additional changes predicted for 2050 are a general decrease of sea level pressure (largest in the Bering sector) and an increase of precipitation. While predictions of changes in storminess cannot be made with confidence, the predicted reduction of sea ice cover will

  4. Recovery of marine animal populations and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lotze, Heike K; Coll, Marta; Magera, Anna M; Ward-Paige, Christine; Airoldi, Laura

    2011-11-01

    Many marine populations and ecosystems have experienced strong historical depletions, yet reports of recoveries are increasing. Here, we review the growing research on marine recoveries to reveal how common recovery is, its magnitude, timescale and major drivers. Overall, 10-50% of depleted populations and ecosystems show some recovery, but rarely to former levels of abundance. In addition, recovery can take many decades for long-lived species and complex ecosystems. Major drivers of recovery include the reduction of human impacts, especially exploitation, habitat loss and pollution, combined with favorable life-history and environmental conditions. Awareness, legal protection and enforcement of management plans are also crucial. Learning from historical recovery successes and failures is essential for implementing realistic conservation goals and promising management strategies.

  5. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change.

    PubMed

    Moffitt, Sarah E; Hill, Tessa M; Roopnarine, Peter D; Kennett, James P

    2015-04-14

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mL⋅L(-1) [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems.

  6. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change

    PubMed Central

    Moffitt, Sarah E.; Hill, Tessa M.; Roopnarine, Peter D.; Kennett, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mL⋅L−1 [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems. PMID:25825727

  7. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffitt, Sarah E.; Hill, Tessa M.; Roopnarine, Peter D.; Kennett, James P.

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mLṡL-1 [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems.

  8. Climatic Effects of Marine Organic Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, J.; Meskhidze, N.; Zhang, Y.; Gantt, B.; Ghan, S. J.; Nenes, A.; Liu, X.; Easter, R. C.; Zaveri, R. A.

    2009-12-01

    associated with cloud properties increase short wave cloud forcing by -0.4W/m2 to -0.7W/m2. By using different emission scenarios and droplet activation parameterizations as well as considering surfactant effects of marine organic aerosols, this study quantifies a possible range for climatic effects of ocean ecosystem.

  9. Invertebrates, ecosystem services and climate change.

    PubMed

    Prather, Chelse M; Pelini, Shannon L; Laws, Angela; Rivest, Emily; Woltz, Megan; Bloch, Christopher P; Del Toro, Israel; Ho, Chuan-Kai; Kominoski, John; Newbold, T A Scott; Parsons, Sheena; Joern, A

    2013-05-01

    The sustainability of ecosystem services depends on a firm understanding of both how organisms provide these services to humans and how these organisms will be altered with a changing climate. Unquestionably a dominant feature of most ecosystems, invertebrates affect many ecosystem services and are also highly responsive to climate change. However, there is still a basic lack of understanding of the direct and indirect paths by which invertebrates influence ecosystem services, as well as how climate change will affect those ecosystem services by altering invertebrate populations. This indicates a lack of communication and collaboration among scientists researching ecosystem services and climate change effects on invertebrates, and land managers and researchers from other disciplines, which becomes obvious when systematically reviewing the literature relevant to invertebrates, ecosystem services, and climate change. To address this issue, we review how invertebrates respond to climate change. We then review how invertebrates both positively and negatively influence ecosystem services. Lastly, we provide some critical future directions for research needs, and suggest ways in which managers, scientists and other researchers may collaborate to tackle the complex issue of sustaining invertebrate-mediated services under a changing climate.

  10. Introduction to the symposium "New frontiers from marine snakes to marine ecosystems".

    PubMed

    Lillywhite, Harvey B; Brischoux, François

    2012-08-01

    Interest in sea snakes and mythological "sea serpents" dates to ancient times and is represented in the writings of Aristotle, early voyagers, and explorers, and references in the Bible. Since then, awareness of the myriad species of snakes inhabiting the oceans has grown at a gradual pace. Scientific investigations into the biology of marine snakes-especially those in behavior, physiology, and other disciplines requiring living animals or tissues-have been comparatively challenging owing to difficulties in acquiring, transporting, handling, and husbanding these secondarily marine vertebrates. A broadening perspective with increasing interest in these animals peaked during the 1960s and 1970s, and literature from this period contributed to a growing knowledge that marine snakes comprise a very diverse fauna and are a significant part of marine ecosystems. Two persons figured prominently as influential drivers of research on sea snakes during this period, namely William Dunson and Harold Heatwole, and this symposium recognizes the contributions of these two individuals. Following a decline in scientific publications on sea snakes during the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a renaissance of scientific interest in recent years, and a wealth of new research findings has improved the understanding of phylogeny and diversity of marine snakes while simultaneously recognizing threats to marine ecosystems arising from climate change and other anthropogenic causes. The purposes of the symposium are to (1) illustrate the importance and relevance of sea snakes as contributors to better understanding a range of issues in marine biology, (2) establish and promote the use of marine systems as models for investigating conceptual issues related to environment, changing climate, and persistence of biological communities, with focus on marine snakes as novel or useful examples, (3) promote interest in sea snakes as useful organisms for study by scientists in a range of disciplines who

  11. Sunnyvale Marine Climate Deep Retrofit

    SciTech Connect

    German, A.; Siddiqui, A.; Dakin, B.

    2014-11-01

    The Alliance for Residential Building Innovation (ARBI) and Allen Gilliland of One Sky Homes collaborated on a marine climate retrofit project designed to meet both Passive House (PH) and Building America (BA) program standards. The scope included sealing, installing wall, roof and floor insulation (previously lacking), replacing windows, upgrading the heating and cooling system, and installing.

  12. Sunnyvale Marine Climate Deep Retrofit

    SciTech Connect

    German, A.; Siddiqui, A.; Dakin, B.

    2014-11-01

    The Alliance for Residential Building Innovation (ARBI) and Allen Gilliland of One Sky Homes collaborated on a marine climate retrofit project designed to meet both Passive House (PH) and Building America program standards. The scope included sealing, installing wall, roof and floor insulation (previously lacking), replacing windows, upgrading the heating and cooling system, and installing mechanical ventilation.

  13. Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystem Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. During the twentieth century, climate change has had documented impacts on ecological systems, and impacts are expected to increase as climate change continues and perhaps even accelerates. This techn...

  14. Climate impacts on global hot spots of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afán, Isabel; Davis, Lloyd S; Chiaradia, André

    2017-02-01

    Human activities drive environmental changes at scales that could potentially cause ecosystem collapses in the marine environment. We combined information on marine biodiversity with spatial assessments of the impacts of climate change to identify the key areas to prioritize for the conservation of global marine biodiversity. This process identified six marine regions of exceptional biodiversity based on global distributions of 1729 species of fish, 124 marine mammals, and 330 seabirds. Overall, these hot spots of marine biodiversity coincide with areas most severely affected by global warming. In particular, these marine biodiversity hot spots have undergone local to regional increasing water temperatures, slowing current circulation, and decreasing primary productivity. Furthermore, when we overlapped these hot spots with available industrial fishery data, albeit coarser than our estimates of climate impacts, they suggest a worrying coincidence whereby the world's richest areas for marine biodiversity are also those areas mostly affected by both climate change and industrial fishing. In light of these findings, we offer an adaptable framework for determining local to regional areas of special concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity. This has exposed the need for finer-scaled fishery data to assist in the management of global fisheries if the accumulative, but potentially preventable, effect of fishing on climate change impacts is to be minimized within areas prioritized for marine biodiversity conservation.

  15. Climate impacts on global hot spots of marine biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afán, Isabel; Davis, Lloyd S.; Chiaradia, André

    2017-01-01

    Human activities drive environmental changes at scales that could potentially cause ecosystem collapses in the marine environment. We combined information on marine biodiversity with spatial assessments of the impacts of climate change to identify the key areas to prioritize for the conservation of global marine biodiversity. This process identified six marine regions of exceptional biodiversity based on global distributions of 1729 species of fish, 124 marine mammals, and 330 seabirds. Overall, these hot spots of marine biodiversity coincide with areas most severely affected by global warming. In particular, these marine biodiversity hot spots have undergone local to regional increasing water temperatures, slowing current circulation, and decreasing primary productivity. Furthermore, when we overlapped these hot spots with available industrial fishery data, albeit coarser than our estimates of climate impacts, they suggest a worrying coincidence whereby the world’s richest areas for marine biodiversity are also those areas mostly affected by both climate change and industrial fishing. In light of these findings, we offer an adaptable framework for determining local to regional areas of special concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity. This has exposed the need for finer-scaled fishery data to assist in the management of global fisheries if the accumulative, but potentially preventable, effect of fishing on climate change impacts is to be minimized within areas prioritized for marine biodiversity conservation. PMID:28261659

  16. Ocean acidification and its potential effects on marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Guinotte, John M; Fabry, Victoria J

    2008-01-01

    Ocean acidification is rapidly changing the carbonate system of the world oceans. Past mass extinction events have been linked to ocean acidification, and the current rate of change in seawater chemistry is unprecedented. Evidence suggests that these changes will have significant consequences for marine taxa, particularly those that build skeletons, shells, and tests of biogenic calcium carbonate. Potential changes in species distributions and abundances could propagate through multiple trophic levels of marine food webs, though research into the long-term ecosystem impacts of ocean acidification is in its infancy. This review attempts to provide a general synthesis of known and/or hypothesized biological and ecosystem responses to increasing ocean acidification. Marine taxa covered in this review include tropical reef-building corals, cold-water corals, crustose coralline algae, Halimeda, benthic mollusks, echinoderms, coccolithophores, foraminifera, pteropods, seagrasses, jellyfishes, and fishes. The risk of irreversible ecosystem changes due to ocean acidification should enlighten the ongoing CO(2) emissions debate and make it clear that the human dependence on fossil fuels must end quickly. Political will and significant large-scale investment in clean-energy technologies are essential if we are to avoid the most damaging effects of human-induced climate change, including ocean acidification.

  17. Large-scale marine ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Odell, D.K.

    2008-01-01

    Papers in this Special Feature stem from a symposium on large-scale ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals convened at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in June 2006. Major changes are occurring in multiple aspects of the marine environment at unprecedented rates, within the life spans of some individual marine mammals. Drivers of change include shifts in climate, acoustic pollution, disturbances to trophic structure, fisheries interactions, harmful algal blooms, and environmental contaminants. This Special Feature provides an in-depth examination of 3 issues that are particularly troublesome. The 1st article notes the huge spatial and temporal scales of change to which marine mammals are showing ecological responses, and how these species can function as sentinels of such change. The 2nd paper describes the serious problems arising from conflicts with fisheries, and the 3rd contribution reviews the growing issues associated with underwater noise. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.

  18. Terrestrial ecosystem feedbacks to global climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Lashof, D.A.; DeAngelo, B.J.; Saleska, S.R.; Harte, J.

    1997-12-31

    Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are expected to induce changes in global climate that can alter ecosystems in ways that, in turn, may further affect climate. Such climate-ecosystem interactions can generate either positive or negative feedbacks to the climate system, thereby either enhancing or diminishing the magnitude of global climate change. Important terrestrial feedback mechanisms include CO{sub 2} fertilization (negative feedbacks), carbon storage in vegetation and soils (positive and negative feedbacks), vegetation albedo (positive feedbacks), and peatland methane emissions (positive and negative feedbacks). While the processes involved are complex, not readily quantifiable, and demonstrate both positive and negative feedback potential, the authors conclude that the combined effect of the feedback mechanisms reviewed here will likely amplify climate change relative to current projections that have not yet adequately incorporated these mechanisms. 162 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  19. Marine reserves help coastal ecosystems cope with extreme weather.

    PubMed

    Olds, Andrew D; Pitt, Kylie A; Maxwell, Paul S; Babcock, Russell C; Rissik, David; Connolly, Rod M

    2014-10-01

    Natural ecosystems have experienced widespread degradation due to human activities. Consequently, enhancing resilience has become a primary objective for conservation. Nature reserves are a favored management tool, but we need clearer empirical tests of whether they can impart resilience. Catastrophic flooding in early 2011 impacted coastal ecosystems across eastern Australia. We demonstrate that marine reserves enhanced the capacity of coral reefs to withstand flood impacts. Reserve reefs resisted the impact of perturbation, whilst fished reefs did not. Changes on fished reefs were correlated with the magnitude of flood impact, whereas variation on reserve reefs was related to ecological variables. Herbivory and coral recruitment are critical ecological processes that underpin reef resilience, and were greater in reserves and further enhanced on reserve reefs near mangroves. The capacity of reserves to mitigate external disturbances and promote ecological resilience will be critical to resisting an increased frequency of climate-related disturbance.

  20. Decadal-Scale Forecasting of Climate Drivers for Marine Applications.

    PubMed

    Salinger, J; Hobday, A J; Matear, R J; O'Kane, T J; Risbey, J S; Dunstan, P; Eveson, J P; Fulton, E A; Feng, M; Plagányi, É E; Poloczanska, E S; Marshall, A G; Thompson, P A

    Climate influences marine ecosystems on a range of time scales, from weather-scale (days) through to climate-scale (hundreds of years). Understanding of interannual to decadal climate variability and impacts on marine industries has received less attention. Predictability up to 10 years ahead may come from large-scale climate modes in the ocean that can persist over these time scales. In Australia the key drivers of climate variability affecting the marine environment are the Southern Annular Mode, the Indian Ocean Dipole, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, each has phases that are associated with different ocean circulation patterns and regional environmental variables. The roles of these drivers are illustrated with three case studies of extreme events-a marine heatwave in Western Australia, a coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, and flooding in Queensland. Statistical and dynamical approaches are described to generate forecasts of climate drivers that can subsequently be translated to useful information for marine end users making decisions at these time scales. Considerable investment is still needed to support decadal forecasting including improvement of ocean-atmosphere models, enhancement of observing systems on all scales to support initiation of forecasting models, collection of important biological data, and integration of forecasts into decision support tools. Collaboration between forecast developers and marine resource sectors-fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, biodiversity management, infrastructure-is needed to support forecast-based tactical and strategic decisions that reduce environmental risk over annual to decadal time scales.

  1. Climate change, biotic interactions and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Montoya, José M; Raffaelli, Dave

    2010-07-12

    Climate change is real. The wrangling debates are over, and we now need to move onto a predictive ecology that will allow managers of landscapes and policy makers to adapt to the likely changes in biodiversity over the coming decades. There is ample evidence that ecological responses are already occurring at the individual species (population) level. The challenge is how to synthesize the growing list of such observations with a coherent body of theory that will enable us to predict where and when changes will occur, what the consequences might be for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and what we might do practically in order to maintain those systems in as good condition as possible. It is thus necessary to investigate the effects of climate change at the ecosystem level and to consider novel emergent ecosystems composed of new species assemblages arising from differential rates of range shifts of species. Here, we present current knowledge on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services supply, and summarize the papers included in this volume. We discuss how resilient ecosystems are in the face of the multiple components that characterize climate change, and suggest which current ecological theories may be used as a starting point to predict ecosystem-level effects of climate change.

  2. Recent climate extremes alter alpine lake ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Brian R.; Vinebrooke, Rolf D.; Schindler, David W.

    2008-01-01

    Here, we show that alpine lake ecosystems are responsive to interannual variation in climate, based on long-term limnological and meteorological data from the Canadian Rockies. In the 2000s, in years with colder winter temperatures, higher winter snowfall, later snowmelt, shorter ice-free seasons, and dryer summers, relative to the 1990s, alpine lakes became clearer, warmer, and mixed to deeper depths. Further, lakes became more dilute and nutrient-poor, the latter leading to significant declines in total phytoplankton biomass. However, increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon in lake water stimulated the appearance of small mixotrophic algal species, partially offsetting the decline in autotrophic phytoplankton biomass and increasing algal species richness. The climate regime in the 2000s altered the physical, chemical, and biological character and the function of high-elevation aquatic ecosystems. Forecasts of increased climatic variability in the future pose serious ramifications for both the biodiversity and ecosystem function of high-elevation lakes. PMID:18725641

  3. How Does Climate Change Affect the Bering Sea Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Harvey, H. Rodger; Ashjian, Carin J.; Lomas, Michael W.; Napp, Jeffrey M.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Van Pelt, Thomas I.

    2010-11-01

    The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, sustaining nearly half of U.S. annual commercial fish catches and providing food and cultural value to thousands of coastal and island residents. Fish and crab are abundant in the Bering Sea; whales, seals, and seabirds migrate there every year. In winter, the topography, latitude, atmosphere, and ocean circulation combine to produce a sea ice advance in the Bering Sea unmatched elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and in spring the retreating ice; longer daylight hours; and nutrient-rich, deep-ocean waters forced up onto the broad continental shelf result in intense marine productivity (Figure 1). This seasonal ice cover is a major driver of Bering Sea ecology, making this ecosystem particularly sensitive to changes in climate. Predicted changes in ice cover in the coming decades have intensified concern about the future of this economically and culturally important region. In response, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) entered into a partnership in 2007 to support the Bering Sea Project, a comprehensive $52 million investigation to understand how climate change is affecting the Bering Sea ecosystem, ranging from lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton) to fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and, ultimately, humans. The project integrates two research programs, the NSF Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the NPRB Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP), with substantial in-kind contributions from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  4. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological‐Social Concepts

    PubMed Central

    Abelson, Avigdor; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Reed, Daniel C.; Orth, Robert J.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Beck, Michael W.; Belmaker, Jonathan; Krause, Gesche; Edgar, Graham J.; Airoldi, Laura; Brokovich, Eran; France, Robert; Shashar, Nadav; de Blaeij, Arianne; Stambler, Noga; Salameh, Pierre; Shechter, Mordechai; Nelson, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social–ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success. PMID:26977115

  5. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological-Social Concepts.

    PubMed

    Abelson, Avigdor; Halpern, Benjamin S; Reed, Daniel C; Orth, Robert J; Kendrick, Gary A; Beck, Michael W; Belmaker, Jonathan; Krause, Gesche; Edgar, Graham J; Airoldi, Laura; Brokovich, Eran; France, Robert; Shashar, Nadav; de Blaeij, Arianne; Stambler, Noga; Salameh, Pierre; Shechter, Mordechai; Nelson, Peter A

    2016-02-01

    Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social-ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success.

  6. Slowing down of North Pacific climate variability and its implications for abrupt ecosystem change.

    PubMed

    Boulton, Chris A; Lenton, Timothy M

    2015-09-15

    Marine ecosystems are sensitive to stochastic environmental variability, with higher-amplitude, lower-frequency--i.e., "redder"--variability posing a greater threat of triggering large ecosystem changes. Here we show that fluctuations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index have slowed down markedly over the observational record (1900-present), as indicated by a robust increase in autocorrelation. This "reddening" of the spectrum of climate variability is also found in regionally averaged North Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and can be at least partly explained by observed deepening of the ocean mixed layer. The progressive reddening of North Pacific climate variability has important implications for marine ecosystems. Ecosystem variables that respond linearly to climate forcing will have become prone to much larger variations over the observational record, whereas ecosystem variables that respond nonlinearly to climate forcing will have become prone to more frequent "regime shifts." Thus, slowing down of North Pacific climate variability can help explain the large magnitude and potentially the quick succession of well-known abrupt changes in North Pacific ecosystems in 1977 and 1989. When looking ahead, despite model limitations in simulating mixed layer depth (MLD) in the North Pacific, global warming is robustly expected to decrease MLD. This could potentially reverse the observed trend of slowing down of North Pacific climate variability and its effects on marine ecosystems.

  7. Major pathways by which climate may force marine fish populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ottersen, Geir; Kim, Suam; Huse, Geir; Polovina, Jeffrey J.; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2010-02-01

    Climate may affect marine fish populations through many different pathways, operating at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Climate impacts may work their way bottom up through the food web or affect higher trophic levels more directly. In this review we try to disentangle and summarize some of the current knowledge made available through the rapidly increasing literature on the topic, with particular emphasis on the work within the Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (GLOBEC) programme. We first consider different classification schemes and hypotheses relating climate through physical features of the ocean to population patterns. The response of a population or community to climate may be linear or non-linear, direct or indirect. The hypotheses may be classified according to the form of physical features in operation as being related to mixing, advection or temperature. The bulk of the paper is devoted to a region-by-region presentation and discussion of examples relating climate variability to marine fish populations. It is slanted towards the North Atlantic and North Pacific, but the tropical Pacific is also covered. By means of different categorization methods we compare climate responses between ecosystems. We conclude that the use of such classification schemes allows for a more precise description of the various ecosystems particular properties and facilitates inter-regional comparison.

  8. An Integrated Multivariable Visualization Tool for Marine Sanctuary Climate Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shein, K. A.; Johnston, S.; Stachniewicz, J.; Duncan, B.; Cecil, D.; Ansari, S.; Urzen, M.

    2012-12-01

    The comprehensive development and use of ecological climate impact assessments by ecosystem managers can be limited by data access and visualization methods that require a priori knowledge about the various large and complex climate data products necessary to those impact assessments. In addition, it can be difficult to geographically and temporally integrate climate and ecological data to fully characterize climate-driven ecological impacts. To address these considerations, we have enhanced and extended the functionality of the NOAA National Climatic Data Center's Weather and Climate Toolkit (WCT). The WCT is a freely available Java-based tool designed to access and display NCDC's georeferenced climate data products (e.g., satellite, radar, and reanalysis gridded data). However, the WCT requires users already know how to obtain the data products, which products are preferred for a given variable, and which products are most relevant to their needs. Developed in cooperation with research and management customers at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the Integrated Marine Protected Area Climate Tools (IMPACT) modification to the WCT simplifies or eliminates these requirements, while simultaneously adding core analytical functionality to the tool. Designed for use by marine ecosystem managers, WCT-IMPACT accesses a suite of data products that have been identified as relevant to marine ecosystem climate impact assessments, such as NOAA's Climate Data Records. WCT-IMPACT regularly crops these products to the geographic boundaries of each included marine protected area (MPA), and those clipped regions are processed to produce MPA-specific analytics. The tool retrieves the most appropriate data files based on the user selection of MPA, environmental variable(s), and time frame. Once the data are loaded, they may be visualized, explored, analyzed, and exported to other formats (e.g., Google KML). Multiple variables may be simultaneously visualized using

  9. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soreide, N. N.; Overland, J. E.; Calder, J. A.; Rodionov, S.

    2005-12-01

    There is an explosion of interest in Northern Hemisphere climate, highlighting the importance of recent changes in the Arctic on mid-latitude climate and its impact on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Traditional sea ice and tundra dominated arctic ecosystems are being reorganizing into warmer sub-arctic ecosystem types. Over the previous two years we have developed a comprehensive, near real-time arctic change detection protocol to track physical and biological changes for presentation on the web: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect. The effort provides a continuous update to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) Report, released in November 2004. Principles for the protocol include an accessible narrative style, scientifically credible and objective indicators, notes multiple uses for the information, acknowledges uncertainties, and balances having too many indicators-which leads to information overload-and too few-which does not capture the complexity of the system. Screening criteria include concreteness, public awareness, being understandable, availability of historical time series, and sensitivity. The site provides sufficient information for an individual to make their own assessment regarding the balance of the evidence for tracking change. The product provides an overview, recent news, links to many arctic websites, and highlights climate, global impacts, land and marine ecosystems, and human consequences. Since its inception a year ago, it has averaged about 9000 hits an day on the web, and is a major information source as determined by Google search. The future direction focuses on understanding the causes for change. In spring 2005 we also presented a near real-time ecological and climatic surveillance website for the Bering Sea: www.beringclimate.noaa.gov. The site provides up-to-date information which ties northward shifts of fish, invertebrate and marine mammal populations to physical changes in the Arctic. This site is more technical than the

  10. The influence of terrestrial ecosystems on climate.

    PubMed

    Meir, Patrick; Cox, Peter; Grace, John

    2006-05-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems influence climate by affecting how much solar energy is absorbed by the land surface and by exchanging climatically important gases with the atmosphere. Recent model analyses show widespread qualitative agreement that terrestrial ecological processes will have a net positive feedback effect on 21st-century global warming, and, therefore, cannot be ignored in climate-change projections. However, the quantitative uncertainty in the net feedback is large. The uncertainty in 21st-century carbon dioxide emissions resulting from terrestrial carbon cycle-climate feedbacks is second in magnitude only to the uncertainty in anthropogenic emissions. We estimate that this translates into an uncertainty in global warming owing to the land surface of 1.5 degrees C by 2100. We also emphasise the need to improve our understanding of terrestrial ecological processes that influence land-atmosphere interactions at relatively long timescales (decadal-century) as well as at shorter intervals (e.g. hourly).

  11. Evidence That Marine Reserves Enhance Resilience to Climatic Impacts

    PubMed Central

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Saenz-Arroyo, Andrea; Greenley, Ashley; Vazquez, Leonardo; Espinoza Montes, Jose Antonio; Rossetto, Marisa; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2012-01-01

    Establishment of marine protected areas, including fully protected marine reserves, is one of the few management tools available for local communities to combat the deleterious effect of large scale environmental impacts, including global climate change, on ocean ecosystems. Despite the common hope that reserves play this role, empirical evidence of the effectiveness of local protection against global problems is lacking. Here we show that marine reserves increase the resilience of marine populations to a mass mortality event possibly caused by climate-driven hypoxia. Despite high and widespread adult mortality of benthic invertebrates in Baja California, Mexico, that affected populations both within and outside marine reserves, juvenile replenishment of the species that supports local economies, the pink abalone Haliotis corrugata, remained stable within reserves because of large body size and high egg production of the protected adults. Thus, local protection provided resilience through greater resistance and faster recovery of protected populations. Moreover, this benefit extended to adjacent unprotected areas through larval spillover across the edges of the reserves. While climate change mitigation is being debated, coastal communities have few tools to slow down negative impacts of global environmental shifts. These results show that marine protected areas can provide such protection. PMID:22855690

  12. Evidence that marine reserves enhance resilience to climatic impacts.

    PubMed

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Saenz-Arroyo, Andrea; Greenley, Ashley; Vazquez, Leonardo; Espinoza Montes, Jose Antonio; Rossetto, Marisa; De Leo, Giulio A

    2012-01-01

    Establishment of marine protected areas, including fully protected marine reserves, is one of the few management tools available for local communities to combat the deleterious effect of large scale environmental impacts, including global climate change, on ocean ecosystems. Despite the common hope that reserves play this role, empirical evidence of the effectiveness of local protection against global problems is lacking. Here we show that marine reserves increase the resilience of marine populations to a mass mortality event possibly caused by climate-driven hypoxia. Despite high and widespread adult mortality of benthic invertebrates in Baja California, Mexico, that affected populations both within and outside marine reserves, juvenile replenishment of the species that supports local economies, the pink abalone Haliotis corrugata, remained stable within reserves because of large body size and high egg production of the protected adults. Thus, local protection provided resilience through greater resistance and faster recovery of protected populations. Moreover, this benefit extended to adjacent unprotected areas through larval spillover across the edges of the reserves. While climate change mitigation is being debated, coastal communities have few tools to slow down negative impacts of global environmental shifts. These results show that marine protected areas can provide such protection.

  13. Causes and projections of abrupt climate-driven ecosystem shifts in the North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Beaugrand, Grégory; Edwards, Martin; Brander, Keith; Luczak, Christophe; Ibanez, Frederic

    2008-11-01

    Warming of the global climate is now unequivocal and its impact on Earth' functional units has become more apparent. Here, we show that marine ecosystems are not equally sensitive to climate change and reveal a critical thermal boundary where a small increase in temperature triggers abrupt ecosystem shifts seen across multiple trophic levels. This large-scale boundary is located in regions where abrupt ecosystem shifts have been reported in the North Atlantic sector and thereby allows us to link these shifts by a global common phenomenon. We show that these changes alter the biodiversity and carrying capacity of ecosystems and may, combined with fishing, precipitate the reduction of some stocks of Atlantic cod already severely impacted by exploitation. These findings offer a way to anticipate major ecosystem changes and to propose adaptive strategies for marine exploited resources such as cod in order to minimize social and economic consequences.

  14. Climate and fishing steer ecosystem regeneration to uncertain economic futures

    PubMed Central

    Blenckner, Thorsten; Llope, Marcos; Möllmann, Christian; Voss, Rudi; Quaas, Martin F.; Casini, Michele; Lindegren, Martin; Folke, Carl; Chr. Stenseth, Nils

    2015-01-01

    Overfishing of large predatory fish populations has resulted in lasting restructurings of entire marine food webs worldwide, with serious socio-economic consequences. Fortunately, some degraded ecosystems show signs of recovery. A key challenge for ecosystem management is to anticipate the degree to which recovery is possible. By applying a statistical food-web model, using the Baltic Sea as a case study, we show that under current temperature and salinity conditions, complete recovery of this heavily altered ecosystem will be impossible. Instead, the ecosystem regenerates towards a new ecological baseline. This new baseline is characterized by lower and more variable biomass of cod, the commercially most important fish stock in the Baltic Sea, even under very low exploitation pressure. Furthermore, a socio-economic assessment shows that this signal is amplified at the level of societal costs, owing to increased uncertainty in biomass and reduced consumer surplus. Specifically, the combined economic losses amount to approximately 120 million € per year, which equals half of today's maximum economic yield for the Baltic cod fishery. Our analyses suggest that shifts in ecological and economic baselines can lead to higher economic uncertainty and costs for exploited ecosystems, in particular, under climate change. PMID:25694626

  15. Climate and fishing steer ecosystem regeneration to uncertain economic futures.

    PubMed

    Blenckner, Thorsten; Llope, Marcos; Möllmann, Christian; Voss, Rudi; Quaas, Martin F; Casini, Michele; Lindegren, Martin; Folke, Carl; Chr Stenseth, Nils

    2015-03-22

    Overfishing of large predatory fish populations has resulted in lasting restructurings of entire marine food webs worldwide, with serious socio-economic consequences. Fortunately, some degraded ecosystems show signs of recovery. A key challenge for ecosystem management is to anticipate the degree to which recovery is possible. By applying a statistical food-web model, using the Baltic Sea as a case study, we show that under current temperature and salinity conditions, complete recovery of this heavily altered ecosystem will be impossible. Instead, the ecosystem regenerates towards a new ecological baseline. This new baseline is characterized by lower and more variable biomass of cod, the commercially most important fish stock in the Baltic Sea, even under very low exploitation pressure. Furthermore, a socio-economic assessment shows that this signal is amplified at the level of societal costs, owing to increased uncertainty in biomass and reduced consumer surplus. Specifically, the combined economic losses amount to approximately 120 million € per year, which equals half of today's maximum economic yield for the Baltic cod fishery. Our analyses suggest that shifts in ecological and economic baselines can lead to higher economic uncertainty and costs for exploited ecosystems, in particular, under climate change.

  16. Draft Genome Sequences of Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Isolated from Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, James D.; Hirayama, Hisako; Sakai, Yasuyoshi; Dunfield, Peter F.; Knief, Claudia; Op den Camp, Huub J. M.; Jetten, Mike S. M.; Khmelenina, Valentina N.; Trotsenko, Yuri A.; Murrell, J. Colin; Semrau, Jeremy D.; Svenning, Mette M.; Stein, Lisa Y.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Shapiro, Nicole; Woyke, Tanja; Bringel, Françoise; Vuilleumier, Stéphane; DiSpirito, Alan A.

    2016-01-01

    The genome sequences of Methylobacter marinus A45, Methylobacter sp. strain BBA5.1, and Methylomarinum vadi IT-4 were obtained. These aerobic methanotrophs are typical members of coastal and hydrothermal vent marine ecosystems. PMID:26798114

  17. Influence of Sea Ice on Arctic Marine Sulfur Biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model

    SciTech Connect

    Deal, Clara; Jin, Meibing

    2013-06-30

    Global climate models (GCMs) have not effectively considered how responses of arctic marine ecosystems to a warming climate will influence the global climate system. A key response of arctic marine ecosystems that may substantially influence energy exchange in the Arctic is a change in dimethylsulfide (DMS) emissions, because DMS emissions influence cloud albedo. This response is closely tied to sea ice through its impacts on marine ecosystem carbon and sulfur cycling, and the ice-albedo feedback implicated in accelerated arctic warming. To reduce the uncertainty in predictions from coupled climate simulations, important model components of the climate system, such as feedbacks between arctic marine biogeochemistry and climate, need to be reasonably and realistically modeled. This research first involved model development to improve the representation of marine sulfur biogeochemistry simulations to understand/diagnose the control of sea-ice-related processes on the variability of DMS dynamics. This study will help build GCM predictions that quantify the relative current and possible future influences of arctic marine ecosystems on the global climate system. Our overall research objective was to improve arctic marine biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM, now CESM). Working closely with the Climate Ocean Sea Ice Model (COSIM) team at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), we added 1 sea-ice algae and arctic DMS production and related biogeochemistry to the global Parallel Ocean Program model (POP) coupled to the LANL sea ice model (CICE). Both CICE and POP are core components of CESM. Our specific research objectives were: 1) Develop a state-of-the-art ice-ocean DMS model for application in climate models, using observations to constrain the most crucial parameters; 2) Improve the global marine sulfur model used in CESM by including DMS biogeochemistry in the Arctic; and 3) Assess how sea ice influences DMS dynamics in the arctic marine

  18. Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response.

    PubMed

    Doran, Peter T; Priscu, John C; Lyons, W Berry; Walsh, John E; Fountain, Andrew G; McKnight, Diane M; Moorhead, Daryl L; Virginia, Ross A; Wall, Diana H; Clow, Gary D; Fritsen, Christian H; McKay, Christopher P; Parsons, Andrew N

    2002-01-31

    The average air temperature at the Earth's surface has increased by 0.06 degrees C per decade during the 20th century, and by 0.19 degrees C per decade from 1979 to 1998. Climate models generally predict amplified warming in polar regions, as observed in Antarctica's peninsula region over the second half of the 20th century. Although previous reports suggest slight recent continental warming, our spatial analysis of Antarctic meteorological data demonstrates a net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000, particularly during summer and autumn. The McMurdo Dry Valleys have cooled by 0.7 degrees C per decade between 1986 and 2000, with similar pronounced seasonal trends. Summer cooling is particularly important to Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems that are poised at the interface of ice and water. Here we present data from the dry valleys representing evidence of rapid terrestrial ecosystem response to climate cooling in Antarctica, including decreased primary productivity of lakes (6-9% per year) and declining numbers of soil invertebrates (more than 10% per year). Continental Antarctic cooling, especially the seasonality of cooling, poses challenges to models of climate and ecosystem change.

  19. Integration of Biogeochemistry and Marine Ecosystem Model in Mercator-Ocean Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Moussaoui, Abdelali; Dombrowsky, Eric; Moulin, Cyril; Bopp, Laurent; Aumont, Olivier

    2010-05-01

    Accounting for ocean biogeochemistry and marine ecosystem dynamic is of strong interest in the context of Earth System modelling to better represent the marine component to the global atmospheric cycle of greenhouse gazes that influence climate as CO2. Furthermore, treating the ocean as a whole is also the way to address large anthropogenic impacts on marine systems as climate change, nutrients loading, acidification, and eventually overfishing and habitat destructuring. To forecast how interactions between marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems respond to and force global change, several efforts have been promoted on biogeochemical integration into operational Mercator Ocean systems. The aim of this work is to implement a marine biogeochemical and ecosystem component at global scale into the MERCATOR operational system, using first PSY3 analysis at 1/4° then PSY4 at 1/12°. Previous works have conducted successfully the integration of a multi-nutrient and multi-plankton biogeochemical model (PISCES, N5P2Z2D2 type) into MERCATOR system. This allowed the use of MERCATOR operational analyses to drive near real time forecast of marine primary production. Results will be shown and advances on biogeochemical model integration within Mercator Systems will be discussed.

  20. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mieszkowska, N; Sugden, H; Firth, L B; Hawkins, S J

    2014-09-28

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment.

  1. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mieszkowska, N.; Sugden, H.; Firth, L. B.; Hawkins, S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. PMID:25157190

  2. Cumulative Human Impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea Marine Ecosystems: Assessing Current Pressures and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Walbridge, Shaun; Ciriaco, Saul; Ferretti, Francesco; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Lewison, Rebecca; Nykjaer, Leo; Rosenberg, Andrew A.

    2013-01-01

    Management of marine ecosystems requires spatial information on current impacts. In several marine regions, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, legal mandates and agreements to implement ecosystem-based management and spatial plans provide new opportunities to balance uses and protection of marine ecosystems. Analyses of the intensity and distribution of cumulative impacts of human activities directly connected to the ecological goals of these policy efforts are critically needed. Quantification and mapping of the cumulative impact of 22 drivers to 17 marine ecosystems reveals that 20% of the entire basin and 60–99% of the territorial waters of EU member states are heavily impacted, with high human impact occurring in all ecoregions and territorial waters. Less than 1% of these regions are relatively unaffected. This high impact results from multiple drivers, rather than one individual use or stressor, with climatic drivers (increasing temperature and UV, and acidification), demersal fishing, ship traffic, and, in coastal areas, pollution from land accounting for a majority of cumulative impacts. These results show that coordinated management of key areas and activities could significantly improve the condition of these marine ecosystems. PMID:24324585

  3. Marine mammals' influence on ecosystem processes affecting fisheries in the Barents Sea is trivial

    PubMed Central

    Corkeron, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    Some interpretations of ecosystem-based fishery management include culling marine mammals as an integral component. The current Norwegian policy on marine mammal management is one example. Scientific support for this policy includes the Scenario Barents Sea (SBS) models. These modelled interactions between cod, Gadus morhua, herring, Clupea harengus, capelin, Mallotus villosus and northern minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Adding harp seals Phoca groenlandica into this top-down modelling approach resulted in unrealistic model outputs. Another set of models of the Barents Sea fish–fisheries system focused on interactions within and between the three fish populations, fisheries and climate. These model key processes of the system successfully. Continuing calls to support the SBS models despite their failure suggest a belief that marine mammal predation must be a problem for fisheries. The best available scientific evidence provides no justification for marine mammal culls as a primary component of an ecosystem-based approach to managing the fisheries of the Barents Sea. PMID:19126534

  4. Marine mammals' influence on ecosystem processes affecting fisheries in the Barents Sea is trivial.

    PubMed

    Corkeron, Peter J

    2009-04-23

    Some interpretations of ecosystem-based fishery management include culling marine mammals as an integral component. The current Norwegian policy on marine mammal management is one example. Scientific support for this policy includes the Scenario Barents Sea (SBS) models. These modelled interactions between cod, Gadus morhua, herring, Clupea harengus, capelin, Mallotus villosus and northern minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Adding harp seals Phoca groenlandica into this top-down modelling approach resulted in unrealistic model outputs. Another set of models of the Barents Sea fish-fisheries system focused on interactions within and between the three fish populations, fisheries and climate. These model key processes of the system successfully. Continuing calls to support the SBS models despite their failure suggest a belief that marine mammal predation must be a problem for fisheries. The best available scientific evidence provides no justification for marine mammal culls as a primary component of an ecosystem-based approach to managing the fisheries of the Barents Sea.

  5. Transnational Corporations as ‘Keystone Actors’ in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems. PMID:26017777

  6. Transnational corporations as 'keystone actors' in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems.

  7. Shifting seasons, climate change and ecosystem consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thackeray, Stephen; Henrys, Peter; Hemming, Deborah; Huntingford, Chris; Bell, James; Leech, David; Wanless, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    In recent decades, the seasonal timing of many biological events (e.g. flowering, breeding, migration) has shifted. These phenological changes are believed to be one of the most conspicuous biological indicators of climate change. Rates and directions of phenological change have differed markedly among species, potentially threatening the seasonal synchrony of key species interactions and ultimately ecosystem functioning. Differences in phenological change among-species at different trophic levels, and with respect to other broad species traits, are likely to be driven by variations in the climatic sensitivity of phenological events. However, as yet, inconsistencies in analytical methods have hampered broad-scale assessments of variation in climate sensitivity among taxonomic and functional groups of organisms. In this presentation, results will be presented from a current collaborative project (http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sci_programmes/shifting-seasons-uk.html) in which many UK long-term data sets are being integrated in order to assess relationships between temperature/precipitation, and the timing of seasonal events for a wide range of plants and animals. Our aim is to assess which organism groups (in which locations/habitats) are most sensitive to climate. Furthermore, the role of anthropogenic climate change as a driver of phenological change is being assessed.

  8. The impacts of climate change in coastal marine systems.

    PubMed

    Harley, Christopher D G; Randall Hughes, A; Hultgren, Kristin M; Miner, Benjamin G; Sorte, Cascade J B; Thornber, Carol S; Rodriguez, Laura F; Tomanek, Lars; Williams, Susan L

    2006-02-01

    Anthropogenically induced global climate change has profound implications for marine ecosystems and the economic and social systems that depend upon them. The relationship between temperature and individual performance is reasonably well understood, and much climate-related research has focused on potential shifts in distribution and abundance driven directly by temperature. However, recent work has revealed that both abiotic changes and biological responses in the ocean will be substantially more complex. For example, changes in ocean chemistry may be more important than changes in temperature for the performance and survival of many organisms. Ocean circulation, which drives larval transport, will also change, with important consequences for population dynamics. Furthermore, climatic impacts on one or a few 'leverage species' may result in sweeping community-level changes. Finally, synergistic effects between climate and other anthropogenic variables, particularly fishing pressure, will likely exacerbate climate-induced changes. Efforts to manage and conserve living marine systems in the face of climate change will require improvements to the existing predictive framework. Key directions for future research include identifying key demographic transitions that influence population dynamics, predicting changes in the community-level impacts of ecologically dominant species, incorporating populations' ability to evolve (adapt), and understanding the scales over which climate will change and living systems will respond.

  9. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against extreme climate events, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Although early results suggested that biodiversity might provide both resistance and resilience (sensu rapid recovery) of ecosystem productivity to drought, ...

  10. Marine taxa track local climate velocities.

    PubMed

    Pinsky, Malin L; Worm, Boris; Fogarty, Michael J; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Levin, Simon A

    2013-09-13

    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.

  11. A review of climate-driven mismatches between interdependent phenophases in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Alison; Caffarra, Amelia; O'Neill, Bridget F

    2011-11-01

    Mismatches in phenology between mutually dependent species, resulting from climate change, can have far-reaching consequences throughout an ecosystem at both higher and lower trophic levels. Rising temperatures, due to climate warming, have resulted in advances in development and changes in behaviour of many organisms around the world. However, not all species or phenophases are responding to this increase in temperature at the same rate, thus creating a disruption to previously synchronised interdependent key life-cycle stages. Mismatches have been reported between plants and pollinators, predators and prey, and pests and hosts. Here, we review mismatches between interdependent phenophases at different trophic levels resulting from climate change. We categorized the studies into (1) terrestrial (natural and agricultural) ecosystems, and (2) aquatic (freshwater and marine) ecosystems. As expected, we found reports of 'winners' and 'losers' in each system, such as earlier emergence of prey enabling partial avoidance of predators, potential reductions in crop yield if herbivore pests emerge before their predators and possible declines in marine biodiversity due to disruption in plankton-fish phenologies. Furthermore, in the marine environment rising temperatures have resulted in synchrony in a previously mismatched prey and predator system, resulting in an abrupt population decline in the prey species. The examples reviewed suggest that more research into the complex interactions between species in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is necessary to make conclusive predictions of how climate warming may impact the fragile balances within ecosystems in future.

  12. Interactive effects of global climate change and pollution on marine microbes: the way ahead

    PubMed Central

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Santos, Ana L; Coimbra, Joana; Almeida, Adelaide; Cunha, Ângela; Cleary, Daniel F R; Calado, Ricardo; Gomes, Newton C M

    2013-01-01

    Global climate change has the potential to seriously and adversely affect marine ecosystem functioning. Numerous experimental and modeling studies have demonstrated how predicted ocean acidification and increased ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can affect marine microbes. However, researchers have largely ignored interactions between ocean acidification, increased UVR and anthropogenic pollutants in marine environments. Such interactions can alter chemical speciation and the bioavailability of several organic and inorganic pollutants with potentially deleterious effects, such as modifying microbial-mediated detoxification processes. Microbes mediate major biogeochemical cycles, providing fundamental ecosystems services such as environmental detoxification and recovery. It is, therefore, important that we understand how predicted changes to oceanic pH, UVR, and temperature will affect microbial pollutant detoxification processes in marine ecosystems. The intrinsic characteristics of microbes, such as their short generation time, small size, and functional role in biogeochemical cycles combined with recent advances in molecular techniques (e.g., metagenomics and metatranscriptomics) make microbes excellent models to evaluate the consequences of various climate change scenarios on detoxification processes in marine ecosystems. In this review, we highlight the importance of microbial microcosm experiments, coupled with high-resolution molecular biology techniques, to provide a critical experimental framework to start understanding how climate change, anthropogenic pollution, and microbiological interactions may affect marine ecosystems in the future. PMID:23789087

  13. Interactive effects of global climate change and pollution on marine microbes: the way ahead.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Santos, Ana L; Coimbra, Joana; Almeida, Adelaide; Cunha, Angela; Cleary, Daniel F R; Calado, Ricardo; Gomes, Newton C M

    2013-06-01

    Global climate change has the potential to seriously and adversely affect marine ecosystem functioning. Numerous experimental and modeling studies have demonstrated how predicted ocean acidification and increased ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can affect marine microbes. However, researchers have largely ignored interactions between ocean acidification, increased UVR and anthropogenic pollutants in marine environments. Such interactions can alter chemical speciation and the bioavailability of several organic and inorganic pollutants with potentially deleterious effects, such as modifying microbial-mediated detoxification processes. Microbes mediate major biogeochemical cycles, providing fundamental ecosystems services such as environmental detoxification and recovery. It is, therefore, important that we understand how predicted changes to oceanic pH, UVR, and temperature will affect microbial pollutant detoxification processes in marine ecosystems. The intrinsic characteristics of microbes, such as their short generation time, small size, and functional role in biogeochemical cycles combined with recent advances in molecular techniques (e.g., metagenomics and metatranscriptomics) make microbes excellent models to evaluate the consequences of various climate change scenarios on detoxification processes in marine ecosystems. In this review, we highlight the importance of microbial microcosm experiments, coupled with high-resolution molecular biology techniques, to provide a critical experimental framework to start understanding how climate change, anthropogenic pollution, and microbiological interactions may affect marine ecosystems in the future.

  14. [Effects of fishing on the marine ecosystem of Beibu Gulf].

    PubMed

    Chen, Zuo-Zhi; Qiu, Yong-Song; Jia, Xiao-Ping; Zhong, Zhi-Hui

    2008-07-01

    By using Ecopath with Ecosim 5.1 software, the Ecosim model of Beibu Gulf marine ecosystem in 1959-1960 was constructed, which included about 20 functional groups such as fishery, marine mammals, sea-birds, sharks, pelagic fishes, demersal fishes, and benthic crustaceans, etc. Through the comparison with the investigation data in 1997-1999, the effects of fishing on the structure and function of Beibu Gulf marine ecosystem were analyzed. The results indicated that with the increasing fishing pressure in past forty years, the ecosystem structure and function shifted drastically, with the biomass of long-lived, high trophic level and piscivorous fishes declined while short-lived and small fishes and benthic invertebrates dominated gradually. The biomass of piscivorous species in 1999 was only 6% of that in 1960, while cephalopods increased 2.7 times or more. The trophic level of the catch declined from 3.2 in 1960 to 2.98 in 1999, which fitted the rule of "fishing down the food web" and suggested that the present exploitation patterns were unsustainable. Based on the data of the 1990s, the changes of the ecosystem under decreasing fishing pressure were predicted. This study validated the feasibility of Ecosim model in predicting the effects of fishing pressure on marine ecosystem.

  15. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  16. Conservation of Arctic marine mammals faced with climate change.

    PubMed

    Ragen, Timothy J; Huntington, Henry P; Hovelsrud, Grete K

    2008-03-01

    On a daily basis, societies are making decisions that will influence the effects of climate change for decades or even centuries to come. To promote informed management of the associated risks, we review available conservation measures for Arctic marine mammals, a group that includes some of the most charismatic species on earth. The majority of available conservation measures (e.g., restrictions on hunting, protection of essential habitat areas from development, reduction of incidental take) are intended to address the effects of increasing human activity in the Arctic that are likely to follow decreasing sea ice and rising temperatures. As important as those measures will be in the effort to conserve Arctic marine mammals and ecosystems, they will not address the primary physical manifestations of climate change, such as loss of sea ice. Short of actions to prevent climate change, there are no known conservation measures that can be used to ensure the long-term persistence of these species and ecosystems as we know them today.

  17. Marine mycoflora in backwater ecosystem of Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Nambiar, Gayatri R; Raveendran, K

    2009-09-01

    Back water system of Kerala is well known for its fertility. Fungi play a vital role in detritus decomposition, nutrient cycling and energy flow in marine food web including backwater ecosystem. Present investigation on the diversity of marine fungi from two back waters of Kerala resulted in the isolation of 20 marine fungi. These include 11 Ascomycetes, 1 Basidiomycete and 8 Mitosporic fungi. In terms of percent frequency of occurrence the most common species obtained were Aniptodera chesapeakensis, Verruculina enalia, Savoryella lignicola and Clavatospora bulbosa. Ascochyta sp. was represented by only a single isolate.

  18. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    With growing environmental pressures placed on our marine habitats there is concern that the prevalence and severity of diseases affecting marine organisms will increase. Yet relative to terrestrial systems, we know little about the underlying causes of many of these diseases. Moreover, factors such as saprophytic colonizers and a lack of baseline data on healthy individuals make it difficult to accurately assess the role of specific microbial pathogens in disease states. Emerging evidence in the field of medicine suggests that a growing number of human diseases result from a microbiome imbalance (or dysbiosis), questioning the traditional view of a singular pathogenic agent. Here we discuss the possibility that many diseases seen in marine systems are, similarly, the result of microbial dysbiosis and the rise of opportunistic or polymicrobial infections. Thus, understanding and managing disease in the future will require us to also rethink definitions of disease and pathogenesis for marine systems. We suggest that a targeted, multidisciplinary approach that addresses the questions of microbial symbiosis in both healthy and diseased states, and at that the level of the holobiont, will be key to progress in this area. PMID:27446031

  19. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    With growing environmental pressures placed on our marine habitats there is concern that the prevalence and severity of diseases affecting marine organisms will increase. Yet relative to terrestrial systems, we know little about the underlying causes of many of these diseases. Moreover, factors such as saprophytic colonizers and a lack of baseline data on healthy individuals make it difficult to accurately assess the role of specific microbial pathogens in disease states. Emerging evidence in the field of medicine suggests that a growing number of human diseases result from a microbiome imbalance (or dysbiosis), questioning the traditional view of a singular pathogenic agent. Here we discuss the possibility that many diseases seen in marine systems are, similarly, the result of microbial dysbiosis and the rise of opportunistic or polymicrobial infections. Thus, understanding and managing disease in the future will require us to also rethink definitions of disease and pathogenesis for marine systems. We suggest that a targeted, multidisciplinary approach that addresses the questions of microbial symbiosis in both healthy and diseased states, and at that the level of the holobiont, will be key to progress in this area.

  20. Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Considerations for ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Freshwater habitats provide fishable, swimmable and drinkable resources and are a nexus of geophysical and biological processes. These processes in turn influence the persistence and sustainability of populations, communities and ecosystems. Climate change and landuse change encompass numerous stressors of potential exposure, including the introduction of toxic contaminants, invasive species, and disease in addition to physical drivers such as temperature and hydrologic regime. A systems approach that includes the scientific and technologic basis of assessing the health of ecosystems is needed to effectively protect human health and the environment. The Integrated Environmental Modeling Framework “iemWatersheds” has been developed as a consistent and coherent means of forecasting the cumulative impact of co-occurring stressors. The Framework consists of three facilitating technologies: Data for Environmental Modeling (D4EM) that automates the collection and standardization of input data; the Framework for Risk Assessment of Multimedia Environmental Systems (FRAMES) that manages the flow of information between linked models; and the Supercomputer for Model Uncertainty and Sensitivity Evaluation (SuperMUSE) that provides post-processing and analysis of model outputs, including uncertainty and sensitivity analysis. Five models are linked within the Framework to provide multimedia simulation capabilities for hydrology and water quality processes: the Soil Water

  1. Climate change, marine environments, and the US Endangered species act.

    PubMed

    Seney, Erin E; Rowland, Melanie J; Lowery, Ruth Ann; Griffis, Roger B; McClure, Michelle M

    2013-12-01

    Climate change is expected to be a top driver of global biodiversity loss in the 21st century. It poses new challenges to conserving and managing imperiled species, particularly in marine and estuarine ecosystems. The use of climate-related science in statutorily driven species management, such as under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), is in its early stages. This article provides an overview of ESA processes, with emphasis on the mandate to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to manage listed marine, estuarine, and anadromous species. Although the ESA is specific to the United States, its requirements are broadly relevant to conservation planning. Under the ESA, species, subspecies, and "distinct population segments" may be listed as either endangered or threatened, and taking of most listed species (harassing, harming, pursuing, wounding, killing, or capturing) is prohibited unless specifically authorized via a case-by-case permit process. Government agencies, in addition to avoiding take, must ensure that actions they fund, authorize, or conduct are not likely to jeopardize a listed species' continued existence or adversely affect designated critical habitat. Decisions for which climate change is likely to be a key factor include: determining whether a species should be listed under the ESA, designating critical habitat areas, developing species recovery plans, and predicting whether effects of proposed human activities will be compatible with ESA-listed species' survival and recovery. Scientific analyses that underlie these critical conservation decisions include risk assessment, long-term recovery planning, defining environmental baselines, predicting distribution, and defining appropriate temporal and spatial scales. Although specific guidance is still evolving, it is clear that the unprecedented changes in global ecosystems brought about by climate change necessitate new information and approaches to conservation of imperiled species. El

  2. Increased sensitivity to climate change in disturbed ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kröel-Dulay, György; Ransijn, Johannes; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Beier, Claus; De Angelis, Paolo; de Dato, Giovanbattista; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Emmett, Bridget; Estiarte, Marc; Garadnai, János; Kongstad, Jane; Kovács-Láng, Edit; Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Liberati, Dario; Ogaya, Romà; Riis-Nielsen, Torben; Smith, Andrew R; Sowerby, Alwyn; Tietema, Albert; Penuelas, Josep

    2015-03-24

    Human domination of the biosphere includes changes to disturbance regimes, which push many ecosystems towards early-successional states. Ecological theory predicts that early-successional ecosystems are more sensitive to perturbations than mature systems, but little evidence supports this relationship for the perturbation of climate change. Here we show that vegetation (abundance, species richness and species composition) across seven European shrublands is quite resistant to moderate experimental warming and drought, and responsiveness is associated with the dynamic state of the ecosystem, with recently disturbed sites responding to treatments. Furthermore, most of these responses are not rapid (2-5 years) but emerge over a longer term (7-14 years). These results suggest that successional state influences the sensitivity of ecosystems to climate change, and that ecosystems recovering from disturbances may be sensitive to even modest climatic changes. A research bias towards undisturbed ecosystems might thus lead to an underestimation of the impacts of climate change.

  3. Quantifying the Climate Regulation Values of Ecosystems Globally

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.; DeLucia, E. H.; Snyder, P. K.; LeBauer, D.; Long, S.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in the climate system, regulating climate through both biogeochemical (greenhouse-gas regulation) and biophysical (regulation of water and energy) mechanisms. However, initiatives aimed at climate protection through land management account only for biogeochemical mechanisms. By ignoring biophysical processes, these initiatives risk promoting suboptimal solutions. Our recently proposed metric for the climate regulation value (CRV) of ecosystems provides one potential approach to quantifying how biogeochemical and biophysical effects combine to determine the climate services of terrestrial ecosystems. In order to provide broadly accessible estimates of CRV for ecosystems worldwide, we have created an online ecosystem climate regulation services calculator with global coverage. The CRV calculator incorporates global maps of climatically significant ecosystem properties (for example, biomass, soil carbon, and evapotranspiration) to provide location-specific CRV estimates. We use this calculator to derive values for forests globally, revealing that CRV commonly differs meaningfully from values derived based purely on carbon storage. In the face of increasing land-use pressures and the increasingly urgent need for climate change mitigation, the CRV calculator has the potential to facilitate improved quantification of ecosystem climate regulation services by scientists, conservationists, policy makers, and the private sector.

  4. Comparing marine and terrestrial ecosystems: Implications for the design of coastal marine reserves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, M.H.; Neigel, J.E.; Estes, J.A.; Andelman, S.; Warner, R.R.; Largier, J. L.

    2003-01-01

    Concepts and theory for the design and application of terrestrial reserves is based on our understanding of environmental, ecological, and evolutionary processes responsible for biological diversity and sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and how humans have influenced these processes. How well this terrestrial-based theory can be applied toward the design and application of reserves in the coastal marine environment depends, in part, on the degree of similarity between these systems. Several marked differences in ecological and evolutionary processes exist between marine and terrestrial ecosystems as ramifications of fundamental differences in their physical environments (i.e., the relative prevalence of air and water) and contemporary patterns of human impacts. Most notably, the great extent and rate of dispersal of nutrients, materials, holoplanktonic organisms, and reproductive propagules of benthic organisms expand scales of connectivity among near-shore communities and ecosystems. Consequently, the "openness" of marine populations, communities, and ecosystems probably has marked influences on their spatial, genetic, and trophic structures and dynamics in ways experienced by only some terrestrial species. Such differences appear to be particularly significant for the kinds of organisms most exploited and targeted for protection in coastal marine ecosystems (fishes and macroinvertebrates). These and other differences imply some unique design criteria and application of reserves in the marine environment. In explaining the implications of these differences for marine reserve design and application, we identify many of the environmental and ecological processes and design criteria necessary for consideration in the development of the analytical approaches developed elsewhere in this Special Issue.

  5. Extremophiles in an Antarctic Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Iain; Goodall-Copestake, William; Thorne, Michael A.S.; Schlitt, Thomas; Ávila-Jiménez, Maria L.; Pearce, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent attempts to explore marine microbial diversity and the global marine microbiome have indicated a large proportion of previously unknown diversity. However, sequencing alone does not tell the whole story, as it relies heavily upon information that is already contained within sequence databases. In addition, microorganisms have been shown to present small-to-large scale biogeographical patterns worldwide, potentially making regional combinations of selection pressures unique. Here, we focus on the extremophile community in the boundary region located between the Polar Front and the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, to explore the potential of metagenomic approaches as a tool for bioprospecting in the search for novel functional activity based on targeted sampling efforts. We assessed the microbial composition and diversity from a region north of the current limit for winter sea ice, north of the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Front (SACCF) but south of the Polar Front. Although, most of the more frequently encountered sequences  were derived from common marine microorganisms, within these dominant groups, we found a proportion of genes related to secondary metabolism of potential interest in bioprospecting. Extremophiles were rare by comparison but belonged to a range of genera. Hence, they represented interesting targets from which to identify rare or novel functions. Ultimately, future shifts in environmental conditions favoring more cosmopolitan groups could have an unpredictable effect on microbial diversity and function in the Southern Ocean, perhaps excluding the rarer extremophiles. PMID:27681902

  6. Testing paradigms of ecosystem change under climate warming in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Constable, Andrew; Wotherspoon, Simon; Raymond, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Antarctic marine ecosystems have undergone significant changes as a result of human activities in the past and are now responding in varied and often complicated ways to climate change impacts. Recent years have seen the emergence of large-scale mechanistic explanations-or "paradigms of change"-that attempt to synthesize our understanding of past and current changes. In many cases, these paradigms are based on observations that are spatially and temporally patchy. The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), one of Earth's most rapidly changing regions, has been an area of particular research focus. A recently proposed mechanistic explanation for observed changes in the WAP region relates changes in penguin populations to variability in krill biomass and regional warming. While this scheme is attractive for its simplicity and chronology, it may not account for complex spatio-temporal processes that drive ecosystem dynamics in the region. It might also be difficult to apply to other Antarctic regions that are experiencing some, though not all, of the changes documented for the WAP. We use qualitative network models of differing levels of complexity to test paradigms of change for the WAP ecosystem. Importantly, our approach captures the emergent effects of feedback processes in complex ecological networks and provides a means to identify and incorporate uncertain linkages between network elements. Our findings highlight key areas of uncertainty in the drivers of documented trends, and suggest that a greater level of model complexity is needed in devising explanations for ecosystem change in the Southern Ocean. We suggest that our network approach to evaluating a recent and widely cited paradigm of change for the Antarctic region could be broadly applied in hypothesis testing for other regions and research fields.

  7. Testing Paradigms of Ecosystem Change under Climate Warming in Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Constable, Andrew; Wotherspoon, Simon; Raymond, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Antarctic marine ecosystems have undergone significant changes as a result of human activities in the past and are now responding in varied and often complicated ways to climate change impacts. Recent years have seen the emergence of large-scale mechanistic explanations–or “paradigms of change”–that attempt to synthesize our understanding of past and current changes. In many cases, these paradigms are based on observations that are spatially and temporally patchy. The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), one of Earth’s most rapidly changing regions, has been an area of particular research focus. A recently proposed mechanistic explanation for observed changes in the WAP region relates changes in penguin populations to variability in krill biomass and regional warming. While this scheme is attractive for its simplicity and chronology, it may not account for complex spatio-temporal processes that drive ecosystem dynamics in the region. It might also be difficult to apply to other Antarctic regions that are experiencing some, though not all, of the changes documented for the WAP. We use qualitative network models of differing levels of complexity to test paradigms of change for the WAP ecosystem. Importantly, our approach captures the emergent effects of feedback processes in complex ecological networks and provides a means to identify and incorporate uncertain linkages between network elements. Our findings highlight key areas of uncertainty in the drivers of documented trends, and suggest that a greater level of model complexity is needed in devising explanations for ecosystem change in the Southern Ocean. We suggest that our network approach to evaluating a recent and widely cited paradigm of change for the Antarctic region could be broadly applied in hypothesis testing for other regions and research fields. PMID:23405116

  8. Squid as nutrient vectors linking Southwest Atlantic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arkhipkin, Alexander I.

    2013-10-01

    Long-term investigations of three abundant nektonic squid species from the Southwest Atlantic, Illex argentinus, Doryteuthis gahi and Onykia ingens, permitted to estimate important population parameters including individual growth rates, duration of ontogenetic phases and mortalities. Using production model, the productivity of squid populations at different phases of their life cycle was assessed and the amount of biomass they convey between marine ecosystems as a result of their ontogenetic migrations was quantified. It was found that squid are major nutrient vectors and play a key role as transient 'biological pumps' linking spatially distinct marine ecosystems. I. argentinus has the largest impact in all three ecosystems it encounters due to its high abundance and productivity. The variable nature of squid populations increases the vulnerability of these biological conveyers to overfishing and environmental change. Failure of these critical biological pathways may induce irreversible long-term consequences for biodiversity, resource abundance and spatial availability in the world ocean.

  9. Sources of uncertainties in 21st century projections of marine ecosystem drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froelicher, T. L.; Rodgers, K. B.; Stock, C. A.; Cheung, W. W. L.

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced climate change affecting their physical and biogeochemical environment. At present, future projections of marine ecosystem drivers are inherently uncertain, complicating assessments of climate change impacts. Here we evaluate the relative importance of specific sources of uncertainties in projections of marine ecosystem drivers (warming, acidification, nutrient availability and declining oxygen levels) as a function of prediction lead-time and spatial scales. We show that the uncertainty in century-scale global and regional surface pH projections is dominated by scenario uncertainty, highlighting the critical importance of policy decisions on carbon emissions. In contrast, uncertainty in century-scale sea surface temperature projections in polar regions, oxygen levels in low oxygen waters, and regional nutrient availability is dominated by model uncertainty, underscoring that overcoming deficiencies in scientific understanding and improved process representation in Earth system models are critical for making more robust predictions. For smaller spatial and temporal scales, uncertainty associated with internal variability also constitutes an important source of uncertainty, suggesting irreducible uncertainty inherent in these projections. We also show that changes in the combined multiple ecosystem drivers emerges from the noise in 44% of the ocean in the next decade and in 57% of the ocean by the end of the century following a high carbon emissions scenario. Changes in pH and sea surface temperature can be reduced substantially and rapidly with aggressive carbon emissions mitigation, but only marginally for oxygen and net primary productivity. The broader scientific implications, including downscaling of Earth system model output for large marine ecosystem regions and for impact assessment models, will also be discussed.

  10. Ecosystem productivity is associated with bacterial phylogenetic distance in surface marine waters.

    PubMed

    Galand, Pierre E; Salter, Ian; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the link between community diversity and ecosystem function is a fundamental aspect of ecology. Systematic losses in biodiversity are widely acknowledged but the impact this may exert on ecosystem functioning remains ambiguous. There is growing evidence of a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem productivity for terrestrial macro-organisms, but similar links for marine micro-organisms, which help drive global climate, are unclear. Community manipulation experiments show both positive and negative relationships for microbes. These previous studies rely, however, on artificial communities and any links between the full diversity of active bacterial communities in the environment, their phylogenetic relatedness and ecosystem function remain hitherto unexplored. Here, we test the hypothesis that productivity is associated with diversity in the metabolically active fraction of microbial communities. We show in natural assemblages of active bacteria that communities containing more distantly related members were associated with higher bacterial production. The positive phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationship was independent of community diversity calculated as the Shannon index. From our long-term (7-year) survey of surface marine bacterial communities, we also found that similarly, productive communities had greater phylogenetic similarity to each other, further suggesting that the traits of active bacteria are an important predictor of ecosystem productivity. Our findings demonstrate that the evolutionary history of the active fraction of a microbial community is critical for understanding their role in ecosystem functioning.

  11. Soil Moisture-Ecosystem-Climate Interactions in a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seneviratne, S. I.; Davin, E.; Hirschi, M.; Mueller, B.; Orlowsky, B.; Teuling, A.

    2011-12-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable of the climate system. It constrains plant transpiration and photosynthesis in several regions of the world, with consequent impacts on the water, energy and biogeochemical cycles (e.g. Seneviratne et al. 2010). Moreover it is a storage component for precipitation and radiation anomalies, inducing persistence in the climate system. Finally, it is involved in a number of feedbacks at the local, regional and global scales, and plays a major role in climate-change projections. This presentation will provide an overview on these interactions, based on several recent publications (e.g. Seneviratne et al. 2006, Orlowsky and Seneviratne 2010, Teuling et al. 2010, Hirschi et al. 2011). In particular, it will highlight possible impacts of soil moisture-ecosystem coupling for climate extremes such as heat waves and droughts, and the resulting interconnections between biophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks in the context of climate change. Finally, it will also address recent regional- to global-scale trends in land hydrology and ecosystem functioning, as well as issues and potential avenues for investigating these trends (e.g. Jung et al. 2010, Mueller et al. 2011). References Hirschi, M., S.I. Seneviratne, V. Alexandrov, F. Boberg, C. Boroneant, O.B. Christensen, H. Formayer, B. Orlowsky, and P. Stepanek, 2011: Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe. Nature Geoscience, 4, 17-21, doi:10.1038/ngeo1032. Jung, M., et al., 2010: Recent decline in the global land evapotranspiration trend due to limited moisture supply. Nature, 467, 951-954. doi:10.1038/nature09396 Mueller, B., S.I. Seneviratne, et al.: Evaluation of global observations-based evapotranspiration datasets and IPCC AR4 simulations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06402, doi:10.1029/2010GL046230 Orlowsky, B., and S.I. Seneviratne, 2010: Statistical analyses of land-atmosphere feedbacks and their possible pitfalls. J. Climate, 23(14), 3918

  12. Ecophysiology. Climate change tightens a metabolic constraint on marine habitats.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, Curtis; Ferrel, Aaron; Seibel, Brad; Pörtner, Hans-Otto; Huey, Raymond B

    2015-06-05

    Warming of the oceans and consequent loss of dissolved oxygen (O2) will alter marine ecosystems, but a mechanistic framework to predict the impact of multiple stressors on viable habitat is lacking. Here, we integrate physiological, climatic, and biogeographic data to calibrate and then map a key metabolic index-the ratio of O2 supply to resting metabolic O2 demand-across geographic ranges of several marine ectotherms. These species differ in thermal and hypoxic tolerances, but their contemporary distributions are all bounded at the equatorward edge by a minimum metabolic index of ~2 to 5, indicative of a critical energetic requirement for organismal activity. The combined effects of warming and O2 loss this century are projected to reduce the upper ocean's metabolic index by ~20% globally and by ~50% in northern high-latitude regions, forcing poleward and vertical contraction of metabolically viable habitats and species ranges.

  13. Organization of marine phenology data in support of planning and conservation in ocean and coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Fornwall, Mark D.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Griffis, R.B.

    2014-01-01

    Among the many effects of climate change is its influence on the phenology of biota. In marine and coastal ecosystems, phenological shifts have been documented for multiple life forms; however, biological data related to marine species' phenology remain difficult to access and is under-used. We conducted an assessment of potential sources of biological data for marine species and their availability for use in phenological analyses and assessments. Our evaluations showed that data potentially related to understanding marine species' phenology are available through online resources of governmental, academic, and non-governmental organizations, but appropriate datasets are often difficult to discover and access, presenting opportunities for scientific infrastructure improvement. The developing Federal Marine Data Architecture when fully implemented will improve data flow and standardization for marine data within major federal repositories and provide an archival repository for collaborating academic and public data contributors. Another opportunity, largely untapped, is the engagement of citizen scientists in standardized collection of marine phenology data and contribution of these data to established data flows. Use of metadata with marine phenology related keywords could improve discovery and access to appropriate datasets. When data originators choose to self-publish, publication of research datasets with a digital object identifier, linked to metadata, will also improve subsequent discovery and access. Phenological changes in the marine environment will affect human economics, food systems, and recreation. No one source of data will be sufficient to understand these changes. The collective attention of marine data collectors is needed—whether with an agency, an educational institution, or a citizen scientist group—toward adopting the data management processes and standards needed to ensure availability of sufficient and useable marine data to understand

  14. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    PubMed Central

    Bulling, Mark T.; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M.; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C. L.; Solan, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty. PMID:20513718

  15. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    PubMed

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  16. Eutrophication of freshwater and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Val H.; Joye, Samantha B.; Howarth, Robert W.

    2006-01-01

    Initial understanding of the links between nutrients and aquatic productivity originated in Europe in the early 1900s, and our knowledge base has expanded greatly during the past 40 yr. This explosion of eutrophication-related research has made it unequivocally clear that a comprehensive strategy to prevent excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from entering our waterways is needed to protect our lakes, rivers, and coasts from water quality deterioration. However, despite these very significant advances, cultural eutrophication remains one of the foremost problems for protecting our valuable surface water resources. The papers in this special issue provide a valuable cross section and synthesis of our current understanding of both freshwater and marine eutrophication science. They also serve to identify gaps in our knowledge and will help to guide future research.

  17. Climate change impacts on potential recruitment in an ecosystem engineer

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Emer; O' Riordan, Ruth M; Culloty, Sarah C

    2013-01-01

    Climate variability and the rapid warming of seas undoubtedly have huge ramifications for biological processes such as reproduction. As such, gametogenesis and spawning were investigated at two sites over 200 km apart on the south coast of Ireland in an ecosystem engineer, the common cockle, Cerastoderma edule. Both sites are classed as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), but are of different water quality. Cerastoderma edule plays a significant biological role by recycling nutrients and affecting sediment structure, with impacts upon assemblage biomass and functional diversity. It plays a key role in food webs, being a common foodstuff for a number of marine birds including the oystercatcher. Both before and during the study (early 2010–mid 2011), Ireland experienced its two coldest winters for 50 years. As the research demonstrated only slight variation in the spawning period between sites, despite site differences in water and environmental quality, temperature and variable climatic conditions were the dominant factor controlling gametogenesis. The most significant finding was that the spawning period in the cockle extended over a greater number of months compared with previous studies and that gametogenesis commenced over winter rather than in spring. Extremely cold winters may impact on the cockle by accelerating and extending the onset and development of gametogenesis. Whether this impact is positive or negative would depend on the associated events occurring on which the cockle depends, that is, presence of primary producers and spring blooms, which would facilitate conversion of this extended gametogenesis into successful recruitment. PMID:23532482

  18. The Future of Marine Biogeochemistry, Ecosystems, and Societies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundy, Alida; Liu, Kon-Kee; Thomas, Helmuth

    2013-05-01

    The international project Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) convenes an IMBIZO (a Zulu word meaning "a gathering") biennially, with a format of three concurrent, interacting workshops designed to synthesize information on topical research areas in marine science. IMBIZO III, held at the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, India, focused on multidimensional approaches to challenges of global change in continental margins (CM), open ocean systems, and dependent human societies. More than 120 participants from 29 nations attended the meeting; the smaller workshop groups allowed in-depth discussions, and daily plenary sessions facilitated discussion among interdisciplinary experts.

  19. Marine Chemical Ecology: Chemical Signals and Cues Structure Marine Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical cues constitute much of the language of life in the sea. Our understanding of biotic interactions and their effects on marine ecosystems will advance more rapidly if this language is studied and understood. Here, I review how chemical cues regulate critical aspects of the behavior of marine organisms from bacteria to phytoplankton to benthic invertebrates and water column fishes. These chemically mediated interactions strongly affect population structure, community organization, and ecosystem function. Chemical cues determine foraging strategies, feeding choices, commensal associations, selection of mates and habitats, competitive interactions, and transfer of energy and nutrients within and among ecosystems. In numerous cases, the indirect effects of chemical signals on behavior have as much or more effect on community structure and function as the direct effects of consumers and pathogens. Chemical cues are critical for understanding marine systems, but their omnipresence and impact are inadequately recognized. PMID:21141035

  20. Evaluation of ecosystem services for good balance between climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.; Adachi, M.; Yamagata, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Saigusa, N.; Sekine, H.

    2011-12-01

    For appropriate decision making in ecosystem management for global warming prevention and biodiversity conservation, a reliable and practical method to evaluate ecosystem services is necessary. For this purpose, we are conducting a project focusing on the evaluation of ecosystem services with a financial support from the Ministry of Environment, Japan, during the period from 2011 to 2013. The project is titled "Development of a method for evaluation of ecosystem services aiming at trade-off mitigation between climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation" (Environmental Research Fund, No. F-1101) and jointly conducted through collaboration among: the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Japan-Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Mitsubishi Research Institute. The objectives of the project include: (1) integration of observational data from field sites and satellites related to ecosystem functions, (2) development of a practical evaluation method of ecosystem services, and (3) contribution to mitigate conflicts between environmental mitigation options such as climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation. In this project, we have a couple of candidate sites in Asian region to conduct field studies including in situ observation of forest biomass, leaf area index, canopy structure, in conjunction with corresponding satellite observations. These data on functional traits will be related with important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, water supply, and genetic resource stemming from biodiversity.

  1. Merging Marine Ecosystem Models and Genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coles, V.; Hood, R. R.; Stukel, M. R.; Moran, M. A.; Paul, J. H.; Satinsky, B.; Zielinski, B.; Yager, P. L.

    2015-12-01

    oceanography. One of the grand challenges of oceanography is to develop model techniques to more effectively incorporate genomic information. As one approach, we developed an ecosystem model whose community is determined by randomly assigning functional genes to build each organism's "DNA". Microbes are assigned a size that sets their baseline environmental responses using allometric response cuves. These responses are modified by the costs and benefits conferred by each gene in an organism's genome. The microbes are embedded in a general circulation model where environmental conditions shape the emergent population. This model is used to explore whether organisms constructed from randomized combinations of metabolic capability alone can self-organize to create realistic oceanic biogeochemical gradients. Realistic community size spectra and chlorophyll-a concentrations emerge in the model. The model is run repeatedly with randomly-generated microbial communities and each time realistic gradients in community size spectra, chlorophyll-a, and forms of nitrogen develop. This supports the hypothesis that the metabolic potential of a community rather than the realized species composition is the primary factor setting vertical and horizontal environmental gradients. Vertical distributions of nitrogen and transcripts for genes involved in nitrification are broadly consistent with observations. Modeled gene and transcript abundance for nitrogen cycling and processing of land-derived organic material match observations along the extreme gradients in the Amazon River plume, and they help to explain the factors controlling observed variability.

  2. Climate change and tropical marine agriculture.

    PubMed

    Crabbe, M James C

    2009-01-01

    The coral reef ecosystem forms part of a 'seascape' that includes land-based ecosystems such as mangroves and forests, and ideally should form a complete system for conservation and management. Aquaculture, including artisanal fishing for fish and invertebrates, shrimp farming, and seaweed farming, is a major part of the farming and gleaning practices of many tropical communities, particularly on small islands, and depends upon the integrity of the reefs. Climate change is making major impacts on these communities, not least through global warming and high CO(2) concentrations. Corals grow within very narrow limits of temperature, provide livelihoods for millions of people in tropical areas, and are under serious threat from a variety of environmental and climate extremes. Corals survive and grow through a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae: zooxanthellae. Such systems apply highly co-operative regulation to minimize the fluctuation of metabolite concentration profiles in the face of transient perturbations. This review will discuss research on how climate influences reef ecosystems, and how science can lead to conservation actions, with benefits for the human populations reliant on the reefs for their survival.

  3. Climate change impacts on groundwater and dependent ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kløve, Bjørn; Ala-Aho, Pertti; Bertrand, Guillaume; Gurdak, Jason J.; Kupfersberger, Hans; Kværner, Jens; Muotka, Timo; Mykrä, Heikki; Preda, Elena; Rossi, Pekka; Uvo, Cintia Bertacchi; Velasco, Elzie; Pulido-Velazquez, Manuel

    2014-10-01

    Aquifers and groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are facing increasing pressure from water consumption, irrigation and climate change. These pressures modify groundwater levels and their temporal patterns and threaten vital ecosystem services such as arable land irrigation and ecosystem water requirements, especially during droughts. This review examines climate change effects on groundwater and dependent ecosystems. The mechanisms affecting natural variability in the global climate and the consequences of climate and land use changes due to anthropogenic influences are summarised based on studies from different hydrogeological strata and climate zones. The impacts on ecosystems are discussed based on current findings on factors influencing the biodiversity and functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The influence of changes to groundwater on GDE biodiversity and future threats posed by climate change is reviewed, using information mainly from surface water studies and knowledge of aquifer and groundwater ecosystems. Several gaps in research are identified. Due to lack of understanding of several key processes, the uncertainty associated with management techniques such as numerical modelling is high. The possibilities and roles of new methodologies such as indicators and modelling methods are discussed in the context of integrated groundwater resources management. Examples are provided of management impacts on groundwater, with recommendations on sustainable management of groundwater.

  4. Sensitivity and Thresholds of Ecosystems to Abrupt Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peteet, D. M.; Peteet, D. M.

    2001-12-01

    Rapid vegetational change is a hallmark of past abrupt climate change, as evidenced from Younger Dryas records in Europe, eastern North America, and the Pacific North American rim. The potential response of future ecosystems to abrupt climate change is targeted, with a focus on particular changes in the hydrological cycle. The vulnerability of ecosystems is notable when particular shifts cross thresholds of precipitation and temperature, as many plants and animals are adapted to specific climatic "windows". Significant forest species compositional changes occur at ecotonal boundaries, which are often the first locations to record a climatic response. Historical forest declines have been linked to stress, and even Pleistocene extinctions have been associated with human interaction at times of rapid climatic shifts. Environmental extremes are risky for reproductive stages, and result in nonlinearities. The role of humans in association with abrupt climate change suggests that many ecosystems may cross thresholds from which they will find it difficult to recover. Sectors particularly vulnerable will be reviewed.

  5. Climate velocity and the future global redistribution of marine biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Molinos, Jorge; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Schoeman, David S.; Brown, Christopher J.; Kiessling, Wolfgang; Moore, Pippa J.; Pandolfi, John M.; Poloczanska, Elvira S.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Burrows, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    Anticipating the effect of climate change on biodiversity, in particular on changes in community composition, is crucial for adaptive ecosystem management but remains a critical knowledge gap. Here, we use climate velocity trajectories, together with information on thermal tolerances and habitat preferences, to project changes in global patterns of marine species richness and community composition under IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. Our simple, intuitive approach emphasizes climate connectivity, and enables us to model over 12 times as many species as previous studies. We find that range expansions prevail over contractions for both RCPs up to 2100, producing a net local increase in richness globally, and temporal changes in composition, driven by the redistribution rather than the loss of diversity. Conversely, widespread invasions homogenize present-day communities across multiple regions. High extirpation rates are expected regionally (for example, Indo-Pacific), particularly under RCP8.5, leading to strong decreases in richness and the anticipated formation of no-analogue communities where invasions are common. The spatial congruence of these patterns with contemporary human impacts highlights potential areas of future conservation concern. These results strongly suggest that the millennial stability of current global marine diversity patterns, against which conservation plans are assessed, will change rapidly over the course of the century in response to ocean warming.

  6. Obstacles to bottom-up implementation of marine ecosystem management.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kirsten E; Klinger, Terrie

    2008-10-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) offers a means to address multiple threats to marine resources. Despite recognition of the importance of stakeholder involvement, most efforts to implement EM in marine systems are the product of top-down regulatory control. We describe a rare, stakeholder-driven attempt to implement EM from the bottom up in San Juan County, Washington (U.S.A.). A citizens advisory group led a 2-year, highly participatory effort to develop an ecosystem-based management plan, guided by a preexisting conservation-planning framework. A key innovation was to incorporate social dimensions by designating both sociocultural and biodiversity targets in the planning process. Multiple obstacles hindered implementation of EM in this setting. Despite using a surrogate scheme, the information-related transaction costs of planning were substantial: information deficits prevented assessment of some biodiversity targets and insufficient resources combined with information deficits prevented scientific assessment of the sociocultural targets. Substantial uncertainty, practical constraints to stakeholder involvement, and the existence of multiple, potentially conflicting, objectives increased negotiation-related costs. Although information deficits and uncertainty, coupled with underinvestment in the transaction costs of planning, could reduce the long-term effectiveness of the plan itself, the social capital and momentum developed through the planning process could yield unforeseeable future gains in protection of marine resources. The obstacles we identified here will require early and sustained attention in efforts to implement ecosystem management in other grassroots settings.

  7. CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECOSYSTEMS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper discusses the current status of forested, wetland, freshwater and coastal ecosystems; the combined impacts of habitat alteration, pollution and non-native invasive species on those systems; how climatic changes could interact with existing stresses; potential managemen...

  8. Climate change impacts on marine water quality: The case study of the Northern Adriatic sea.

    PubMed

    Rizzi, J; Torresan, S; Critto, A; Zabeo, A; Brigolin, D; Carniel, S; Pastres, R; Marcomini, A

    2016-01-30

    Climate change is posing additional pressures on coastal ecosystems due to variations in water biogeochemical and physico-chemical parameters (e.g., pH, salinity) leading to aquatic ecosystem degradation. With the main aim of analyzing the potential impacts of climate change on marine water quality, a Regional Risk Assessment methodology was developed and applied to coastal marine waters of the North Adriatic. It integrates the outputs of regional biogeochemical and physico-chemical models considering future climate change scenarios (i.e., years 2070 and 2100) with site-specific environmental and socio-economic indicators. Results showed that salinity and temperature will be the main drivers of changes, together with macronutrients, especially in the area of the Po' river delta. The final outputs are exposure, susceptibility and risk maps supporting the communication of the potential consequences of climate change on water quality to decision makers and stakeholders and provide a basis for the definition of adaptation and management strategies.

  9. Damped trophic cascades driven by fishing in model marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Andersen, K H; Pedersen, M

    2010-03-07

    The largest perturbation on upper trophic levels of many marine ecosystems stems from fishing. The reaction of the ecosystem goes beyond the trophic levels directly targeted by the fishery. This reaction has been described either as a change in slope of the overall size spectrum or as a trophic cascade triggered by the removal of top predators. Here we use a novel size- and trait-based model to explore how marine ecosystems might react to perturbations from different types of fishing pressure. The model explicitly resolves the whole life history of fish, from larvae to adults. The results show that fishing does not change the overall slope of the size spectrum, but depletes the largest individuals and induces trophic cascades. A trophic cascade can propagate both up and down in trophic levels driven by a combination of changes in predation mortality and food limitation. The cascade is damped as it comes further away from the perturbed trophic level. Fishing on several trophic levels leads to a disappearance of the signature of the trophic cascade. Differences in fishing patterns among ecosystems might influence whether a trophic cascade is observed.

  10. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises.

  11. Tool kit development to refine and visualize essential climate data and information for marine protected areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cecil, L.; Stachniewicz, J.; Shein, K. A.; Ansari, S.; Jarvis, C.

    2013-05-01

    Marine ecosystem responses to climate variability and change such as changing water temperature, water chemistry (e.g., pH, salinity), water level, or storminess may result in adverse impacts including mass mortality, loss of habitat, increased disease susceptibility, and trophic cascade feedbacks. Unfortunately, while marine ecosystem resource managers are aware of these threats, they often lack sufficient expertise with identifying, accessing and using the many large and complex climate data products that would inform ecosystem-scale climate impact assessments. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has been working with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Climate Center to enhance and expand the functionality of NCDC's Weather and Climate Toolkit (WCT) to begin to address this limitation. The WCT is a freely available, Java-based user interface (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/wct/) designed to access, analyze, and display a variety of NCDC's georeferenced climate data products (e.g., satellite data, radar, reanalysis datasets, in-situ observations). However, the WCT requires the user to have already identified a data set of interest and gained access to it. This can limit its utility by users who are not knowledgeable about which data sets are relevant to their needs and where those data sets can be found. The Integrated Marine Protected Area Climate Tools (IMPACT) prototype modification to the WCT addresses those requirements through an iterative process between climate scientists and resource managers. The WCT-IMPACT prototype couples a user query approach with a quasi-expert system that determines, retrieves, and loads the appropriate data products for visualization and analysis by the user. Relevant data products are identified based on the environmental variables in which ecosystem managers have indicated an importance to their ecosystems. To improve response time, the user, through the WCT-IMPACT interface, crops (or subsets) the

  12. Recreational impacts on the fauna of Australian coastal marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hardiman, Nigel; Burgin, Shelley

    2010-11-01

    This paper reviews recent research into the ecological impacts of recreation and tourism on coastal marine fauna in Australia. Despite the high and growing importance of water-based recreation to the Australian economy, and the known fragility of many Australian ecosystems, there has been relatively limited research into the effects of marine tourism and recreation, infrastructure and activities, on aquatic resources. In this paper we have reviewed the ecological impacts on fauna that are caused by outdoor recreation (including tourism) in Australian coastal marine ecosystems. We predict that the single most potentially severe impact of recreation may be the introduction and/or dispersal of non-indigenous species of marine organisms by recreational vessels. Such introductions, together with other impacts due to human activities have the potential to increasingly degrade recreation destinations. In response, governments have introduced a wide range of legislative tools (e.g., impact assessment, protected area reservation) to manage the recreational industry. It would appear, however, that these instruments are not always appropriately applied.

  13. Global change and marine communities: alien species and climate change.

    PubMed

    Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna

    2007-01-01

    Anthropogenic influences on the biosphere since the advent of the industrial age are increasingly causing global changes. Climatic change and the rising concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are ranking high in scientific and public agendas, and other components of global change are also frequently addressed, among which are the introductions of non indigenous species (NIS) in biogeographic regions well separated from the donor region, often followed by spectacular invasions. In the marine environment, both climatic change and spread of alien species have been studied extensively; this review is aimed at examining the main responses of ecosystems to climatic change, taking into account the increasing importance of biological invasions. Some general principles on NIS introductions in the marine environment are recalled, such as the importance of propagule pressure and of development stages during the time course of an invasion. Climatic change is known to affect many ecological properties; it interacts also with NIS in many possible ways. Direct (proximate) effects on individuals and populations of altered physical-chemical conditions are distinguished from indirect effects on emergent properties (species distribution, diversity, and production). Climatically driven changes may affect both local dispersal mechanisms, due to the alteration of current patterns, and competitive interactions between NIS and native species, due to the onset of new thermal optima and/or different carbonate chemistry. As well as latitudinal range expansions of species correlated with changing temperature conditions, and effects on species richness and the correlated extinction of native species, some invasions may provoke multiple effects which involve overall ecosystem functioning (material flow between trophic groups, primary production, relative extent of organic material decomposition, extent of benthic-pelagic coupling). Some examples are given, including a special

  14. Assessing climate-sensitive ecosystems in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Costanza, Jennifer; Beck, Scott; Pyne, Milo; Terando, Adam; Rubino, Matthew J.; White, Rickie; Collazo, Jaime

    2016-08-11

    Climate change impacts ecosystems in many ways, from effects on species to phenology to wildfire dynamics. Assessing the potential vulnerability of ecosystems to future changes in climate is an important first step in prioritizing and planning for conservation. Although assessments of climate change vulnerability commonly are done for species, fewer have been done for ecosystems. To aid regional conservation planning efforts, we assessed climate change vulnerability for ecosystems in the Southeastern United States and Caribbean.First, we solicited input from experts to create a list of candidate ecosystems for assessment. From that list, 12 ecosystems were selected for a vulnerability assessment that was based on a synthesis of available geographic information system (GIS) data and literature related to 3 components of vulnerability—sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity. This literature and data synthesis comprised “Phase I” of the assessment. Sensitivity is the degree to which the species or processes in the ecosystem are affected by climate. Exposure is the likely future change in important climate and sea level variables. Adaptive capacity is the degree to which ecosystems can adjust to changing conditions. Where available, GIS data relevant to each of these components were used. For example, we summarized observed and projected climate, protected areas existing in 2011, projected sea-level rise, and projected urbanization across each ecosystem’s distribution. These summaries were supplemented with information in the literature, and a short narrative assessment was compiled for each ecosystem. We also summarized all information into a qualitative vulnerability rating for each ecosystem.Next, for 2 of the 12 ecosystems (East Gulf Coastal Plain Near-Coast Pine Flatwoods and Nashville Basin Limestone Glade and Woodland), the NatureServe Habitat Climate Change Vulnerability Index (HCCVI) framework was used as an alternative approach for assessing

  15. The importance of within-system spatial variation in drivers of marine ecosystem regime shifts

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, J. A. D.; Casini, M.; Frank, K. T.; Möllmann, C.; Leggett, W. C.; Daskalov, G.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative analyses of the dynamics of exploited marine ecosystems have led to differing hypotheses regarding the primary causes of observed regime shifts, while many ecosystems have apparently not undergone regime shifts. These varied responses may be partly explained by the decade-old recognition that within-system spatial heterogeneity in key climate and anthropogenic drivers may be important, as recent theoretical examinations have concluded that spatial heterogeneity in environmental characteristics may diminish the tendency for regime shifts. Here, we synthesize recent, empirical within-system spatio-temporal analyses of some temperate and subarctic large marine ecosystems in which regime shifts have (and have not) occurred. Examples from the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Bengula Current, North Sea, Barents Sea and Eastern Scotian Shelf reveal the largely neglected importance of considering spatial variability in key biotic and abiotic influences and species movements in the context of evaluating and predicting regime shifts. We highlight both the importance of understanding the scale-dependent spatial dynamics of climate influences and key predator–prey interactions to unravel the dynamics of regime shifts, and the utility of spatial downscaling of proposed mechanisms (as evident in the North Sea and Barents Sea) as a means of evaluating hypotheses originally derived from among-system comparisons.

  16. A probabilistic model of ecosystem response to climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Shevliakova, E.; Dowlatabadi, H.

    1994-12-31

    Anthropogenic activities are leading to rapid changes in land cover and emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These changes can bring about climate change typified by average global temperatures rising by 1--5 C over the next century. Climate change of this magnitude is likely to alter the distribution of terrestrial ecosystems on a large scale. Options available for dealing with such change are abatement of emissions, adaptation, and geoengineering. The integrated assessment of climate change demands that frameworks be developed where all the elements of the climate problem are present (from economic activity to climate change and its impacts on market and non-market goods and services). Integrated climate assessment requires multiple impact metrics and multi-attribute utility functions to simulate the response of different key actors/decision-makers to the actual physical impacts (rather than a dollar value) of the climate-damage vs. policy-cost debate. This necessitates direct modeling of ecosystem impacts of climate change. The authors have developed a probabilistic model of ecosystem response to global change. This model differs from previous efforts in that it is statistically estimated using actual ecosystem and climate data yielding a joint multivariate probability of prevalence for each ecosystem, given climatic conditions. The authors expect this approach to permit simulation of inertia and competition which have, so far, been absent in transfer models of continental-scale ecosystem response to global change. Thus, although the probability of one ecotype will dominate others at a given point, others would have the possibility of establishing an early foothold.

  17. Arctic marine mammals and climate change: impacts and resilience.

    PubMed

    Moore, Sue E; Huntington, Henry P

    2008-03-01

    Evolutionary selection has refined the life histories of seven species (three cetacean [narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales], three pinniped [walrus, ringed, and bearded seals], and the polar bear) to spatial and temporal domains influenced by the seasonal extremes and variability of sea ice, temperature, and day length that define the Arctic. Recent changes in Arctic climate may challenge the adaptive capability of these species. Nine other species (five cetacean [fin, humpback, minke, gray, and killer whales] and four pinniped [harp, hooded, ribbon, and spotted seals]) seasonally occupy Arctic and subarctic habitats and may be poised to encroach into more northern latitudes and to remain there longer, thereby competing with extant Arctic species. A synthesis of the impacts of climate change on all these species hinges on sea ice, in its role as: (1) platform, (2) marine ecosystem foundation, and (3) barrier to non-ice-adapted marine mammals and human commercial activities. Therefore, impacts are categorized for: (1) ice-obligate species that rely on sea ice platforms, (2) ice-associated species that are adapted to sea ice-dominated ecosystems, and (3) seasonally migrant species for which sea ice can act as a barrier. An assessment of resilience is far more speculative, as any number of scenarios can be envisioned, most of them involving potential trophic cascades and anticipated human perturbations. Here we provide resilience scenarios for the three ice-related species categories relative to four regions defined by projections of sea ice reductions by 2050 and extant shelf oceanography. These resilience scenarios suggest that: (1) some populations of ice-obligate marine mammals will survive in two regions with sea ice refugia, while other stocks may adapt to ice-free coastal habitats, (2) ice-associated species may find suitable feeding opportunities within the two regions with sea ice refugia and, if capable of shifting among available prey, may benefit from

  18. RESTORING COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS: ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Consensus exists that U.S. coastal ecosystems are severely degraded due to a variety of human-factors requiring large financial expenditures to restore and manage. Yet, even as controversy surrounds human factors in ecosystem degradation in the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay, an...

  19. Resilience and stability of a pelagic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lindegren, Martin; Checkley, David M; Ohman, Mark D; Koslow, J Anthony; Goericke, Ralf

    2016-01-13

    The accelerating loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide has accentuated a long-standing debate on the role of diversity in stabilizing ecological communities and has given rise to a field of research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). Although broad consensus has been reached regarding the positive BEF relationship, a number of important challenges remain unanswered. These primarily concern the underlying mechanisms by which diversity increases resilience and community stability, particularly the relative importance of statistical averaging and functional complementarity. Our understanding of these mechanisms relies heavily on theoretical and experimental studies, yet the degree to which theory adequately explains the dynamics and stability of natural ecosystems is largely unknown, especially in marine ecosystems. Using modelling and a unique 60-year dataset covering multiple trophic levels, we show that the pronounced multi-decadal variability of the Southern California Current System (SCCS) does not represent fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning, but a linear response to key environmental drivers channelled through bottom-up and physical control. Furthermore, we show strong temporal asynchrony between key species or functional groups within multiple trophic levels caused by opposite responses to these drivers. We argue that functional complementarity is the primary mechanism reducing community variability and promoting resilience and stability in the SCCS.

  20. Taking the pulse of mountains: Ecosystem responses to climatic variability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, D.B.; Peterson, D.L.; Hessl, A.E.

    2003-01-01

    An integrated program of ecosystem modeling and field studies in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest (U.S.A.) has quantified many of the ecological processes affected by climatic variability. Paleoecological and contemporary ecological data in forest ecosystems provided model parameterization and validation at broad spatial and temporal scales for tree growth, tree regeneration and treeline movement. For subalpine tree species, winter precipitation has a strong negative correlation with growth; this relationship is stronger at higher elevations and west-side sites (which have more precipitation). Temperature affects tree growth at some locations with respect to length of growing season (spring) and severity of drought at drier sites (summer). Furthermore, variable but predictable climate-growth relationships across elevation gradients suggest that tree species respond differently to climate at different locations, making a uniform response of these species to future climatic change unlikely. Multi-decadal variability in climate also affects ecosystem processes. Mountain hemlock growth at high-elevation sites is negatively correlated with winter snow depth and positively correlated with the winter Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index. At low elevations, the reverse is true. Glacier mass balance and fire severity are also linked to PDO. Rapid establishment of trees in subalpine ecosystems during this century is increasing forest cover and reducing meadow cover at many subalpine locations in the western U.S.A. and precipitation (snow depth) is a critical variable regulating conifer expansion. Lastly, modeling potential future ecosystem conditions suggests that increased climatic variability will result in increasing forest fire size and frequency, and reduced net primary productivity in drier, east-side forest ecosystems. As additional empirical data and modeling output become available, we will improve our ability to predict the effects of climatic change

  1. Drivers and uncertainties of future global marine primary production in marine ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, C.; Vogt, M.; Gruber, N.; Aita-Noguchi, M.; Aumont, O.; Bopp, L.; Buitenhuis, E.; Doney, S. C.; Dunne, J.; Hashioka, T.; Hauck, J.; Hirata, T.; John, J.; Le Quéré, C.; Lima, I. D.; Nakano, H.; Seferian, R.; Totterdell, I.; Vichi, M.; Völker, C.

    2015-12-01

    Past model studies have projected a global decrease in marine net primary production (NPP) over the 21st century, but these studies focused on the multi-model mean rather than on the large inter-model differences. Here, we analyze model-simulated changes in NPP for the 21st century under IPCC's high-emission scenario RCP8.5. We use a suite of nine coupled carbon-climate Earth system models with embedded marine ecosystem models and focus on the spread between the different models and the underlying reasons. Globally, NPP decreases in five out of the nine models over the course of the 21st century, while three show no significant trend and one even simulates an increase. The largest model spread occurs in the low latitudes (between 30° S and 30° N), with individual models simulating relative changes between -25 and +40 %. Of the seven models diagnosing a net decrease in NPP in the low latitudes, only three simulate this to be a consequence of the classical interpretation, i.e., a stronger nutrient limitation due to increased stratification leading to reduced phytoplankton growth. In the other four, warming-induced increases in phytoplankton growth outbalance the stronger nutrient limitation. However, temperature-driven increases in grazing and other loss processes cause a net decrease in phytoplankton biomass and reduce NPP despite higher growth rates. One model projects a strong increase in NPP in the low latitudes, caused by an intensification of the microbial loop, while NPP in the remaining model changes by less than 0.5 %. While models consistently project increases NPP in the Southern Ocean, the regional inter-model range is also very substantial. In most models, this increase in NPP is driven by temperature, but it is also modulated by changes in light, macronutrients and iron as well as grazing. Overall, current projections of future changes in global marine NPP are subject to large uncertainties and necessitate a dedicated and sustained effort to improve

  2. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services: technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staudinger, Michelle D.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Staudt, Amanda; Carter, Shawn L.; Stuart, F. Stuart; Kareiva, Peter; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Stein, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. During the twentieth century, climate change has had documented impacts on ecological systems, and impacts are expected to increase as climate change continues and perhaps even accelerates. This technical input to the National Climate Assessment synthesizes our scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and what strategies might be employed to decrease current and future risks. Building on past assessments of how climate change and other stressors are affecting ecosystems in the United States and around the world, we approach the subject from several different perspectives. First, we review the observed and projected impacts on biodiversity, with a focus on genes, species, and assemblages of species. Next, we examine how climate change is affecting ecosystem structural elements—such as biomass, architecture, and heterogeneity—and functions—specifically, as related to the fluxes of energy and matter. People experience climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems as changes in ecosystem services; people depend on ecosystems for resources that are harvested, their role in regulating the movement of materials and disturbances, and their recreational, cultural, and aesthetic value. Thus, we review newly emerging research to determine how human activities and a changing climate are likely to alter the delivery of these ecosystem services. This technical input also examines two cross-cutting topics. First, we recognize that climate change is happening against the backdrop of a wide range of other environmental and anthropogenic stressors, many of which have caused dramatic ecosystem degradation already. This broader range of stressors interacts with climate change, and complicates our abilities to predict and manage the impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and the services they support. The

  3. Committed ecosystem changes and contributions to climate recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, C. D.; Lowe, J. A.; Liddicoat, S. K.; Betts, R. A.

    2009-04-01

    Future climate change and the carbon cycle are tightly coupled. Many studies have now shown positive feedbacks which amplify climate change, reduce the natural uptake of carbon and influence global emissions pathways to stabilisation. On the timescale of 1 or 2 centuries, this feedback is mainly due to the terrestrial biosphere. Here we assess to what extent the biosphere contributes to recovery of CO2 levels after a cessation of carbon emissions. We find that when significant climate change has weakened natural terrestrial carbon sinks, these sinks do not recover after a stop of emissions and thus recovery of CO2 (and hence climate) is slow. Further, we find that the terrestrial biosphere exhibits significant inertia and can continue to respond to climate changes decades after stabilisation of climate. This has serious implications for definitions of dangerous climate change based simply on stabilisation temperature as the absence of significant biome changes at the time of stabilisation does not preclude significant and potentially detrimental changes in subsequent decades. Assessments of targets for stabilising climate change often consider the impacts of different levels of global warming. These assessments usually consider impacts that would occur at the time of reaching a particular level of warming. However, global terrestrial ecosystems continue to respond over longer timescales. Here we introduce the concept of "committed ecosystem changes" analogous to climate warming commitments and committed sea-level rise due to thermal inertia. The true impact of climate change on ecosystems will not be revealed for many decades after stabilising temperatures. Further, we suggest that ecosystems may become committed to substantial damage long before any is observable. For example, significant loss of forest cover in Amazonia may become inevitable significantly below a global warming of 2K. When defining dangerous climate change, and forming policy to avoid it, such

  4. Baltic Sea ecosystem-based management under climate change: Synthesis and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Blenckner, Thorsten; Österblom, Henrik; Larsson, Per; Andersson, Agneta; Elmgren, Ragnar

    2015-06-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) has emerged as the generally agreed strategy for managing ecosystems, with humans as integral parts of the managed system. Human activities have substantial effects on marine ecosystems, through overfishing, eutrophication, toxic pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. It is important to advance the scientific knowledge of the cumulative, integrative, and interacting effects of these diverse activities, to support effective implementation of EBM. Based on contributions to this special issue of AMBIO, we synthesize the scientific findings into four components: pollution and legal frameworks, ecosystem processes, scale-dependent effects, and innovative tools and methods. We conclude with challenges for the future, and identify the next steps needed for successful implementation of EBM in general and specifically for the Baltic Sea.

  5. Perceptions of Rule-Breaking Related to Marine Ecosystem Health

    PubMed Central

    Slater, Matthew J.; Mgaya, Yunus D.; Stead, Selina M.

    2014-01-01

    Finding effective solutions to manage marine resources is high on political and conservation agendas worldwide. This is made more urgent by the rate of increase in the human population and concomitant resource pressures in coastal areas. This paper links empirical socio-economic data about perceptions of marine resource health to the breaking of marine management rules, using fisheries as a case study. The relationship between perceived rule-breaking (non-compliance with regulations controlling fishing) and perceived health of inshore marine environments was investigated through face-to-face interviews with 299 heads of households in three Tanzanian coastal communities in November and December 2011. Awareness of rules controlling fishing activity was high among all respondents. Fishers were able to describe more specific rules controlling fishing practices than non-fishers (t = 3.5, df = 297, p<0.01). Perceived breaking of fishing regulations was reported by nearly half of all respondents, saying “some” (32% of responses) or “most” (15% of responses) people break fishing rules. Ordinal regression modelling revealed a significant linkage (z = −3.44, p<0.001) in the relationship between respondents' perceptions of deteriorating marine health and their perception of increased rule-breaking. In this paper, inferences from an empirical study are used to identify and argue the potential for using perceptions of ecosystem health and level of rule-breaking as a means to guide management measures. When considering different management options (e.g. Marine Protected Areas), policy makers are advised to take account of and utilise likely egoistic or altruistic decision-making factors used by fishers to determine their marine activities. PMID:24586558

  6. Perceptions of rule-breaking related to marine ecosystem health.

    PubMed

    Slater, Matthew J; Mgaya, Yunus D; Stead, Selina M

    2014-01-01

    Finding effective solutions to manage marine resources is high on political and conservation agendas worldwide. This is made more urgent by the rate of increase in the human population and concomitant resource pressures in coastal areas. This paper links empirical socio-economic data about perceptions of marine resource health to the breaking of marine management rules, using fisheries as a case study. The relationship between perceived rule-breaking (non-compliance with regulations controlling fishing) and perceived health of inshore marine environments was investigated through face-to-face interviews with 299 heads of households in three Tanzanian coastal communities in November and December 2011. Awareness of rules controlling fishing activity was high among all respondents. Fishers were able to describe more specific rules controlling fishing practices than non-fishers (t = 3.5, df = 297, p<0.01). Perceived breaking of fishing regulations was reported by nearly half of all respondents, saying "some" (32% of responses) or "most" (15% of responses) people break fishing rules. Ordinal regression modelling revealed a significant linkage (z= -3.44, p<0.001) in the relationship between respondents' perceptions of deteriorating marine health and their perception of increased rule-breaking. In this paper, inferences from an empirical study are used to identify and argue the potential for using perceptions of ecosystem health and level of rule-breaking as a means to guide management measures. When considering different management options (e.g. Marine Protected Areas), policy makers are advised to take account of and utilise likely egoistic or altruistic decision-making factors used by fishers to determine their marine activities.

  7. Adapting California’s ecosystems to a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elizabeth Chornesky,; David Ackerly,; Paul Beier,; Frank Davis,; Flint, Lorraine E.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Moyle, Peter B.; Moritz, Max A.; Scoonover, Mary; Byrd, Kristin B.; Alvarez, Pelayo; Heller, Nicole E.; Micheli, Elisabeth; Weiss, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through four case studies that span large spatial domains and encompass diverse ecological systems, institutions, ownerships, and policies. The case studies demonstrate the context specificity of societal efforts to adapt ecosystems to climate change and involve applications of diverse scientific tools (e.g., scenario analyses, downscaled climate projections, ecological and connectivity models) tailored to specific planning and management situations (alternative energy siting, wetland management, rangeland management, open space planning). They illustrate how existing institutional and policy frameworks provide numerous opportunities to advance adaptation related to ecosystems and suggest that progress is likely to be greatest when scientific knowledge is integrated into collective planning and when supportive policies and financing enable action.

  8. Abyssal food limitation, ecosystem structure and climate change.

    PubMed

    Smith, Craig R; De Leo, Fabio C; Bernardino, Angelo F; Sweetman, Andrew K; Arbizu, Pedro Martinez

    2008-09-01

    The abyssal seafloor covers more than 50% of the Earth and is postulated to be both a reservoir of biodiversity and a source of important ecosystem services. We show that ecosystem structure and function in the abyss are strongly modulated by the quantity and quality of detrital food material sinking from the surface ocean. Climate change and human activities (e.g. successful ocean fertilization) will alter patterns of sinking food flux to the deep ocean, substantially impacting the structure, function and biodiversity of abyssal ecosystems. Abyssal ecosystem response thus must be considered in assessments of the environmental impacts of global warming and ocean fertilization.

  9. Biomass yields and geography of large marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K.; Alexander, L.M.

    1989-01-01

    Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) regions with unique hydrographic regimes, submarine topography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations. Over the past several decades, some populations of organisms within LMEs have increased and others declined amidst a background of natural environmental perturbation, disposal of urban wastes, aerosol contamination, spills of petrogenic hydrocarbons, overexploitation of fisheries resources, and growing evidence of global changes in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. The paper presented at the symposium, with appropriate revision based on peer- review, are given in this volume. Participants were encouraged to synthesize scattered information on biological, physical, and chemical processes affecting decadal fluctuations in biomass yields for LMEs including the Huanghai (Yellow) Sea, Kuroshio Current, Oyashio Current, Gulf of Thailand, and the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem around the Pacific basin, and for the Barents Sea, Gulf of Mexico, the Iberian coastal and Benguela Current ecosystems around the margins of the Atlantic. Participants also provided the results of studies of the geographic extent and boundaries of LMEs and the legal basis for the management of marine resources within LMEs.

  10. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) ecotoxicology in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hylland, Ketil

    2006-01-08

    Low levels of oil and hence polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are naturally present in the marine environment, although levels have increased significantly following human extraction and use of oil and gas. Other major anthropogenic sources of PAHs include smelters, the use of fossil fuels in general, and various methods of waste disposal, especially incineration. There are two major sources for PAHs to marine ecosystems in Norway: the inshore smelter industry, and offshore oil and gas production activities. A distinction is generally made between petrogenic (oil-derived) and pyrogenic (combustion-derived) PAHs. Although petrogenic PAHs appear to be bioavailable to a large extent, pyrogenic PAHs are often associated with soot particles and less available for uptake into organisms. There is extensive evidence linking sediment-associated PAHs to induction of phase-I enzymes, development of DNA adducts, and eventually neoplastic lesions in fish. Most studies have focused on high-molecular-weight, carcinogenic PAHs such as benzo[a]pyrene. It is less clear how two- and three-ring PAHs affect fish, and there is even experimental evidence to indicate that these chemicals may inhibit some components of the phase I system rather than produce induction. There is a need for increased research efforts to clarify biological effects of two- and three-ring PAHs, PAH mixtures, and adaptation processes in marine ecosystems.

  11. Marine mammal strandings and environmental changes: a 15-year study in the St. Lawrence ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Truchon, Marie-Hélène; Measures, Lena; L'Hérault, Vincent; Brêthes, Jean-Claude; Galbraith, Peter S; Harvey, Michel; Lessard, Sylvie; Starr, Michel; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the effects of climatic variability on marine mammals is challenging due to the complexity of ecological interactions. We used general linear models to analyze a 15-year database documenting marine mammal strandings (1994-2008; n = 1,193) and nine environmental parameters known to affect marine mammal survival, from regional (sea ice) to continental scales (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO). Stranding events were more frequent during summer and fall than other seasons, and have increased since 1994. Poor ice conditions observed during the same period may have affected marine mammals either directly, by modulating the availability of habitat for feeding and breeding activities, or indirectly, through changes in water conditions and marine productivity (krill abundance). For most species (75%, n = 6 species), a low volume of ice was correlated with increasing frequency of stranding events (e.g. R(2)adj = 0.59, hooded seal, Cystophora cristata). This likely led to an increase in seal mortality during the breeding period, but also to increase habitat availability for seasonal migratory cetaceans using ice-free areas during winter. We also detected a high frequency of stranding events for mysticete species (minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and resident species (beluga, Delphinapterus leucas), correlated with low krill abundance since 1994. Positive NAO indices were positively correlated with high frequencies of stranding events for resident and seasonal migratory cetaceans, as well as rare species (R(2)adj = 0.53, 0.81 and 0.34, respectively). This contrasts with seal mass stranding numbers, which were negatively correlated with a positive NAO index. In addition, an unusual multiple species mortality event (n = 114, 62% of total annual mortality) in 2008 was caused by a harmful algal bloom. Our findings provide an empirical baseline in understanding marine mammal survival when faced with climatic variability. This is a promising

  12. Ecosystem vulnerability to climate change in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Costanza, Jennifer

    2016-08-11

    Two recent investigations of climate-change vulnerability for 19 terrestrial, aquatic, riparian, and coastal ecosystems of the southeastern United States have identified a number of important considerations, including potential for changes in hydrology, disturbance regimes, and interspecies interactions. Complementary approaches using geospatial analysis and literature synthesis integrated information on ecosystem biogeography and biodiversity, climate projections, vegetation dynamics, soil and water characteristics, anthropogenic threats, conservation status, sea-level rise, and coastal flooding impacts. Across a diverse set of ecosystems—ranging in size from dozens of square meters to thousands of square kilometers—quantitative and qualitative assessments identified types of climate-change exposure, evaluated sensitivity, and explored potential adaptive capacity. These analyses highlighted key gaps in scientific understanding and suggested priorities for future research. Together, these studies help create a foundation for ecosystem-level analysis of climate-change vulnerability to support effective biodiversity conservation in the southeastern United States.

  13. Experimenting with ecosystem interaction networks in search of threshold potentials in real-world marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Parkes, Samantha; Lohrer, Andrew M; Pilditch, Conrad; Woodin, Sarah A; Wethey, David S; Chiantore, Mariachiara; Asnaghi, Valentina; De Juan, Silvia; Kraan, Casper; Rodil, Ivan; Savage, Candida; Van Colen, Carl

    2014-06-01

    Thresholds profoundly affect our understanding and management of ecosystem dynamics, but we have yet to develop practical techniques to assess the risk that thresholds will be crossed. Combining ecological knowledge of critical system interdependencies with a large-scale experiment, we tested for breaks in the ecosystem interaction network to identify threshold potential in real-world ecosystem dynamics. Our experiment with the bivalves Macomona liliana and Austrovenus stutchburyi on marine sandflats in New Zealand demonstrated that reductions in incident sunlight changed the interaction network between sediment biogeochemical fluxes, productivity, and macrofauna. By demonstrating loss of positive feedbacks and changes in the architecture of the network, we provide mechanistic evidence that stressors lead to break points in dynamics, which theory predicts predispose a system to a critical transition.

  14. The Large Marine Ecosystem Approach for 21st Century Ocean Health and International Sustainable Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey, K. T.

    2014-12-01

    The global coastal ocean and watersheds are divided into 66 Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), which encompass regions from river basins, estuaries, and coasts to the seaward boundaries of continental shelves and margins of major currents. Approximately 80% of global fisheries catch comes from LME waters. Ecosystem goods and services from LMEs contribute an estimated US 18-25 trillion dollars annually to the global economy in market and non-market value. The critical importance of these large-scale systems, however, is threatened by human populations and pressures, including climate change. Fortunately, there is pragmatic reason for optimism. Interdisciplinary frameworks exist, such as the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) approach for adaptive management that can integrate both nature-centric and human-centric views into ecosystem monitoring, assessment, and adaptive management practices for long-term sustainability. Originally proposed almost 30 years ago, the LME approach rests on five modules are: (i) productivity, (ii) fish and fisheries, (iii) pollution and ecosystem health, (iv) socioeconomics, and (v) governance for iterative adaptive management at a large, international scale of 200,000 km2 or greater. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank, and United Nations agencies recognize and support the LME approach—as evidenced by over 3.15 billion in financial assistance to date for LME projects. This year of 2014 is an exciting milestone in LME history, after 20 years of the United Nations and GEF organizations adopting LMEs as a unit for ecosystem-based approaches to management. The LME approach, however, is not perfect. Nor is it immutable. Similar to the adaptive management framework it propones, the LME approach itself must adapt to new and emerging 21st Century technologies, science, and realities. The LME approach must further consider socioeconomics and governance. Within the socioeconomics module alone, several trillion-dollar opportunities exist

  15. Marine ecosystem modeling beyond the box: using GIS to study carbon fluxes in a coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wijnbladh, Erik; Jönsson, Bror Fredrik; Kumblad, Linda

    2006-12-01

    Studies of carbon fluxes in marine ecosystems are often done by using box model approaches with basin size boxes, or highly resolved 3D models, and an emphasis on the pelagic component of the ecosystem. Those approaches work well in the ocean proper, but can give rise to considerable problems when applied to coastal systems, because of the scale of certain ecological niches and the fact that benthic organisms are the dominant functional group of the ecosystem. In addition, 3D models require an extensive modeling effort. In this project, an intermediate approach based on a high resolution (20x20 m) GIS data-grid has been developed for the coastal ecosystem in the Laxemar area (Baltic Sea, Sweden) based on a number of different site investigations. The model has been developed in the context of a safety assessment project for a proposed nuclear waste repository, in which the fate of hypothetically released radionuclides from the planned repository is estimated. The assessment project requires not only a good understanding of the ecosystem dynamics at the site, but also quantification of stocks and flows of matter in the system. The data-grid was then used to set up a carbon budget describing the spatial distribution of biomass, primary production, net ecosystem production and thus where carbon sinks and sources are located in the area. From these results, it was clear that there was a large variation in ecosystem characteristics within the basins and, on a larger scale, that the inner areas are net producing and the outer areas net respiring, even in shallow phytobenthic communities. Benthic processes had a similar or larger influence on carbon fluxes as advective processes in inner areas, whereas the opposite appears to be true in the outer basins. As many radionuclides are expected to follow the pathways of organic matter in the environment, these findings enhance our abilities to realistically describe and predict their fate in the ecosystem.

  16. Typology and indicators of ecosystem services for marine spatial planning and management.

    PubMed

    Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Baulcomb, Corinne; Koss, Rebecca; Hussain, S Salman; de Groot, Rudolf S

    2013-11-30

    The ecosystem services concept provides both an analytical and communicative tool to identify and quantify the link between human welfare and the environment, and thus to evaluate the ramifications of management interventions. Marine spatial planning (MSP) and Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) are a form of management intervention that has become increasingly popular and important globally. The ecosystem service concept is rarely applied in marine planning and management to date which we argue is due to the lack of a well-structured, systematic classification and assessment of marine ecosystem services. In this paper we not only develop such a typology but also provide guidance to select appropriate indicators for all relevant ecosystem services. We apply this marine-specific ecosystem service typology to MSP and EBM. We thus provide not only a novel theoretical construct but also show how the ecosystem services concept can be used in marine planning and management.

  17. Impacts of marine-derived nutrients on stream ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yixin; Negishi, Junjiro N; Richardson, John S; Kolodziejczyk, Renata

    2003-01-01

    Energy and nutrient subsidies transported across ecosystem boundaries are increasingly appreciated as key drivers of consumer-resource dynamics. As purveyors of pulsed marine-derived nutrients (MDN), spawning salmon are one such cross-ecosystem subsidy to freshwaters connected to the north Pacific. We examined how salmon carcasses influenced detrital processing in an oligotrophic stream. Experimental manipulations of MDN inputs revealed that salmon carcasses indirectly reduced detrital processing in streams through temporarily decoupling the detrital resource-consumer relationship, in which detrital consumers shifted their diet to the high-nutrient resource, i.e. salmon carcasses. The average decomposition rate of alder leaves with salmon carcass addition was significantly lower than that without the carcass, which was associated with lower abundance and biomass of detritivorous Trichoptera on the carcass-treated leaves. There were generally larger in size Trichopteran detritivores on the carcasses than on leaves. These results imply that cross-boundary MDN subsidies indirectly retard the ecosystem processing of leaf litter within the short term, but may enhance those food-limited detritivorous consumers. Because unproductive freshwaters in the Pacific northwest are highly dependent upon the organic matter inputs from surrounding forests, this novel finding has implications for determining conservation and management strategies of salmon-related aquatic ecosystems, in terms of salmon habitat protection and fisheries exploitation. PMID:14561274

  18. Extinction and ecosystem function in the marine benthos.

    PubMed

    Solan, Martin; Cardinale, Bradley J; Downing, Amy L; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Ruesink, Jennifer L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2004-11-12

    Rapid changes in biodiversity are occurring globally, yet the ecological impacts of diversity loss are poorly understood. Here we use data from marine invertebrate communities to parameterize models that predict how extinctions will affect sediment bioturbation, a process vital to the persistence of aquatic communities. We show that species extinction is generally expected to reduce bioturbation, but the magnitude of reduction depends on how the functional traits of individual species covary with their risk of extinction. As a result, the particular cause of extinction and the order in which species are lost ultimately govern the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss.

  19. Impacts of Climate and UV Change on Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, F. J.; Prowse, T. D.; Reist, J. D.

    2004-05-01

    An overview is provided of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), which is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences. Predicted changes in climate and UV in the Arctic are expected to have far-reaching impacts on the hydrology and ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Key effects include changes in the distribution, abundance and ecology of aquatic species in various trophic levels, dramatic alterations in the physical environment that makes up their habitat, changes to the chemical properties of that environment, and alterations to the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and hence can be propagated through ecosystems in ways that are often difficult to predict. This is partly because of our still relatively poor understanding of the structure and function of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, as well as by a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. Predictions of hydro-ecological impacts are further complicated by synergistic and cumulative effects.

  20. Marine ecosystem regime shifts: challenges and opportunities for ecosystem-based management

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Phillip S.; Möllmann, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Regime shifts have been observed in marine ecosystems around the globe. These phenomena can result in dramatic changes in the provision of ecosystem services to coastal communities. Accounting for regime shifts in management clearly requires integrative, ecosystem-based management (EBM) approaches. EBM has emerged as an accepted paradigm for ocean management worldwide, yet, despite the rapid and intense development of EBM theory, implementation has languished, and many implemented or proposed EBM schemes largely ignore the special characteristics of regime shifts. Here, we first explore key aspects of regime shifts that are of critical importance to EBM, and then suggest how regime shifts can be better incorporated into EBM using the concept of integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA). An IEA uses approaches that determine the likelihood that ecological or socio-economic properties of systems will move beyond or return to acceptable bounds as defined by resource managers and policy makers. We suggest an approach for implementing IEAs for cases of regime shifts where the objectives are either avoiding an undesired state or returning to a desired condition. We discuss the suitability and short-comings of methods summarizing the status of ecosystem components, screening and prioritizing potential risks, and evaluating alternative management strategies. IEAs are evolving as an EBM approach that can address regime shifts; however, advances in statistical, analytical and simulation modelling are needed before IEAs can robustly inform tactical management in systems characterized by regime shifts.

  1. Not just about sunburn--the ozone hole's profound effect on climate has significant implications for Southern Hemisphere ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Sharon A; Erickson, David J

    2015-02-01

    Climate scientists have concluded that stratospheric ozone depletion has been a major driver of Southern Hemisphere climate processes since about 1980. The implications of these observed and modelled changes in climate are likely to be far more pervasive for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems than the increase in ultraviolet-B radiation due to ozone depletion; however, they have been largely overlooked in the biological literature. Here, we synthesize the current understanding of how ozone depletion has impacted Southern Hemisphere climate and highlight the relatively few documented impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Reviewing the climate literature, we present examples of how ozone depletion changes atmospheric and oceanic circulation, with an emphasis on how these alterations in the physical climate system affect Southern Hemisphere weather, especially over the summer season (December-February). These potentially include increased incidence of extreme events, resulting in costly floods, drought, wildfires and serious environmental damage. The ecosystem impacts documented so far include changes to growth rates of South American and New Zealand trees, decreased growth of Antarctic mosses and changing biodiversity in Antarctic lakes. The objective of this synthesis was to stimulate the ecological community to look beyond ultraviolet-B radiation when considering the impacts of ozone depletion. Such widespread changes in Southern Hemisphere climate are likely to have had as much or more impact on natural ecosystems and food production over the past few decades, than the increased ultraviolet radiation due to ozone depletion.

  2. Climate-driven regime shifts in Arctic marine benthos

    PubMed Central

    Kortsch, Susanne; Primicerio, Raul; Beuchel, Frank; Renaud, Paul E.; Rodrigues, João; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Gulliksen, Bjørn

    2012-01-01

    Climate warming can trigger abrupt ecosystem changes in the Arctic. Despite the considerable interest in characterizing and understanding the ecological impact of rapid climate warming in the Arctic, few long time series exist that allow addressing these research goals. During a 30-y period (1980–2010) of gradually increasing seawater temperature and decreasing sea ice cover in Svalbard, we document rapid and extensive structural changes in the rocky-bottom communities of two Arctic fjords. The most striking component of the benthic reorganization was an abrupt fivefold increase in macroalgal cover in 1995 in Kongsfjord and an eightfold increase in 2000 in Smeerenburgfjord. Simultaneous changes in the abundance of benthic invertebrates suggest that the macroalgae played a key structuring role in these communities. The abrupt, substantial, and persistent nature of the changes observed is indicative of a climate-driven ecological regime shift. The ecological processes thought to drive the observed regime shifts are likely to promote the borealization of these Arctic marine communities in the coming years. PMID:22891319

  3. Climate-driven regime shifts in Arctic marine benthos.

    PubMed

    Kortsch, Susanne; Primicerio, Raul; Beuchel, Frank; Renaud, Paul E; Rodrigues, João; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Gulliksen, Bjørn

    2012-08-28

    Climate warming can trigger abrupt ecosystem changes in the Arctic. Despite the considerable interest in characterizing and understanding the ecological impact of rapid climate warming in the Arctic, few long time series exist that allow addressing these research goals. During a 30-y period (1980-2010) of gradually increasing seawater temperature and decreasing sea ice cover in Svalbard, we document rapid and extensive structural changes in the rocky-bottom communities of two Arctic fjords. The most striking component of the benthic reorganization was an abrupt fivefold increase in macroalgal cover in 1995 in Kongsfjord and an eightfold increase in 2000 in Smeerenburgfjord. Simultaneous changes in the abundance of benthic invertebrates suggest that the macroalgae played a key structuring role in these communities. The abrupt, substantial, and persistent nature of the changes observed is indicative of a climate-driven ecological regime shift. The ecological processes thought to drive the observed regime shifts are likely to promote the borealization of these Arctic marine communities in the coming years.

  4. Climate change-contaminant interactions in marine food webs: Toward a conceptual framework.

    PubMed

    Alava, Juan José; Cheung, William W L; Ross, Peter S; Sumaila, U Rashid

    2017-02-17

    Climate change is reshaping the way in which contaminants move through the global environment, in large part by changing the chemistry of the oceans and affecting the physiology, health, and feeding ecology of marine biota. Climate change-associated impacts on structure and function of marine food webs, with consequent changes in contaminant transport, fate, and effects, are likely to have significant repercussions to those human populations that rely on fisheries resources for food, recreation, or culture. Published studies on climate change-contaminant interactions with a focus on food web bioaccumulation were systematically reviewed to explore how climate change and ocean acidification may impact contaminant levels in marine food webs. We propose here a conceptual framework to illustrate the impacts of climate change on contaminant accumulation in marine food webs, as well as the downstream consequences for ecosystem goods and services. The potential impacts on social and economic security for coastal communities that depend on fisheries for food are discussed. Climate change-contaminant interactions may alter the bioaccumulation of two priority contaminant classes: the fat-soluble persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as the protein-binding methylmercury (MeHg). These interactions include phenomena deemed to be either climate change dominant (i.e., climate change leads to an increase in contaminant exposure) or contaminant dominant (i.e., contamination leads to an increase in climate change susceptibility). We illustrate the pathways of climate change-contaminant interactions using case studies in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. The important role of ecological and food web modeling to inform decision-making in managing ecological and human health risks of chemical pollutants contamination under climate change is also highlighted. Finally, we identify the need to develop integrated policies that manage the

  5. Marine ecosystem response to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Martin; Beaugrand, Gregory; Helaouët, Pierre; Alheit, Jürgen; Coombs, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Against the backdrop of warming of the Northern Hemisphere it has recently been acknowledged that North Atlantic temperature changes undergo considerable variability over multidecadal periods. The leading component of natural low-frequency temperature variability has been termed the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Presently, correlative studies on the biological impact of the AMO on marine ecosystems over the duration of a whole AMO cycle (∼60 years) is largely unknown due to the rarity of continuously sustained biological observations at the same time period. To test whether there is multidecadal cyclic behaviour in biological time-series in the North Atlantic we used one of the world's longest continuously sustained marine biological time-series in oceanic waters, long-term fisheries data and historical records over the last century and beyond. Our findings suggest that the AMO is far from a trivial presence against the backdrop of continued temperature warming in the North Atlantic and accounts for the second most important macro-trend in North Atlantic plankton records; responsible for habitat switching (abrupt ecosystem/regime shifts) over multidecadal scales and influences the fortunes of various fisheries over many centuries.

  6. Modelling the interactions between DOM and bacteria in marine ecosystems: state of the art and future prospective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    polimene, Luca

    2014-05-01

    Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the main source of carbon, nutrients and energy for marine prokaryotes, the most abundant life form in the oceans. Only a fraction of assimilated DOM is used by prokaryotes to synthesise new biomass (particulate organic matter, POM), while the rest is used for respiration or is excreted back into the environment as recalcitrant DOM (RDOM). The relative proportions of assimilated DOM that is distributed either to POM, respiration or RDOM is not constant but highly variable depending on the environmental conditions (e.g. nutrient availability, quality/quantity of DOM, temperature). This metabolic plasticity allows bacteria to shape the biogeochemistry of the surrounding waters by modulating three key carbon/energy fluxes fundamental for the functioning of the marine ecosystem: i) the transition from DOM to POM, ii) the remineralisation of carbon and nutrients, and iii) the transformation of labile DOM into recalcitrant DOM. The explicit representation of these processes (and their relative efficiency) in marine ecosystem models is a crucial (and challenging) issue which cannot be overlooked if we want to properly simulate marine biogeochemical cycles under present and climate changing conditions. This talk will provide an overview of how state of the art marine ecosystem models represent the interactions between DOM and bacteria, highlighting strengths and limits of the approaches currently used. A summary of future developments along with issues still open on the topic will also be presented and discussed.

  7. Marine ecosystem dynamics, ocean circulation and horizontal stirring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, V.; Tewkai, E.; López, C.; Sudre, J.; Hernández-García, E.; Garcon, V.

    2009-04-01

    The oceanic submeso and mesoscale circulation and its eddies, filaments, meanders play a major role in marine ecosystems dynamics from the lower trophic levels to the marine top predators. We study here the interplay between turbulence in fluid dynamics on these scales and biological activity at different trophic levels using two cases study. The first example focuses on the four eastern boundary upwelling zones, the Canary, Benguela, California and Humboldt upwelling systems which constitute the largest contribution to the world ocean productivity. These areas are spatially heterogeneous, populated with a large variety of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale structures such as filaments, plumes and eddies, which control exchange processes between the shelf and open ocean and play a major role in modulating the biomass, rates and structure of marine ecosystems. We will present here results from a lagrangian approach based on Finite Size Lyapunov Exponents (FSLE) using altimetric and scatterometric data to estimate the spatial and temporal variations in the lateral stirring and mixing of tracers in the upper ocean within the four areas. When investigating links with chlorophyll a concentration as a proxy for biological activity in these upwelling systems, results show that surface horizontal stirring and mixing vary inversely with chlorophyll standing stocks. FSLEs lead to a clear clustering of the systems suggesting that one may use them as integrated and comparative indices for characterizing horizontal dynamical features in all eastern boundary upwellings. Then we investigate the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel on the distribution of a top marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using similar dynamical concept, the FSLE, we have identified Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the Channel. By comparing seabirds' satellite positions with LCSs locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these

  8. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project - Marine Mammal Tagging and Tracking

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project...U.S. - Canada Transboundary Fish and Lower Trophic Communities and CASES studies and to interpret the MARES findings in reference to the significant...location as well as dive profiles, CTD and fluorometer data. The transmitters are expected to report for six months or longer. Field work during the entire

  9. Challenges for Ecosystem Services Provided by Coral Reefs In the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikuchi, R. K.; Elliff, C. I.

    2014-12-01

    to increase resilience and guarantee the adaptation of this ecosystem to climate change. Thus, considering that the majority of the marine ecosystem services we benefit from are provided from coastal habitats, of which coral reefs play an important role, the challenge at hand is in fact the interaction between local factors and climate change

  10. Improving the interpretability of climate landscape metrics: an ecological risk analysis of Japan's Marine Protected Areas.

    PubMed

    García Molinos, Jorge; Takao, Shintaro; Kumagai, Naoki H; Poloczanska, Elvira S; Burrows, Michael T; Fujii, Masahiko; Yamano, Hiroya

    2017-02-17

    Conservation efforts strive to protect significant swaths of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems from a range of threats. As climate change becomes an increasing concern, these efforts must take into account how resilient protected spaces will be in the face of future drivers of change such as warming temperatures. Climate landscape metrics, which signal the spatial magnitude and direction of climate change, support a convenient initial assessment of potential threats to and opportunities within ecosystems to inform conservation and policy efforts where biological data are not available. However, inference of risk from purely physical climatic changes is difficult unless set in a meaningful ecological context. Here, we aim to establish this context using historical climatic variability, as a proxy for local adaptation by resident biota, to identify areas where current local climate conditions will remain extant and future regional climate analogues will emerge. This information is then related to the processes governing species' climate-driven range edge dynamics, differentiating changes in local climate conditions as promoters of species range contractions from those in neighbouring locations facilitating range expansions. We applied this approach to assess the future climatic stability and connectivity of Japanese waters and its network of marine protected areas (MPAs). We find 88% of Japanese waters transitioning to climates outside their historical variability bounds by 2035, resulting in large reductions in the amount of available climatic space potentially promoting widespread range contractions and expansions. Areas of high connectivity, where shifting climates converge, are present along sections of the coast facilitated by the strong latitudinal gradient of the Japanese archipelago and its ocean current system. While these areas overlap significantly with areas currently under significant anthropogenic pressures, they also include much of the MPA

  11. Mammoth ecosystem: Climatic areal, animal's density and cause of extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimov, S.; Zimov, N.; Zimova, G.; Chapin, S. F.

    2008-12-01

    During the last glaciations Mammoth Ecosystem (ME) occupied territory from present-day France to Canada and from the Arctic islands to China. This ecosystem played major role in global carbon cycle and human settling around the planet. Causes of extinction of this ecosystem are debatable. Analyses of hundreds of radiocarbon dates of ME animal fossil remains showed that warming and moistening of climate wasn't accompanied by animal extinction. On the opposite, on the north right after the warming rise of herbivore population was observed. Reconstruction of ME climatic areal showed that its climatic optimum lies within range of annual precipitation of 200-350 mm and average summer temperatures of +8-+12oC which corresponds with modern climate of Northern Siberia. Analyses of bones and skeletons concentrations in permafrost of Northern Siberia showed that animal density in ME was similar to African savannah. That was a high productive ecosystem that could sustain in wide variety of climates because numerous herbivores maintained there pastures themselves.

  12. Summertime CO2 fluxes and ecosystem respiration from marine animal colony tundra in maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Renbin; Bao, Tao; Wang, Qing; Xu, Hua; Liu, Yashu

    2014-12-01

    Net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (ER) were investigated at penguin, seal and skua colony tundra and the adjacent animal-lacking tundra sites in maritime Antarctica. Net CO2 fluxes showed a large difference between marine animal colonies and animal-lacking tundra sites. The mean NEE from penguin, seal and skua colony tundra sites ranged from -37.2 to 5.2 mg CO2 m-2 h-1, whereas animal-lacking tundra sites experienced a larger net gain of CO2 with the mean flux range from -85.6 to -23.9 mg CO2 m-2 h-1. Ecosystem respiration rates at penguin colony tundra sites (mean 201.3 ± 31.4 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than those at penguin-lacking tundra sites (64.0-87.1 mg CO2 m-2 h-1). The gross photosynthesis (Pg) showed a consistent trend to ER with the highest mean Pg (219.7 ± 34.5 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) at penguin colony tundra sites. When all the data were combined from different types of tundra ecosystems, summertime tundra NEE showed a weak or strong positive correlation with air temperature, 0-10 cm soil temperature or precipitation. The NEE from marine animal colony and animal-lacking tundra was significantly positively correlated (P < 0.001) with soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) contents and C:N ratios. The ER showed a significant exponential correlation (P < 0.01) with mean 0-15 cm soil temperature, and much higher Q10 value (9.97) was obtained compared with other terrestrial ecosystems, indicating greater temperature sensitivity of tundra ecosystem respiration. Our results indicate that marine animals and the deposition of their excreta might have an important effect on tundra CO2 exchanges and ecosystem respiration, and current climate warming will further decrease tundra CO2 sink in maritime Antarctica.

  13. Provenance for actionable data products and indicators in marine ecosystem assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; Fox, P. A.; West, P.; Di Stefano, M.; Hare, J. A.; Fogarty, M.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem-based management of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) involves the sharing of data and information products among a diverse set of stakeholders - from environmental and fisheries scientists to policy makers, commercial entities, nonprofits, and the public. Often the data products that are shared have resulted from a number of processing steps and may also have involved the combination of a number of data sources. The traceability from an actionable data product or indicator back to its original data source(s) is important not just for trust and understanding of each final data product, but also to compare with similar data products produced by the different stakeholder groups. For a data product to be traceable, its provenance, i.e., lineage or history, must be recorded and preferably machine-readable. We are collaborating on a use case to develop a software framework for the bi-annual Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the U.S. Northeast Shelf LME. The ESR presents indicators of ecosystem status including climate forcing, primary and secondary production, anthropogenic factors, and integrated ecosystem measures. Our software framework retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, provides iterative and interactive visualization, and generates final graphics for the ESR. The specific process for each data and information product is updated in a metadata template, including data source, code versioning, attribution, and related contextual information suitable for traceability, repeatability, explanation, verification, and validation. Here we present the use of standard metadata for provenance for data products in the ESR, in particular the W3C provenance (PROV) family of specifications, including the PROV-O ontology which maps the PROV data model to RDF. We are also exploring extensions to PROV-O in development (e.g., PROV-ES for Earth Science Data Systems, D-PROV for workflow structure). To associate data products in the ESR to domain-specific ontologies we are

  14. The developing framework of marine ecotoxicology: Pollutants as a variable in marine ecosystems?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luoma, Samuel N.

    1996-01-01

    Marine ecosystems include a subset in which at least some interrelated geochemical, biochemical, physiological, population and community characteristics are changed by pollutants. Moderate contamination is relatively widespread in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, so the subset of ecosystems with at least some processes affected could be relatively large. Pollutant influences have changed and will probably continue to change on time scales of decades. Biological exposures and dose in such ecosystems are species-specific and determined by how the species is exposed to different environmental media and the geochemistry of individual pollutants within those media. Bioaccumulation models offer significant promise for interpreting such exposures. Biological responses to pollutants need to be more directly linked to exposure and dose. At the level of the individual this might be improved by better understanding relationships between tissue concentrations of pollutants and responses to pollutants. Multi-discipline field and laboratory studies combined with advanced understanding of some basic processes have reduced the ambiguities in interpreting a few physiological/organismic responses to pollutants in nature. Recognition of pollutant-induced patterns in population responses could lead to similar advances. A rational framework for ecotoxicology is developing, but its further advance is dependent upon better integration of ecotoxicology with basic marine ecology and biology.

  15. Climate and ecosystem linkages explain widespread declines in North American Atlantic salmon populations.

    PubMed

    Mills, Katherine E; Pershing, Andrew J; Sheehan, Timothy F; Mountain, David

    2013-10-01

    North American Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) populations experienced substantial declines in the early 1990s, and many populations have persisted at low abundances in recent years. Abundance and productivity declined in a coherent manner across major regions of North America, and this coherence points toward a potential shift in marine survivorship, rather than local, river-specific factors. The major declines in Atlantic salmon populations occurred against a backdrop of physical and biological shifts in Northwest Atlantic ecosystems. Analyses of changes in climate, physical, and lower trophic level biological factors provide substantial evidence that climate conditions directly and indirectly influence the abundance and productivity of North American Atlantic salmon populations. A major decline in salmon abundance after 1990 was preceded by a series of changes across multiple levels of the ecosystem, and a subsequent population change in 1997, primarily related to salmon productivity, followed an unusually low NAO event. Pairwise correlations further demonstrate that climate and physical conditions are associated with changes in plankton communities and prey availability, which are ultimately linked to Atlantic salmon populations. Results suggest that poor trophic conditions, likely due to climate-driven environmental factors, and warmer ocean temperatures throughout their marine habitat area are constraining the productivity and recovery of North American Atlantic salmon populations.

  16. Managing living marine resources in a dynamic environment: The role of seasonal to decadal climate forecasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tommasi, Desiree; Stock, Charles A.; Hobday, Alistair J.; Methot, Rick; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Eveson, J. Paige; Holsman, Kirstin; Miller, Timothy J.; Gaichas, Sarah; Gehlen, Marion; Pershing, Andrew; Vecchi, Gabriel A.; Msadek, Rym; Delworth, Tom; Eakin, C. Mark; Haltuch, Melissa A.; Séférian, Roland; Spillman, Claire M.; Hartog, Jason R.; Siedlecki, Samantha; Samhouri, Jameal F.; Muhling, Barbara; Asch, Rebecca G.; Pinsky, Malin L.; Saba, Vincent S.; Kapnick, Sarah B.; Gaitan, Carlos F.; Rykaczewski, Ryan R.; Alexander, Michael A.; Xue, Yan; Pegion, Kathleen V.; Lynch, Patrick; Payne, Mark R.; Kristiansen, Trond; Lehodey, Patrick; Werner, Francisco E.

    2017-03-01

    Recent developments in global dynamical climate prediction systems have allowed for skillful predictions of climate variables relevant to living marine resources (LMRs) at a scale useful to understanding and managing LMRs. Such predictions present opportunities for improved LMR management and industry operations, as well as new research avenues in fisheries science. LMRs respond to climate variability via changes in physiology and behavior. For species and systems where climate-fisheries links are well established, forecasted LMR responses can lead to anticipatory and more effective decisions, benefitting both managers and stakeholders. Here, we provide an overview of climate prediction systems and advances in seasonal to decadal prediction of marine-resource relevant environmental variables. We then describe a range of climate-sensitive LMR decisions that can be taken at lead-times of months to decades, before highlighting a range of pioneering case studies using climate predictions to inform LMR decisions. The success of these case studies suggests that many additional applications are possible. Progress, however, is limited by observational and modeling challenges. Priority developments include strengthening of the mechanistic linkages between climate and marine resource responses, development of LMR models able to explicitly represent such responses, integration of climate driven LMR dynamics in the multi-driver context within which marine resources exist, and improved prediction of ecosystem-relevant variables at the fine regional scales at which most marine resource decisions are made. While there are fundamental limits to predictability, continued advances in these areas have considerable potential to make LMR managers and industry decision more resilient to climate variability and help sustain valuable resources. Concerted dialog between scientists, LMR managers and industry is essential to realizing this potential.

  17. Integrating Climate Change Resilience Features into the Incremental Refinement of an Existing Marine Park

    PubMed Central

    Beckley, Lynnath E.; Kobryn, Halina T.; Lombard, Amanda T.; Radford, Ben; Heyward, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Marine protected area (MPA) designs are likely to require iterative refinement as new knowledge is gained. In particular, there is an increasing need to consider the effects of climate change, especially the ability of ecosystems to resist and/or recover from climate-related disturbances, within the MPA planning process. However, there has been limited research addressing the incorporation of climate change resilience into MPA design. This study used Marxan conservation planning software with fine-scale shallow water (<20 m) bathymetry and habitat maps, models of major benthic communities for deeper water, and comprehensive human use information from Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia to identify climate change resilience features to integrate into the incremental refinement of the marine park. The study assessed the representation of benthic habitats within the current marine park zones, identified priority areas of high resilience for inclusion within no-take zones and examined if any iterative refinements to the current no-take zones are necessary. Of the 65 habitat classes, 16 did not meet representation targets within the current no-take zones, most of which were in deeper offshore waters. These deeper areas also demonstrated the highest resilience values and, as such, Marxan outputs suggested minor increases to the current no-take zones in the deeper offshore areas. This work demonstrates that inclusion of fine-scale climate change resilience features within the design process for MPAs is feasible, and can be applied to future marine spatial planning practices globally. PMID:27529820

  18. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-27

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  19. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  20. [Effects of artificial reef construction to marine ecosystem services value: a case of Yang-Meikeng artificial reef region in Shenzhen].

    PubMed

    Qin, Chuan-xin; Chem, Pi-mao; Jia, Xiao-ping

    2011-08-01

    Based on the researches and statistic data of Yangmeikeng artificial reef region in Shenzhen in 2008 and by the method of ecosystem services value, this paper analyzed the effects of artificial reef construction in the region on the marine ecosystem services. After the artificial reef construction, the tourism service value in the region decreased from 87% to 42%, food supply service value increased from 7% to 27%, and the services value of raw material supply, climatic regulation, air quality regulation, water quality regulation, harmful organism and disease regulation, and knowledge expansion had a slight increase, as compared to the surrounding coastal areas. The total services value per unit area of Yangmeikeng artificial reef region in 2008 was 1714.7 x 10(4) yuan x km(-2), far higher than the mean services value of coastal marine ecosystem in the surrounding areas of Shenzhen and in the world. Artificial reef construction affected and altered the structure of regional marine ecosystem services value, and improved the regional ecosystem services value, being of significance for the rational exploitation and utilization of marine resources and the successful recovery of damaged marine eco-environment and fish resources. Utilizing the method of ecosystem services value to evaluate artificial reef construction region could better elucidate the benefits of artificial reef construction, effectively promote the development of our artificial reef construction, and improve the management of marine ecosystem.

  1. Effects of UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with climate change.

    PubMed

    Häder, D-P; Helbling, E W; Williamson, C E; Worrest, R C

    2011-02-01

    The health of freshwater and marine ecosystems is critical to life on Earth. The impact of solar UV-B radiation is one potential stress factor that can have a negative impact on the health of certain species within these ecosystems. Although there is a paucity of data and information regarding the effect of UV-B radiation on total ecosystem structure and function, several recent studies have addressed the effects on various species within each trophic level. Climate change, acid deposition, and changes in other anthropogenic stressors such as pollutants alter UV exposure levels in inland and coastal marine waters. These factors potentially have important consequences for a variety of aquatic organisms including waterborne human pathogens. Recent results have demonstrated the negative impacts of exposure to UV-B radiation on primary producers, including effects on cyanobacteria, phytoplankton, macroalgae and aquatic plants. UV-B radiation is an environmental stressor for many aquatic consumers, including zooplankton, crustaceans, amphibians, fish, and corals. Many aquatic producers and consumers rely on avoidance strategies, repair mechanisms and the synthesis of UV-absorbing substances for protection. However, there has been relatively little information generated regarding the impact of solar UV-B radiation on species composition within natural ecosystems or on the interaction of organisms between trophic levels within those ecosystems. There remains the question as to whether a decrease in population size of the more sensitive primary producers would be compensated for by an increase in the population size of more tolerant species, and therefore whether there would be a net negative impact on the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide by these ecosystems. Another question is whether there would be a significant impact on the quantity and quality of nutrients cycling through the food web, including the generation of food proteins for humans. Interactive effects

  2. Climate impact on plankton ecosystems in the Northeast Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Anthony J; Schoeman, David S

    2004-09-10

    It is now widely accepted that global warming is occurring, yet its effects on the world's largest ecosystem, the marine pelagic realm, are largely unknown. We show that sea surface warming in the Northeast Atlantic is accompanied by increasing phytoplankton abundance in cooler regions and decreasing phytoplankton abundance in warmer regions. This impact propagates up the food web (bottom-up control) through copepod herbivores to zooplankton carnivores because of tight trophic coupling. Future warming is therefore likely to alter the spatial distribution of primary and secondary pelagic production, affecting ecosystem services and placing additional stress on already-depleted fish and mammal populations.

  3. Decline of the marine ecosystem caused by a reduction in the Atlantic overturning circulation.

    PubMed

    Schmittner, Andreas

    2005-03-31

    Reorganizations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation were associated with large and abrupt climatic changes in the North Atlantic region during the last glacial period. Projections with climate models suggest that similar reorganizations may also occur in response to anthropogenic global warming. Here I use ensemble simulations with a coupled climate-ecosystem model of intermediate complexity to investigate the possible consequences of such disturbances to the marine ecosystem. In the simulations, a disruption of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation leads to a collapse of the North Atlantic plankton stocks to less than half of their initial biomass, owing to rapid shoaling of winter mixed layers and their associated separation from the deep ocean nutrient reservoir. Globally integrated export production declines by more than 20 per cent owing to reduced upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water and gradual depletion of upper ocean nutrient concentrations. These model results are consistent with the available high-resolution palaeorecord, and suggest that global ocean productivity is sensitive to changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

  4. CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS ON ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND HUMAN HEALTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human health and well-being are and will be affected by climate change, both directly through changes in extreme weather events and indirectly through weather induced changes in societal systems and their supporting ecosystems. The goal of this study was to develop and apply a b...

  5. The costs of climate change: ecosystem services and wildland fires

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper we use Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) to monetize the avoided ecosystem services losses due to climate change-induced wildland fires in the U.S. Specifically, we use the U.S. Forest Service’s MC1 dynamic global vegetation model to forecast changes in wildland fi...

  6. Climate change, soil health, and ecosystem goods and services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Worldwide, climate change is predicted to alter precipitation regimes, annual temperatures, and occurrence of severe weather events. These changes have important implications for soil health-- defined as the capacity of a soil to contribute to ecosystem function and sustain producers and consumers--...

  7. Global climate change and the evolutionary ecology of ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J

    2013-09-01

    Environmental warming due to global climate change is an important stressor that stands to alter organismal physiology and, ultimately, carbon cycling in ecosystems. Yet the theoretical framework for predicting warming effects on whole-ecosystem carbon balance by way of changes in organismal physiology remains rudimentary. This is because ecosystem science has yet to embrace principles of evolutionary ecology that offer the means to explain how environmental stress on organisms mediates ecosystem carbon dynamics. Here, using selected case studies and a theoretical model, I sketch out one framework that shows how increases in animal metabolic rates in response to thermal stress lead to phenotypically plastic shifts in animal elemental demand, from nitrogen-rich proteins that support production to carbon-rich soluble carbohydrates that support elevated energy demands. I further show how such a switch in resource selection alters the fate of carbon between atmospheric versus animal, plant, and soil pools. The framework shows that animals, despite having relatively low biomass representation in ecosystems, can nonetheless have disproportionately larger effects on carbon cycling in ecosystems whose effects are exacerbated by environmental stressors like climate warming.

  8. Solutions for ecosystem-level protection of ocean systems under climate change.

    PubMed

    Queirós, Ana M; Huebert, Klaus B; Keyl, Friedemann; Fernandes, Jose A; Stolte, Willem; Maar, Marie; Kay, Susan; Jones, Miranda C; Hamon, Katell G; Hendriksen, Gerrit; Vermard, Youen; Marchal, Paul; Teal, Lorna R; Somerfield, Paul J; Austen, Melanie C; Barange, Manuel; Sell, Anne F; Allen, Icarus; Peck, Myron A

    2016-12-01

    The Paris Conference of Parties (COP21) agreement renewed momentum for action against climate change, creating the space for solutions for conservation of the ocean addressing two of its largest threats: climate change and ocean acidification (CCOA). Recent arguments that ocean policies disregard a mature conservation research field and that protected areas cannot address climate change may be oversimplistic at this time when dynamic solutions for the management of changing oceans are needed. We propose a novel approach, based on spatial meta-analysis of climate impact models, to improve the positioning of marine protected areas to limit CCOA impacts. We do this by estimating the vulnerability of ocean ecosystems to CCOA in a spatially explicit manner and then co-mapping human activities such as the placement of renewable energy developments and the distribution of marine protected areas. We test this approach in the NE Atlantic considering also how CCOA impacts the base of the food web which supports protected species, an aspect often neglected in conservation studies. We found that, in this case, current regional conservation plans protect areas with low ecosystem-level vulnerability to CCOA, but disregard how species may redistribute to new, suitable and productive habitats. Under current plans, these areas remain open to commercial extraction and other uses. Here, and worldwide, ocean conservation strategies under CCOA must recognize the long-term importance of these habitat refuges, and studies such as this one are needed to identify them. Protecting these areas creates adaptive, climate-ready and ecosystem-level policy options for conservation, suitable for changing oceans.

  9. Critical indirect effects of climate change on sub-Antarctic ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Louise Allan, E; William Froneman, P; Durgadoo, Jonathan V; McQuaid, Christopher D; Ansorge, Isabelle J; Richoux, Nicole B

    2013-09-01

    Sub-Antarctic islands represent critical breeding habitats for land-based top predators that dominate Southern Ocean food webs. Reproduction and molting incur high energetic demands that are sustained at the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands (PEIs) by both inshore (phytoplankton blooms; "island mass effect"; autochthonous) and offshore (allochthonous) productivity. As the relative contributions of these sustenance pathways are, in turn, affected by oceanographic conditions around the PEIs, we address the consequences of climatically driven changes in the physical environment on this island ecosystem. We show that there has been a measurable long-term shift in the carbon isotope signatures of the benthos inhabiting the shallow shelf region of the PEIs, most likely reflecting a long-term decline in enhanced phytoplankton productivity at the islands in response to a climate-driven shift in the position of the sub-Antarctic Front. Our results indicate that regional climate change has affected the balance between allochthonous and autochthonous productivity at the PEIs. Over the last three decades, inshore-feeding top predators at the islands have shown a marked decrease in their population sizes. Conversely, population sizes of offshore-feeding predators that forage over great distances from the islands have remained stable or increased, with one exception. Population decline of predators that rely heavily on organisms inhabiting the inshore region strongly suggest changes in prey availability, which are likely driven by factors such as fisheries impacts on some prey populations and shifts in competitive interactions among predators. In addition to these local factors, our analysis indicates that changes in prey availability may also result indirectly through regional climate change effects on the islands' marine ecosystem. Most importantly, our results indicate that a fundamental shift in the balance between allochthonous and autochthonous trophic pathways within

  10. Response of ocean ecosystems to climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarmiento, J. L.; Slater, R.; Barber, R.; Bopp, L.; Doney, S. C.; Hirst, A. C.; Kleypas, J.; Matear, R.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Monfray, P.; Soldatov, V.; Spall, S. A.; Stouffer, R.

    2004-09-01

    We examine six different coupled climate model simulations to determine the ocean biological response to climate warming between the beginning of the industrial revolution and 2050. We use vertical velocity, maximum winter mixed layer depth, and sea ice cover to define six biomes. Climate warming leads to a contraction of the highly productive marginal sea ice biome by 42% in the Northern Hemisphere and 17% in the Southern Hemisphere, and leads to an expansion of the low productivity permanently stratified subtropical gyre biome by 4.0% in the Northern Hemisphere and 9.4% in the Southern Hemisphere. In between these, the subpolar gyre biome expands by 16% in the Northern Hemisphere and 7% in the Southern Hemisphere, and the seasonally stratified subtropical gyre contracts by 11% in both hemispheres. The low-latitude (mostly coastal) upwelling biome area changes only modestly. Vertical stratification increases, which would be expected to decrease nutrient supply everywhere, but increase the growing season length in high latitudes. We use satellite ocean color and climatological observations to develop an empirical model for predicting chlorophyll from the physical properties of the global warming simulations. Four features stand out in the response to global warming: (1) a drop in chlorophyll in the North Pacific due primarily to retreat of the marginal sea ice biome, (2) a tendency toward an increase in chlorophyll in the North Atlantic due to a complex combination of factors, (3) an increase in chlorophyll in the Southern Ocean due primarily to the retreat of and changes at the northern boundary of the marginal sea ice zone, and (4) a tendency toward a decrease in chlorophyll adjacent to the Antarctic continent due primarily to freshening within the marginal sea ice zone. We use three different primary production algorithms to estimate the response of primary production to climate warming based on our estimated chlorophyll concentrations. The three algorithms give

  11. Effects of Ocean Acidification on Temperate Coastal Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries in the Northeast Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A.; Neate, Holly E.; Edwards, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2–3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty. PMID

  12. Effects of ocean acidification on temperate coastal marine ecosystems and fisheries in the northeast Pacific.

    PubMed

    Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A; Neate, Holly E; Edwards, Andrew M

    2015-01-01

    As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2-3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty.

  13. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Planavsky, Noah J; Shi, Wei; Zhang, Zihu; Zhou, Chuanming; Cheng, Meng; Tarhan, Lidya G; Luo, Genming; Xie, Shucheng

    2015-11-24

    Oxygenation has widely been viewed as a major factor driving the emergence and diversification of animals. However, links between early animal evolution and shifts in surface oxygen levels have largely been limited to extrapolation of paleoredox conditions reconstructed from unfossiliferous strata to settings in which contemporaneous fossils were preserved. Herein, we present a multi-proxy paleoredox study of late Ediacaran (ca. 560-551 Ma) shales hosting the Miaohe Konservat-Lagerstätte of South China and, for comparison, equivalent non-fossil-bearing shales at adjacent sections. For the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe there is geochemical evidence for anoxic conditions, but paleontological evidence for at least episodically oxic conditions. An oxygen-stressed environment is consistent with the low diversity and simple morphology of Miaohe Biota macrofossils. However, there is no evidence for euxinic (anoxic and sulphidic) conditions for the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe, in contrast to adjacent unfossiliferous sections. Our results indicate that Ediacaran marine redox chemistry was highly heterogeneous, even at the kilometre-scale. Therefore, our study provides direct-rather than inferred-evidence that anoxia played a role in shaping a landmark Ediacaran ecosystem. If the anoxic conditions characteristic of the studied sections were widespread in the late Neoproterozoic, environmental stress would have hindered the development of complex ecosystems.

  14. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chao; Planavsky, Noah J.; Shi, Wei; Zhang, Zihu; Zhou, Chuanming; Cheng, Meng; Tarhan, Lidya G.; Luo, Genming; Xie, Shucheng

    2015-11-01

    Oxygenation has widely been viewed as a major factor driving the emergence and diversification of animals. However, links between early animal evolution and shifts in surface oxygen levels have largely been limited to extrapolation of paleoredox conditions reconstructed from unfossiliferous strata to settings in which contemporaneous fossils were preserved. Herein, we present a multi-proxy paleoredox study of late Ediacaran (ca. 560-551 Ma) shales hosting the Miaohe Konservat-Lagerstätte of South China and, for comparison, equivalent non-fossil-bearing shales at adjacent sections. For the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe there is geochemical evidence for anoxic conditions, but paleontological evidence for at least episodically oxic conditions. An oxygen-stressed environment is consistent with the low diversity and simple morphology of Miaohe Biota macrofossils. However, there is no evidence for euxinic (anoxic and sulphidic) conditions for the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe, in contrast to adjacent unfossiliferous sections. Our results indicate that Ediacaran marine redox chemistry was highly heterogeneous, even at the kilometre-scale. Therefore, our study provides direct—rather than inferred—evidence that anoxia played a role in shaping a landmark Ediacaran ecosystem. If the anoxic conditions characteristic of the studied sections were widespread in the late Neoproterozoic, environmental stress would have hindered the development of complex ecosystems.

  15. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao; Planavsky, Noah J.; Shi, Wei; Zhang, Zihu; Zhou, Chuanming; Cheng, Meng; Tarhan, Lidya G.; Luo, Genming; Xie, Shucheng

    2015-01-01

    Oxygenation has widely been viewed as a major factor driving the emergence and diversification of animals. However, links between early animal evolution and shifts in surface oxygen levels have largely been limited to extrapolation of paleoredox conditions reconstructed from unfossiliferous strata to settings in which contemporaneous fossils were preserved. Herein, we present a multi-proxy paleoredox study of late Ediacaran (ca. 560-551 Ma) shales hosting the Miaohe Konservat-Lagerstätte of South China and, for comparison, equivalent non-fossil-bearing shales at adjacent sections. For the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe there is geochemical evidence for anoxic conditions, but paleontological evidence for at least episodically oxic conditions. An oxygen-stressed environment is consistent with the low diversity and simple morphology of Miaohe Biota macrofossils. However, there is no evidence for euxinic (anoxic and sulphidic) conditions for the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe, in contrast to adjacent unfossiliferous sections. Our results indicate that Ediacaran marine redox chemistry was highly heterogeneous, even at the kilometre-scale. Therefore, our study provides direct—rather than inferred—evidence that anoxia played a role in shaping a landmark Ediacaran ecosystem. If the anoxic conditions characteristic of the studied sections were widespread in the late Neoproterozoic, environmental stress would have hindered the development of complex ecosystems. PMID:26597559

  16. Functional consequences of realistic biodiversity changes in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Friberg, Sara E; Gonzalez-Dorantes, Cirse A; Williams, Susan L

    2008-01-22

    Declines in biodiversity have prompted concern over the consequences of species loss for the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have evaluated the functional consequences of realistic, nonrandom changes in biodiversity. Instead, most designs have used randomly selected assemblages from a local species pool to construct diversity gradients. It is therefore difficult, based on current evidence, to predict the functional consequences of realistic declines in biodiversity. In this study, we used tide pool microcosms to demonstrate that the effects of real-world changes in biodiversity may be very different from those of random diversity changes. Specifically, we measured the relationship between the diversity of a seaweed assemblage and its ability to use nitrogen, a key limiting nutrient in nearshore marine systems. We quantified nitrogen uptake using both experimental and model seaweed assemblages and found that natural increases in diversity resulted in enhanced rates of nitrogen use, whereas random diversity changes had no effect on nitrogen uptake. Our results suggest that understanding the real-world consequences of declining biodiversity will require addressing changes in species performance along natural diversity gradients and understanding the relationships between species' susceptibility to loss and their contributions to ecosystem functioning.

  17. Effects of Ocean Ecosystem on Marine Aerosol-Cloud Interaction

    DOE PAGES

    Meskhidze, Nicholas; Nenes, Athanasios

    2010-01-01

    Using smore » atellite data for the surface ocean, aerosol optical depth (AOD), and cloud microphysical parameters, we show that statistically significant positive correlations exist between ocean ecosystem productivity, the abundance of submicron aerosols, and cloud microphysical properties over different parts of the remote oceans. The correlation coefficient for remotely sensed surface chlorophyll a concentration ([Chl- a ]) and liquid cloud effective radii over productive areas of the oceans varies between − 0.2 and − 0.6 . Special attention is given to identifying (and addressing) problems from correlation analysis used in the previous studies that can lead to erroneous conclusions. A new approach (using the difference between retrieved AOD and predicted sea salt aerosol optical depth, AOD diff ) is developed to explore causal links between ocean physical and biological systems and the abundance of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the remote marine atmosphere. We have found that over multiple time periods, 550 nm AOD diff (sensitive to accumulation mode aerosol, which is the prime contributor to CCN) correlates well with [Chl- a ] over the productive waters of the Southern Ocean. Since [Chl- a ] can be used as a proxy of ocean biological productivity, our analysis demonstrates the role of ocean ecology in contributing CCN, thus shaping the microphysical properties of low-level marine clouds.« less

  18. Climate, carbon cycling, and deep-ocean ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Smith, K L; Ruhl, H A; Bett, B J; Billett, D S M; Lampitt, R S; Kaufmann, R S

    2009-11-17

    Climate variation affects surface ocean processes and the production of organic carbon, which ultimately comprises the primary food supply to the deep-sea ecosystems that occupy approximately 60% of the Earth's surface. Warming trends in atmospheric and upper ocean temperatures, attributed to anthropogenic influence, have occurred over the past four decades. Changes in upper ocean temperature influence stratification and can affect the availability of nutrients for phytoplankton production. Global warming has been predicted to intensify stratification and reduce vertical mixing. Research also suggests that such reduced mixing will enhance variability in primary production and carbon export flux to the deep sea. The dependence of deep-sea communities on surface water production has raised important questions about how climate change will affect carbon cycling and deep-ocean ecosystem function. Recently, unprecedented time-series studies conducted over the past two decades in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic at >4,000-m depth have revealed unexpectedly large changes in deep-ocean ecosystems significantly correlated to climate-driven changes in the surface ocean that can impact the global carbon cycle. Climate-driven variation affects oceanic communities from surface waters to the much-overlooked deep sea and will have impacts on the global carbon cycle. Data from these two widely separated areas of the deep ocean provide compelling evidence that changes in climate can readily influence deep-sea processes. However, the limited geographic coverage of these existing time-series studies stresses the importance of developing a more global effort to monitor deep-sea ecosystems under modern conditions of rapidly changing climate.

  19. Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Alistair W R; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Long, Peter R; Benz, David; Willis, Kathy J

    2016-03-10

    The identification of properties that contribute to the persistence and resilience of ecosystems despite climate change constitutes a research priority of global relevance. Here we present a novel, empirical approach to assess the relative sensitivity of ecosystems to climate variability, one property of resilience that builds on theoretical modelling work recognizing that systems closer to critical thresholds respond more sensitively to external perturbations. We develop a new metric, the vegetation sensitivity index, that identifies areas sensitive to climate variability over the past 14 years. The metric uses time series data derived from the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index, and three climatic variables that drive vegetation productivity (air temperature, water availability and cloud cover). Underlying the analysis is an autoregressive modelling approach used to identify climate drivers of vegetation productivity on monthly timescales, in addition to regions with memory effects and reduced response rates to external forcing. We find ecologically sensitive regions with amplified responses to climate variability in the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, the tropical rainforest, alpine regions worldwide, steppe and prairie regions of central Asia and North and South America, the Caatinga deciduous forest in eastern South America, and eastern areas of Australia. Our study provides a quantitative methodology for assessing the relative response rate of ecosystems--be they natural or with a strong anthropogenic signature--to environmental variability, which is the first step towards addressing why some regions appear to be more sensitive than others, and what impact this has on the resilience of ecosystem service provision and human well-being.

  20. Climate-ecosystem change off southern California: Time-dependent seabird predator-prey numerical responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Santora, Jarrod A.; Koslow, J. Anthony; Goericke, Ralf; Ohman, Mark D.

    2015-02-01

    Climate change may increase both stratification and upwelling in marine ecosystems, but these processes may affect productivity in opposing or complementary ways. For the Southern California region of the California Current Ecosystem (CCE), we hypothesized that changes in stratification and upwelling have affected marine bird populations indirectly through changes in prey availability. To test this hypothesis, we derived trends and associations between stratification and upwelling, the relative abundance of potential prey including krill and forage fish, and seabirds based on the long-term, multi-disciplinary CalCOFI/CCE-LTER program. Over the period 1987 through 2011, spring and summer seabird density (all species combined) declined by ~2% per year, mostly in the northern sector of the study region. Krill showed variable trends with two species increasing and one deceasing, resulting in community reorganization. Nearshore forage fish, dominated by northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) as well as offshore mesopelagic species, show declines in relative abundance over this period. The unidirectional decline in springtime seabird density is largely explained by declining nearshore fish abundance in the previous season (winter). Interannual variability in seabird density, especially in the 2000s, is explained by variability in krill abundance. Changes in the numerical responses of seabirds to prey abundance correspond to a putative ecosystem shift in 1998-1999 and support aspects of optimal foraging (diet) theory. Predator-prey interactions and numerical responses clearly explain aspects of the upper trophic level patterns of change in the pelagic ecosystem off southern California.

  1. Marine Mammal Impacts in Exploited Ecosystems: Would Large Scale Culling Benefit Fisheries?

    PubMed Central

    Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy; Pauly, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Competition between marine mammals and fisheries for marine resources—whether real or perceived—has become a major issue for several countries and in international fora. We examined trophic interactions between marine mammals and fisheries based on a resource overlap index, using seven Ecopath models including marine mammal groups. On a global scale, most food consumed by marine mammals consisted of prey types that were not the main target of fisheries. For each ecosystem, the primary production required (PPR) to sustain marine mammals was less than half the PPR to sustain fisheries catches. We also developed an index representing the mean trophic level of marine mammal's consumption (TLQ) and compared it with the mean trophic level of fisheries' catches (TLC). Our results showed that overall TLQ was lower than TLC (2.88 versus 3.42). As fisheries increasingly exploit lower-trophic level species, the competition with marine mammals may become more important. We used mixed trophic impact analysis to evaluate indirect trophic effects of marine mammals, and in some cases found beneficial effects on some prey. Finally, we assessed the change in the trophic structure of an ecosystem after a simulated extirpation of marine mammal populations. We found that this lead to alterations in the structure of the ecosystems, and that there was no clear and direct relationship between marine mammals' predation and the potential catch by fisheries. Indeed, total biomass, with no marine mammals in the ecosystem, generally remained surprisingly similar, or even decreased for some species. PMID:22970153

  2. Developing climate change indicators and a climate change monitoring plan for decision-makers at a National Marine Sanctuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, B.; Higgason, K.; Suchanek, T.; Stachowicz, J.; Cayan, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in physical and biological components of the ecosystem along the North-central California coast have been identified as likely regional impacts of global climate change. To better monitor and address these impacts, physical and biological climate change indicators are identified for the region stretching from Bodega Head to Año Nuevo. This effort is based at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and it is the first of its kind within the National Marine Sanctuary system. The set of climate change indicators is developed following a rigorous and collaborative process that incorporates an extensive literature review, a large workshop with regional research scientists and managers, statistical downscaling of available general circulation model and regional climate model output, and analysis of available indicator data. Work is underway to incorporate the final set of climate change indicators into a comprehensive climate change monitoring inventory and plan, with significant input from a working group of regional scientific experts. The collaborative nature of this project helps to ensure that the chosen indicators can and will be used by scientists, natural resource managers, and state and municipal planners to monitor, track, mitigate, and develop adaptation strategies for the impacts of climate change on the North-central California coast.

  3. CLANIMAE: Climatic and Anthropogenic Impacts on African Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verschuren, D.; André, L.; Mahy, G.; Cocquyt, C.; Plisnier, P.-D.; Gelorini, V.; Rumes, B.; Lebrun, J.; Bock, L.; Marchant, R.

    2009-04-01

    Global studies of historical land use focusing on the large-scale landscape change that can potentially affect global climate (via effects on surface albedo, aerosols, and the carbon cycle) have concluded that the impact of pre-colonial East African cultures on regional ecosystems was limited, due to very low mean population density. This contrasts with the paradigm in East African archaeology and paleoecology that the onset of anthropogenic deforestation started at least 2500 years ago, following the introduction of iron metallurgy by Bantu immigrants. This conflict highlights the present lack of real data on historical climate-environment-human interactions in East Africa, which are eminently relevant to sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in a future of continued population growth and global climate change. CLANIMAE responds to the urgent need of a correct long-term perspective to today's climate-environment-human interactions in East Africa, by reconstructing simultaneously the histories of past climate change and of vegetation and water-quality changes over the last 2500 years, through multi-disciplinary analysis of dated lake-sediment records. The climate reconstructions integrate information on biological, geochemical and sedimentological indicators of past changes in the water balance of the study lakes, which cover the climatological gradient from (sub-)humid western Uganda to semi-arid eastern Kenya. Reconstruction of past terrestrial vegetation dynamics is based on analyses of fossil plant pollen and phytoliths, plus the fossil spores of fungi associated with the excrements of large domestic animals as indicators of lake use by pastoralists. The evolution of water quality through time is reconstructed using silicon isotopes in diatom algae as proxy indicator for past phytoplankton productivity, and paleoecological analyses of fossil diatoms and aquatic macrophytes, following calibration of diatom and macrophyte species

  4. Understanding coupled climatic, hydrological, and ecosystem responses to global climate change in the Colorado Rockies

    SciTech Connect

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Baron, J. )

    1993-06-01

    A long-term research program to assess the potential effect of global climate change on the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, including Rocky Mountain National Park is underway. Specifically, three integrated studies are designed to: (1) project future climate change for the Colorado Rockies using a mesoscale atmospheric model to downscale general circulation model results; (2) develop an understanding of the abiotic and biotic controls on forest distribution and productivity as a basis for assessing potential vegetation change for a range of projected climate scenarios; and (3) evaluate potential responses of hydrologic and aquatic ecosystem processes to climate change at watershed, drainage basin and regional scales. The synthesis of these studies will, in addition, assess the interaction between regional vegetation distribution, mesoscale climate, and hydrology. Our goal is to develop a better understanding of regional climate and hydrologic patterns and of species-environment relationships to determine which species and ecosystem processes are most sensitive to rapid environmental change.

  5. Ecosystem recovery after climatic extremes enhanced by genotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Reusch, Thorsten B. H.; Ehlers, Anneli; Hämmerli, August; Worm, Boris

    2005-01-01

    Contemporary climate change is characterized both by increasing mean temperature and increasing climate variability such as heat waves, storms, and floods. How populations and communities cope with such climatic extremes is a question central to contemporary ecology and biodiversity conservation. Previous work has shown that species diversity can affect ecosystem functioning and resilience. Here, we show that genotypic diversity can replace the role of species diversity in a species-poor coastal ecosystem, and it may buffer against extreme climatic events. In a manipulative field experiment, increasing the genotypic diversity of the cosmopolitan seagrass Zostera marina enhanced biomass production, plant density, and faunal abundance, despite near-lethal water temperatures due to extreme warming across Europe. Net biodiversity effects were explained by genotypic complementarity rather than by selection of particularly robust genotypes. Positive effects on invertebrate fauna suggest that genetic diversity has second-order effects reaching higher trophic levels. Our results highlight the importance of maintaining genetic as well as species diversity to enhance ecosystem resilience in a world of increasing uncertainty. PMID:15710890

  6. Resilience of marine turtle regional management units to climate change.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Mariana M P B; Pike, David A; Dimatteo, Andrew; Wallace, Bryan P

    2013-05-01

    Enhancing species resilience to changing environmental conditions is often suggested as a climate change adaptation strategy. To effectively achieve this, it is necessary first to understand the factors that determine species resilience, and their relative importance in shaping the ability of species to adjust to the complexities of environmental change. This is an extremely challenging task because it requires comprehensive information on species traits. We explored the resilience of 58 marine turtle regional management units (RMUs) to climate change, encompassing all seven species of marine turtles worldwide. We used expert opinion from the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group (n = 33 respondents) to develop a Resilience Index, which considered qualitative characteristics of each RMU (relative population size, rookery vulnerability, and genetic diversity) and non climate-related threats (fisheries, take, coastal development, and pollution/pathogens). Our expert panel perceived rookery vulnerability (the likelihood of functional rookeries becoming extirpated) and non climate-related threats as having the greatest influence on resilience of RMUs to climate change. We identified the world's 13 least resilient marine turtle RMUs to climate change, which are distributed within all three major ocean basins and include six of the world's seven species of marine turtle. Our study provides the first look at inter- and intra-species variation in resilience to climate change and highlights the need to devise metrics that measure resilience directly. We suggest that this approach can be widely used to help prioritize future actions that increase species resilience to climate change.

  7. Polar Marine Microorganisms and Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Verde, C; Giordano, D; Bellas, C M; di Prisco, G; Anesio, A M

    2016-01-01

    The large diversity of marine microorganisms harboured by oceans plays an important role in planet sustainability by driving globally important biogeochemical cycles; all primary and most secondary production in the oceans is performed by microorganisms. The largest part of the planet is covered by cold environments; consequently, cold-adapted microorganisms have crucial functional roles in globally important environmental processes and biogeochemical cycles cold-adapted extremophiles are a remarkable model to shed light on the molecular basis of survival at low temperature. The indigenous populations of Antarctic and Arctic microorganisms are endowed with genetic and physiological traits that allow them to live and effectively compete at the temperatures prevailing in polar regions. Some genes, e.g. glycosyltransferases and glycosylsynthetases involved in the architecture of the cell wall, may have been acquired/retained during evolution of polar strains or lost in tropical strains. This present work focusses on temperature and its role in shaping microbial adaptations; however, in assessing the impacts of climate changes on microbial diversity and biogeochemical cycles in polar oceans, it should not be forgotten that physiological studies need to include the interaction of temperature with other abiotic and biotic factors.

  8. Assessing the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems by means of food-web models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coll, Marta; Navarro, Joan; Olson, Robert J.; Christensen, Villy

    2013-10-01

    We synthesized available information from ecological models at local and regional scales to obtain a global picture of the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems. First, static food-web models were used to analyze basic ecological parameters and indicators of squids: biomass, production, consumption, trophic level, omnivory index, predation mortality diet, and the ecological role. In addition, we developed various dynamic temporal simulations using two food-web models that included squids in their parameterization, and we investigated potential impacts of fishing pressure and environmental conditions for squid populations and, consequently, for marine food webs. Our results showed that squids occupy a large range of trophic levels in marine food webs and show a large trophic width, reflecting the versatility in their feeding behaviors and dietary habits. Models illustrated that squids are abundant organisms in marine ecosystems, and have high growth and consumption rates, but these parameters are highly variable because squids are adapted to a large variety of environmental conditions. Results also show that squids can have a large trophic impact on other elements of the food web, and top-down control from squids to their prey can be high. In addition, some squid species are important prey of apical predators and may be keystone species in marine food webs. In fact, we found strong interrelationships between neritic squids and the populations of their prey and predators in coastal and shelf areas, while the role of squids in open ocean and upwelling ecosystems appeared more constrained to a bottom-up impact on their predators. Therefore, large removals of squids will likely have large-scale effects on marine ecosystems. In addition, simulations confirm that squids are able to benefit from a general increase in fishing pressure, mainly due to predation release, and quickly respond to changes triggered by the environment. Squids may thus

  9. Oceanic periglacial in the evolution of the Arctic marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Matishov, G.G.

    1996-12-31

    A study of the Arctic marine and land environment and biota is connected with the analysis of the global climatic changes and the general history of Arctic and subarctic ecological systems. Ancient glaciation not only influenced the geomorphology of landscapes, physical and chemical properties of the ocean and its seas, but also caused the global change of the morphoclimatic zonality in the ocean as a whole. Submarine and subaqual hydrological, geomorphological and biological processes on the shelves of polar and temperate latitudes had intensified especially during the melting of continental glaciers. The study of the periglacial problem consists, as a whole, in the research of the geological and biological phenomena which take place in the pelagial and the benthal outside the ice sheets and are connected with them by causal, spatial and temporal relations.

  10. [Values of marine ecosystem services in Sanggou Bay].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-hui; Lü, Ji-bin; Ye, Shu-feng; Zhu, Ming-yuan

    2007-11-01

    A valuation study was conducted in Sanggou Bay, a typical and intensive coastal aquaculture area in China Yellow Sea. The results showed that the total value of ecosystem services (VES) in Sanggou Bay was 6.07 x 10(8) Yen in 2003, with an average unit VES being 4.24 x 10(6) Yen x km(-2). Within the total VES, the provision services, regulation services, and culture services accounted for 51.29%, 17.34%, and 31.37%, respectively. Among the eight primary and secondary services valuated in Sanggou Bay, food provision services held the highest value (50.45%), followed by tourism and entertainment services (29.89%) and climate regulation services (9.18%). Harmful organism and disease control services have the lowest value (0.0017%). The aquaculture activities had greater contributions to the local social economy, environmental regulation, and social culture. Aquaculture activities, especially macro-algae farming, are of significance in maintaining and enhancing the ecosystem services.

  11. Community and ecosystem responses to recent climate change

    PubMed Central

    Walther, Gian-Reto

    2010-01-01

    There is ample evidence for ecological responses to recent climate change. Most studies to date have concentrated on the effects of climate change on individuals and species, with particular emphasis on the effects on phenology and physiology of organisms as well as changes in the distribution and range shifts of species. However, responses by individual species to climate change are not isolated; they are connected through interactions with others at the same or adjacent trophic levels. Also from this more complex perspective, recent case studies have emphasized evidence on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services. This review highlights the ‘knowns’ but also ‘unknowns’ resulting from recent climate impact studies and reveals limitations of (linear) extrapolations from recent climate-induced responses of species to expected trends and magnitudes of future climate change. Hence, there is need not only to continue to focus on the impacts of climate change on the actors in ecological networks but also and more intensively to focus on the linkages between them, and to acknowledge that biotic interactions and feedback processes lead to highly complex, nonlinear and sometimes abrupt responses. PMID:20513710

  12. Multi-level trophic cascades in a heavily exploited open marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Casini, Michele; Lövgren, Johan; Hjelm, Joakim; Cardinale, Massimiliano; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Kornilovs, Georgs

    2008-08-07

    Anthropogenic disturbances intertwined with climatic changes can have a large impact on the upper trophic levels of marine ecosystems, which may cascade down the food web. So far it has been difficult to demonstrate multi-level trophic cascades in pelagic marine environments. Using field data collected during a 33-year period, we show for the first time a four-level community-wide trophic cascade in the open Baltic Sea. The dramatic reduction of the cod (Gadus morhua) population directly affected its main prey, the zooplanktivorous sprat (Sprattus sprattus), and indirectly the summer biomass of zooplankton and phytoplankton (top-down processes). Bottom-up processes and climate-hydrological forces had a weaker influence on sprat and zooplankton, whereas phytoplankton variation was explained solely by top-down mechanisms. Our results suggest that in order to dampen the occasionally harmful algal blooms of the Baltic, effort should be addressed not only to control anthropogenic nutrient inputs but also to preserve structure and functioning of higher trophic levels.

  13. Environmental controls on marine ecosystems during the early Toarcian extinction event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danise, Silvia; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2015-04-01

    The fossil record has the potential to provide valuable insights into species response to past climate change if paleontological data are combined with appropriate proxies of environmental change. In the early Toarcian (Early Jurassic, ˜183Ma ago) rapid warming coincided with a main perturbation in the carbon cycle, seal level rise, widespread deposition of organic-rich, black shales under anoxic conditions, increased weathering rates and a biotic crisis in the marine realm, with the extinction of approximately 5% of families and 26% of genera. Because of this complex suite of inter-linked environmental and oceanographic changes, a key challenge is to determine which of these were most influential in controlling specific aspects of extinction and ecological collapse. In this study we combine high resolution palaeontological and palaeoenvironmental data from the coastal sections of the Whitby Mudstone Formation in North Yorkshire, UK, to reconstruct how climate changes controlled the structure of benthic and nektonic communities through the event, over a time period of ˜1.7 Ma. We show that benthic and nektonic ecosystems became decoupled and were driven by different environmental variables. Although rapid warming has been invoked as the main trigger of this event, the palaeotemperature proxy was a poor predictor of marine community dynamics, and abiotic factors indirectly linked to temperature, such as change in seawater dissolved oxygen concentration and nutrient inputs, were more important.

  14. High latitude changes in ice dynamics and their impact on polar marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Moline, Mark A; Karnovsky, Nina J; Brown, Zachary; Divoky, George J; Frazer, Thomas K; Jacoby, Charles A; Torres, Joseph J; Fraser, William R

    2008-01-01

    Polar regions have experienced significant warming in recent decades. Warming has been most pronounced across the Arctic Ocean Basin and along the Antarctic Peninsula, with significant decreases in the extent and seasonal duration of sea ice. Rapid retreat of glaciers and disintegration of ice sheets have also been documented. The rate of warming is increasing and is predicted to continue well into the current century, with continued impacts on ice dynamics. Climate-mediated changes in ice dynamics are a concern as ice serves as primary habitat for marine organisms central to the food webs of these regions. Changes in the timing and extent of sea ice impose temporal asynchronies and spatial separations between energy requirements and food availability for many higher trophic levels. These mismatches lead to decreased reproductive success, lower abundances, and changes in distribution. In addition to these direct impacts of ice loss, climate-induced changes also facilitate indirect effects through changes in hydrography, which include introduction of species from lower latitudes and altered assemblages of primary producers. Here, we review recent changes and trends in ice dynamics and the responses of marine ecosystems. Specifically, we provide examples of ice-dependent organisms and associated species from the Arctic and Antarctic to illustrate the impacts of the temporal and spatial changes in ice dynamics.

  15. Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddon, Alistair W. R.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Long, Peter R.; Benz, David; Willis, Kathy J.

    2016-03-01

    The identification of properties that contribute to the persistence and resilience of ecosystems despite climate change constitutes a research priority of global relevance. Here we present a novel, empirical approach to assess the relative sensitivity of ecosystems to climate variability, one property of resilience that builds on theoretical modelling work recognizing that systems closer to critical thresholds respond more sensitively to external perturbations. We develop a new metric, the vegetation sensitivity index, that identifies areas sensitive to climate variability over the past 14 years. The metric uses time series data derived from the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index, and three climatic variables that drive vegetation productivity (air temperature, water availability and cloud cover). Underlying the analysis is an autoregressive modelling approach used to identify climate drivers of vegetation productivity on monthly timescales, in addition to regions with memory effects and reduced response rates to external forcing. We find ecologically sensitive regions with amplified responses to climate variability in the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, the tropical rainforest, alpine regions worldwide, steppe and prairie regions of central Asia and North and South America, the Caatinga deciduous forest in eastern South America, and eastern areas of Australia. Our study provides a quantitative methodology for assessing the relative response rate of ecosystems—be they natural or with a strong anthropogenic signature—to environmental variability, which is the first step towards addressing why some regions appear to be more sensitive than others, and what impact this has on the resilience of ecosystem service provision and human well-being.

  16. The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellingsen, Kari E; Anderson, Marti J; Shackell, Nancy L; Tveraa, Torkild; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Frank, Kenneth T

    2015-09-01

    1. Exploitation of living marine resources has resulted in major changes to populations of targeted species and functional groups of large-bodied species in the ocean. However, the effects of overfishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. 2. Populations of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were overfished and several collapsed in the early 1990s across Atlantic Canada, providing a unique opportunity to study potential ecosystem-level effects of the reduction of a dominant predator on fish biodiversity, and to identify how such effects might interact with other environmental factors, such as changes in climate, over time. 3. We combined causal modelling with model selection and multimodel inference to analyse 41 years of fishery-independent survey data (1970-2010) and quantify ecosystem-level effects of overfishing and climate variation on the biodiversity of fishes across a broad area (172 000 km(2) ) of the Scotian Shelf. 4. We found that alpha and beta diversity increased with decreases in cod occurrence; fish communities were less homogeneous and more variable in systems where cod no longer dominated. These effects were most pronounced in the colder north-eastern parts of the Scotian Shelf. 5. Our results provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity, with far-reaching consequences for ecological stability across an entire ecosystem.

  17. Potential climate change impacts on temperate forest ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, Emily B.; Wythers, Kirk R.; Zhang, Shuxia; Bradford, John B.; Reich, Peter B.

    2013-01-01

    Large changes in atmospheric CO2, temperature and precipitation are predicted by 2100, yet the long-term consequences for carbon, water, and nitrogen cycling in forests are poorly understood. We applied the PnET-CN ecosystem model to compare the long-term effects of changing climate and atmospheric CO2 on productivity, evapotranspiration, runoff, and net nitrogen mineralization in current Great Lakes forest types. We used two statistically downscaled climate projections, PCM B1 (warmer and wetter) and GFDL A1FI (hotter and drier), to represent two potential future climate and atmospheric CO2 scenarios. To separate the effects of climate and CO2, we ran PnET-CN including and excluding the CO2 routine. Our results suggest that, with rising CO2 and without changes in forest type, average regional productivity could increase from 67% to 142%, changes in evapotranspiration could range from –3% to +6%, runoff could increase from 2% to 22%, and net N mineralization could increase 10% to 12%. Ecosystem responses varied geographically and by forest type. Increased productivity was almost entirely driven by CO2 fertilization effects, rather than by temperature or precipitation (model runs holding CO2 constant showed stable or declining productivity). The relative importance of edaphic and climatic spatial drivers of productivity varied over time, suggesting that productivity in Great Lakes forests may switch from being temperature to water limited by the end of the century.

  18. Climate Change Altered Disturbance Regimes in High Elevation Pine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logan, J. A.

    2004-12-01

    Insects in aggregate are the greatest cause of forest disturbance. Outbreaks of both native and exotic insects can be spectacular events in both their intensity and spatial extent. In the case of native species, forest ecosystems have co-evolved (or at least co-adapted) in ways that incorporate these disturbances into the normal cycle of forest maturation and renewal. The time frame of response to changing climate, however, is much shorter for insects (typically one year) than for their host forests (decades or longer). As a result, outbreaks of forest insects, particularly bark beetles, are occurring at unprecedented levels throughout western North America, resulting in the loss of biodiversity and potentially entire ecosystems. In this talk, I will describe one such ecosystem, the whitebark pine association at high elevations in the north-central Rocky Mountains of the United States. White bark pines are keystone species, which in consort with Clark's nutcracker, build entire ecosystems at high elevations. These ecosystems provide valuable ecological services, including the distribution and abundance of water resources. I will briefly describe the keystone nature of whitebark pine and the historic role of mountain pine beetle disturbance in these ecosystems. The mountain pine beetle is the most important outbreak insect in forests of the western United States. Although capable of spectacular outbreak events, in historic climate regimes, outbreak populations were largely restricted to lower elevation pines; for example, lodgepole and ponderosa pines. The recent series of unusually warm years, however, has allowed this insect to expand its range into high elevation, whitebark pine ecosystems with devastating consequences. The aspects of mountain pine beetle thermal ecology that has allowed it to capitalize so effectively on a warming climate will be discussed. A model that incorporates critical thermal attributes of the mountain pine beetle's life cycle was

  19. Impacts of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Smith, Anthony D M; Brown, Christopher J; Bulman, Catherine M; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Johnson, Penny; Kaplan, Isaac C; Lozano-Montes, Hector; Mackinson, Steven; Marzloff, Martin; Shannon, Lynne J; Shin, Yunne-Jai; Tam, Jorge

    2011-08-26

    Low-trophic level species account for more than 30% of global fisheries production and contribute substantially to global food security. We used a range of ecosystem models to explore the effects of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems, including marine mammals and seabirds, and on other commercially important species. In five well-studied ecosystems, we found that fishing these species at conventional maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels can have large impacts on other parts of the ecosystem, particularly when they constitute a high proportion of the biomass in the ecosystem or are highly connected in the food web. Halving exploitation rates would result in much lower impacts on marine ecosystems while still achieving 80% of MSY.

  20. Projected future climate change and Baltic Sea ecosystem management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, Agneta

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is likely to have large effects on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Simulations indicate 2-4oC warming and 50-80% decreasing ice cover by 2100. Precipitation may increase ~30% in the north, causing increased land runoff of allochthonous organic matter (AOM) and organic pollutants. Salinity will decrease by about 2 units. Coupled physical-biogeochemical models indicate that in the south, bottom-water anoxia may spread, reducing cod recruitment and increasing sediment phosphorus release, promoting cyanobacterial blooms. In the north, heterotrophic bacteria will be favoured by AOM while phytoplankton may become hampered. More trophic levels in the food web will increase energy losses and consequently reduce fish production. Future management of the Baltic Sea must consider effects of climate change on the ecosystem dynamics and functions, as well as effects of anthrophogenic nutrient and pollutant load. Monitoring should have a holistic approach and encompass both autotrophic (phytoplankton) and heterotrophic (e.g. bacterial) processes.

  1. River diversion could change climate in delta ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    When humans divert excessive amounts of water from their natural courses, ensuing impacts on regional and global climate may threaten the fragile ecosystems around the mouths of rivers. David Smith, a geographer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., is researching this problem by concentrating on river deltas, which are recognized for their fertile soils and abundance of water. As a result, river deltas are also sites of intense agricultural production and high population density.

  2. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Weems, Jared; Farley, Edward V.; Sigler, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic Marine Ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes associated with ice loss and surface warming resulting from human activities (IPCC, 2013). The most dramatic changes include an earlier ice retreat and a longer ice-free season, particularly on Arctic inflow shelves such as the Barents Sea in the Atlantic Arctic and the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in the Pacific Arctic, the two major gateways into the Arctic (Danielson et al., 2016; Frey et al., 2015; Serreze et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2015). The retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened access to the Arctic marine environment and its resources, particularly during summer, and among other changes has brought with it increased research activities. For the Pacific Arctic region, these activities have led to several recent compendiums examining physical, biogeochemical, and biological patterns and trends in this rapidly changing environment (Arrigo, 2015, 2016; Arrigo et al., 2014; Bluhm et al., 2010; Dunton et al., 2014; Grebmeier and Maslowski, 2014; Hopcroft and Day, 2013; Moore and Stabeno, 2015).

  3. Marine Mammals and Climate Change in the Pacific Arctic: Impacts & Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Extreme reductions in Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have become a hallmark of climate change, but impacts to the marine ecosystem are poorly understood. As top predators, marine mammals must adapt to biological responses to physical forcing and thereby become sentinels to ecosystem variability and reorganization. Recent sea ice retreats have influenced the ecology of marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic sector. Walruses now often haul out by the thousands along the NW Alaska coast in late summer, and reports of harbor porpoise, humpback, fin and minke whales in the Chukchi Sea demonstrate that these temperate species routinely occur there. In 2010, satellite tagged bowhead whales from Atlantic and Pacific populations met in the Northwest Passage, an overlap thought precluded by sea ice since the Holocene. To forage effectively, baleen whales must target dense patches of zooplankton and small fishes. In the Pacific Arctic, bowhead and gray whales appear to be responding to enhanced prey availability delivered both by new production and advection pathways. Two programs, the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) and the Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR), include tracking of marine mammal and prey species' responses to ecosystem shifts associated with sea ice loss. Both programs provide an integrated-ecosystem baseline in support of the development of a web-based Marine Mammal Health Map, envisioned as a component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). An overarching goal is to identify ecological patterns for marine mammals in the 'new' Arctic, as a foundation for integrative research, local response and adaptive management.

  4. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weckström, J.; Korhola, A.; Väliranta, M.; Seppä, H.; Luoto, M.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Leppäranta, M.; Kahilainen, K.; Saarinen, J.; Heikkinen, H.

    2012-04-01

    The predicted climate warming has raised many questions and concerns about its impacts on the environment and society. As a respond to the need of holistic studies comprising both of these areas, The Academy of Finland launched The Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA 2011-2014) in spring 2010 with the main aim to focus on the interaction between the environment and society. Ultimately 11 national consortium projects were funded (total budget 12 million EUR). Here we shortly present the main objectives of the largest consortium project "Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society" (CLICHE). The CLICHE consortium comprises eight interrelated work packages (treeline, diversity, peatlands, snow, lakes, fish, tourism, and traditional livelihoods), each led by a prominent research group and a team leader. The research consortium has three main overall objectives: 1) Investigate, map and model the past, present and future climate change-induced changes in central ecosystems of the European Arctic with unprecedented precision 2) Deepen our understanding of the basic principles of ecosystem and social resilience and dynamics; identify key taxa, structures or processes that clearly indicate impending or realised global change through their loss, occurrence or behaviour, using analogues from the past (e.g. Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period), experiments, observations and models 3) Develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on local communities, traditional livelihoods, fisheries, and tourism industry, and promote sustainable development of local community structures and enhance the quality of life of local human populations. As the project has started only recently no final results are available yet. However, the fieldwork as well as the co-operation between the research teams has thus far been very successful. Thus, the expectations for the final outcome of the project

  5. Tropical rainforest response to marine sky brightening climate engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muri, Helene; Niemeier, Ulrike; Kristjánsson, Jón Egill

    2015-04-01

    Tropical forests represent a major atmospheric carbon dioxide sink. Here the gross primary productivity (GPP) response of tropical rainforests to climate engineering via marine sky brightening under a future scenario is investigated in three Earth system models. The model response is diverse, and in two of the three models, the tropical GPP shows a decrease from the marine sky brightening climate engineering. Partial correlation analysis indicates precipitation to be important in one of those models, while precipitation and temperature are limiting factors in the other. One model experiences a reversal of its Amazon dieback under marine sky brightening. There, the strongest partial correlation of GPP is to temperature and incoming solar radiation at the surface. Carbon fertilization provides a higher future tropical rainforest GPP overall, both with and without climate engineering. Salt damage to plants and soils could be an important aspect of marine sky brightening.

  6. Shallow marine ecosystem feedback to the Permian/Triassic mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yongbiao; Meng, Zheng; Liao, Wei; Weng, Zeting; Yang, Hao

    2011-03-01

    Late Permian reefs developed widely on shallow marine carbonate platforms in South China but disappeared far below the main mass extinction level of the latest Permian. The collapse of reef ecosystem may be related to the enhanced volcanism at the end of Late Permian. Notably, some colony corals and reef-building sponges were found to occur near the mass extinction boundary, inferring the eclipse of reef ecosystem is ahead of the disappearance of reef-building organisms, and the triggers would be present long before the main mass extinction. As the primary producers, the calcareous algae are rich in platform limestones of Late Permian and played a very important role in maintaining the shallow benthic ecosystems. The calcareous algae were found to disappear synchronously with the great reduction of foraminifers, which were ecologically associated with these algae. The extinction of Late Permian calcareous algae greatly reduced the biodiversity of primary producers in the shallow marine environment and destroyed in part the structure and the base of the shallow marine ecosystems, which in turn cause the extinction of ecologically associated metazoan. Microbialites developed on carbonate platforms immediately after the end-Permian mass extinction, representing a simple and unique microbial ecosystem. Widespread occurrence of microbialites symbolized the deterioration of marine environmental conditions and the dramatic revolution of marine ecosystems. As the new primary producers instead of the extinguished calcareous algae, cyanobacteria in the microbialites were an important base of this peculiar ecosystem and contributed greatly to the survival of the remnant faunas after the mass extinction. Widespread occurrence of microbialites in shallow marine environment is suggested to be related to the elevated level of volcanism-induced greenhouse gases and enhanced evaporation and hypersaline condition in addition to the decrease of metazoan grazing pressure. The change

  7. Crab regulation of cross-ecosystem resource transfer by marine foraging fire ants.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Erica A; Bertness, Mark D; Alberti, Juan; Silliman, Brian R

    2011-08-01

    Permeability of boundaries in biological systems is regulated by biotic and/or abiotic factors. Despite this knowledge, the role of biotic factors in regulating resource transfer across ecosystem boundaries has received little study. Additionally, little is known about how cross-ecosystem resource transfer affects source populations. We used experiments, observations and stable isotopes, to evaluate: (1) the proportion of intertidal-foraging black fire ant (Solenopsis richteri) diet derived from marine sources, (2) how black fire ant cross-ecosystem resource transfer is altered by the dominant bioengineer in the intertidal, a burrowing crab (Neohelice granulata), (3) the top-down impact of these terrestrial ants on a marine resource, and (4) the effect of marine resources on recipient black fire ants. We found that more than 85% of the black fire ant diet is derived from marine sources, the number of intertidal foraging ants doubles in the absence of crab burrows, and that ants cause a 50% reduction in intertidal polychaetes. Also, ant mound density is three times greater adjacent to marine systems. This study reveals that cross-ecosystem foraging terrestrial ants can clearly have strong impacts on marine resources. Furthermore, ecosystem engineers that modify and occupy habitat in these ecosystem boundaries can strongly regulate the degree of cross-ecosystem resource transfer and resultant top down impacts.

  8. Persistence of chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination in a California marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Young, D.R.; Gossett, R.W.; Heesen, T.C.

    1989-01-01

    Despite major reductions in the dominant DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) input off Los Angeles (California, U.S.A.) in the early 1970s, the levels of these pollutants decreased only slightly from 1972 to 1975 both in surficial bottom sediments and in a flatfish bioindicator (Dover sole, Microstomus pacificus) collected near the submarine outfall. Concentrations of these pollutants in the soft tissues of the mussel Mytilus californianus, collected intertidally well inshore of the highly contaminated bottom sediments, followed much more closely the decreases in the outfall discharges. These observations suggest that contaminated sediments on the seafloor were the principal (although not necessarily direct) cause of the relatively high and persistent concentrations of DDT and PCB residues in tissues. The study indicated that residues of the higher-molecular-weight chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as DDT and PCB, can be highly persistent once released to coastal marine ecosystems and that their accumulation in surficial bottom sediments is the most likely cause of this persistence observed in the biota of the discharge zone.

  9. Spatially variable effects of a marine pest on ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Ross, D Jeff; Longmore, Andy R; Keough, Michael J

    2013-06-01

    The broad spectrum of anthropogenic pressures on many of the world's coastal bays and estuaries rarely act in isolation, yet few studies have directly addressed the interactive effects of multiple pressures. Port Phillip Bay in southeastern Australia is a semi-enclosed bay in which nutrient management is a major concern. In recent years it has been heavily invaded by marine pests. We manipulated the density of one such invader, the European fanworm Sabella spallanzanii, and showed that it causes changes in the composition of macrofauna in the surrounding sediments, provides habitat for epibiota (both fauna and flora) on Sabella tubes, and reduces the biomass of microphytobenthos on the surrounding sediments. Of greatest concern, however, was the indirect impact on nutrient cycling. We suggest that the impacts on nutrient cycling are largely due to the feeding of Sabella and the epifauna on its tubes, capturing organic N before it reaches the sediment, excreting it back up into the water column as NH4, thereby bypassing sedimentary processes such as denitrification. Most notably, the efficiency of denitrification, the key ecosystem process that permanently removes N from the system, fell by 37-53 % in the presence of Sabella. Importantly though, this study also demonstrated significant spatial variability in fauna, geochemistry and the magnitude of Sabella effects. Given that the effect of Sabella is also likely to vary in time and with changes in density, all of these sources of variability need to be considered when incorporating the effects of Sabella in nutrient management strategies.

  10. The Southern Ocean ecosystem under multiple climate change stresses--an integrated circumpolar assessment.

    PubMed

    Gutt, Julian; Bertler, Nancy; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Buschmann, Alexander; Comiso, Josefino; Hosie, Graham; Isla, Enrique; Schloss, Irene R; Smith, Craig R; Tournadre, Jean; Xavier, José C

    2015-04-01

    A quantitative assessment of observed and projected environmental changes in the Southern Ocean (SO) with a potential impact on the marine ecosystem shows: (i) large proportions of the SO are and will be affected by one or more climate change processes; areas projected to be affected in the future are larger than areas that are already under environmental stress, (ii) areas affected by changes in sea-ice in the past and likely in the future are much larger than areas affected by ocean warming. The smallest areas (<1% area of the SO) are affected by glacier retreat and warming in the deeper euphotic layer. In the future, decrease in the sea-ice is expected to be widespread. Changes in iceberg impact resulting from further collapse of ice-shelves can potentially affect large parts of shelf and ephemerally in the off-shore regions. However, aragonite undersaturation (acidification) might become one of the biggest problems for the Antarctic marine ecosystem by affecting almost the entire SO. Direct and indirect impacts of various environmental changes to the three major habitats, sea-ice, pelagic and benthos and their biota are complex. The areas affected by environmental stressors range from 33% of the SO for a single stressor, 11% for two and 2% for three, to <1% for four and five overlapping factors. In the future, areas expected to be affected by 2 and 3 overlapping factors are equally large, including potential iceberg changes, and together cover almost 86% of the SO ecosystem.

  11. Meeting report: Methylmercury in marine ecosystems--from sources to seafood consumers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Celia Y; Serrell, Nancy; Evers, David C; Fleishman, Bethany J; Lambert, Kathleen F; Weiss, Jeri; Mason, Robert P; Bank, Michael S

    2008-12-01

    Mercury and other contaminants in coastal and open-ocean ecosystems are an issue of great concern globally and in the United States, where consumption of marine fish and shellfish is a major route of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). A recent National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-Superfund Basic Research Program workshop titled "Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems and Effects on Human Exposure," convened by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program on 15-16 November 2006 in Durham, New Hampshire, brought together human health experts, marine scientists, and ecotoxicologists to encourage cross-disciplinary discussion between ecosystem and human health scientists and to articulate research and monitoring priorities to better understand how marine food webs have become contaminated with MeHg. Although human health effects of Hg contamination were a major theme, the workshop also explored effects on marine biota. The workgroup focused on three major topics: a) the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in marine ecosystems, b) the trophic transfer and bioaccumulation of MeHg in marine food webs, and c) human exposure to Hg from marine fish and shellfish consumption. The group concluded that current understanding of Hg in marine ecosystems across a range of habitats, chemical conditions, and ocean basins is severely data limited. An integrated research and monitoring program is needed to link the processes and mechanisms of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and transfer with MeHg exposure in humans.

  12. The impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems: chapter 6

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkett, Virginia; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Nicholls, Robert J.; Forbes, Donald L.

    2014-01-01

    In this chapter we stress two important features of coasts and coastal ecosystems. First, these are dynamic systems which continually undergo adjustments, especially through erosion and re-deposition, in response to a range of processes. Many coastal ecosystems adjust naturally at a range of time scales and their potential for response is examined partly by reconstructing how such systems have coped with natural changes of climate and sea level in the geological past. Second, coasts have changed profoundly through the 20th Century due to the impacts of human development (such as urbanisation, port and industrial expansion, shore protection, and the draining and conversion of coastal wetlands), with these development-related drivers closely linked to a growing global population and economy. It remains a challenge to isolate the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise from either the natural trajectory of shoreline change, or the accelerated pathway resulting from other human-related stressors. There exists a danger of overstating the importance of climate change, or overlooking significant interactions of climate change with other drivers.

  13. Bioaerosols in the Earth system: Climate, health, and ecosystem interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine; Kampf, Christopher J.; Weber, Bettina; Huffman, J. Alex; Pöhlker, Christopher; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Lang-Yona, Naama; Burrows, Susannah M.; Gunthe, Sachin S.; Elbert, Wolfgang; Su, Hang; Hoor, Peter; Thines, Eckhard; Hoffmann, Thorsten; Després, Viviane R.; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2016-12-01

    Aerosols of biological origin play a vital role in the Earth system, particularly in the in-teractions between atmosphere, biosphere, climate, and public health. Airborne bacteria, fungal spores, pollen, and other bioparticles are essential for the reproduction and spread of organisms across various ecosystems, and they can cause or enhance human, animal, and plant diseases. Moreover, they can serve as nuclei for cloud droplets, ice crystals, and precipitation, thus influencing the hydrological cycle and climate. The actual formation, abundance, composition, and effects of biological aerosols and the atmospheric microbi-ome are, however, not yet well characterized and constitute a large gap in the scientific understanding of the interaction and co-evolution of life and climate in the Earth system. This review presents an overview of the state of bioaerosol research and highlights recent advances in terms of bioaerosol identification, characterization, transport, and transfor-mation processes, as well as their interactions with climate, health, and ecosystems, focus-ing on the role bioaerosols play in the Earth system.

  14. Bioaerosols in the Earth system: Climate, health, and ecosystem interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine; Kampf, Christopher J.; Weber, Bettina; Huffman, J. Alex; Pöhlker, Christopher; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Lang-Yona, Naama; Burrows, Susannah M.; Gunthe, Sachin S.; Elbert, Wolfgang; Su, Hang; Hoor, Peter; Thines, Eckhard; Hoffmann, Thorsten; Després, Viviane R.; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2016-12-01

    Aerosols of biological origin play a vital role in the Earth system, particularly in the interactions between atmosphere, biosphere, climate, and public health. Airborne bacteria, fungal spores, pollen, and other bioparticles are essential for the reproduction and spread of organisms across various ecosystems, and they can cause or enhance human, animal, and plant diseases. Moreover, they can serve as nuclei for cloud droplets, ice crystals, and precipitation, thus influencing the hydrological cycle and climate. The sources, abundance, composition, and effects of biological aerosols and the atmospheric microbiome are, however, not yet well characterized and constitute a large gap in the scientific understanding of the interaction and co-evolution of life and climate in the Earth system. This review presents an overview of the state of bioaerosol research, highlights recent advances, and outlines future perspectives in terms of bioaerosol identification, characterization, transport, and transformation processes, as well as their interactions with climate, health, and ecosystems, focusing on the role bioaerosols play in the Earth system.

  15. Decline of the marine ecosystem caused by a reduction in the Atlantic overturning circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmittner, Andreas

    2005-03-01

    Reorganizations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation were associated with large and abrupt climatic changes in the North Atlantic region during the last glacial period. Projections with climate models suggest that similar reorganizations may also occur in response to anthropogenic global warming. Here I use ensemble simulations with a coupled climate-ecosytem model of intermediate complexity to investigate the possible consequences of such disturbances to the marine ecosystem. In the simulations, a disruption of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation leads to a collapse of the North Atlantic plankton stocks to less than half of their initial biomass, owing to rapid shoaling of winter mixed layers and their associated separation from the deep ocean nutrient reservoir. Globally integrated export production declines by more than 20per cent owing to reduced upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water and gradual depletion of upper ocean nutrient concentrations. These model results are consistent with the available high-resolution palaeorecord, and suggest that global ocean productivity is sensitive to changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

  16. U.S. 2013 National Climate Assessment of Oceans and Marine Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doney, S. C.; Rosenberg, A.

    2012-12-01

    We will discuss the key findings from the Oceans and Marine Resources chapter of the U.S. 2013 National Climate Assessment. As a nation, we depend on the ocean for seafood, recreation and tourism, cultural heritage, transportation of goods, and increasingly, energy and other critical resources. The U.S. ocean Exclusive Economic Zone extends 200 nautical miles seaward from the coast, spanning an area about 1.7 times the land area of the continental United States and encompassing waters along the U.S. east, west and Gulf coasts, around Alaska and Hawaii, and including the U.S. territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. This vast region is host to a rich diversity of marine plants and animals and a wide range of ecosystems from tropical coral reefs to sea-ice covered, polar waters in the Arctic. We will highlight the current state of knowledge on changing ocean climate conditions, such as warming, sea-ice retreat and ocean acidification, and how these may be impacting valuable marine ecosystems and the array of resources and services we derive from the sea now and into the future. We will also touch on the interaction of climate change impacts with other human factors including pollution and over-fishing.

  17. Anticipated impacts of climate warming on ecosystems in Interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, T. A.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Astley, B. N.; Downer, C. W.; Jorgenson, T. T.; Bagley, C.; Burks-Copes, K.

    2011-12-01

    Future climate scenarios predict a roughly 5 degree increase in mean annual air temperatures for the Alaskan Interior over the next 80 years. This is expected to be enough to initiate permafrost degradation in Interior Alaska which could lead to widespread thermokarst and talik development and potentially a thicker seasonally thawed (active) layer. These changes could dramatically affect hydrology, ground surface topography and vegetation. Forecasting ecological responses to climate warming is complicated by many factors including variations in soil type, precipitation, surface and ground water hydrology, vegetation, slope, aspect, fire prevalence, and the thermal state of permafrost. We are making field measurements and time series repeat imagery at upland and lowland landscapes to determine where and what ecosystem processes may be most susceptible for rapid or unpredictable changes with climate warming or changing land use activities. By integrating existing cryospheric (permafrost and snow), hydrologic and vegetation succession modeling capabilities we hope to enhance our ability to predict how climate change and other stressors may affect ecosystem dynamics and fire susceptibility. We will include the effects of non-climate related anthropogenic stressors like changes in land use activities and infrastructure development. Numerous electrical resistivity geophysical measurements have been made across a variety of landscapes to investigate how vegetation, soils, and land use relates to permafrost distribution. Our project results will be synthesized into a spatially-explicit decision support system to assist with land use management decision-making for Interior Alaska. This Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based tool is being developed through a combination of field work and modeling. We will identify challenges for management activities given the projected ecosystem response to anticipated climate change by the end-of-the century. This presentation will

  18. Tales from the Jungle: The Evolving Climate Services Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, K. T.

    2015-12-01

    In 2001 the NRC Report "A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Toward the Future" examined the state and trends of climate services. That report included a definition of this term that has lost no relevance: "The timely production and delivery of useful climate data, information, and knowledge to decision makers." The original entities delivering such services, at the state level, are represented by the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC). In 1986 the NOAA Regional Climate Center program was initiated, followed in 1994 by the NOAA Regional Climate Sciences and Assessments. Since 2010 we have seen the establishment of the USDI Climate Science Centers and the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the NOAA Regional Climate Service Directors, and the USDA Regional Climate Hubs. The recent expansion of formal programs has essentially filled out the agency "niche space." Other non-governmental and private entities are also expanding into this space. The present profusion runs a risk of creating a perception of excessive duplication in some quarters, including those funding these enterprises. Collectively these activities form what can be thought of as an ecosystem of climate services. A certain amount of replication is desirable, healthy, and necessary, but beyond some point can be excessive unless the total capacity remains insufficient. Each component has come into existence for a different set of reasons. Since these components were invented by human beings, their subsequent evolution can in theory be guided by humans. The history and purpose of each component needs to be borne in mind, with capsule descriptions suitable for rapid delivery to the decision-makers who approve the support for the various components. Good communication among the components is therefore essential for a healthy and functional overall system. This in turn calls for the ability to adequately represent the role of each of those components, a purpose best informed through actual

  19. A probabilistic process model for pelagic marine ecosystems informed by Bayesian inverse analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine ecosystems are complex systems with multiple pathways that produce feedback cycles, which may lead to unanticipated effects. Models abstract this complexity and allow us to predict, understand, and hypothesize. In ecological models, however, the paucity of empirical data...

  20. Characterizing driver-response relationships in marine pelagic ecosystems for improved ocean management.

    PubMed

    Hunsicker, Mary E; Kappel, Carrie V; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Scarborough, Courtney; Mease, Lindley; Amrhein, Alisan

    2016-04-01

    Scientists and resource managers often use methods and tools that assume ecosystem components respond linearly to environmental drivers and human stressors. However, a growing body of literature demonstrates that many relationships are-non-linear, where small changes in a driver prompt a disproportionately large ecological response. We aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relationships between drivers and ecosystem components to identify where and when non-linearities are likely to occur. We focused our analyses on one of the best-studied marine systems, pelagic ecosystems, which allowed us to apply robust statistical techniques on a large pool of previously published studies. In this synthesis, we (1) conduct a wide literature review on single driver-response relationships in pelagic systems, (2) use statistical models to identify the degree of non-linearity in these relationships, and (3) assess whether general patterns exist in the strengths and shapes of non-linear relationships across drivers. Overall we found that non-linearities are common in pelagic ecosystems, comprising at least 52% of all driver-response relation- ships. This is likely an underestimate, as papers with higher quality data and analytical approaches reported non-linear relationships at a higher frequency (on average 11% more). Consequently, in the absence of evidence for a linear relationship, it is safer to assume a relationship is non-linear. Strong non-linearities can lead to greater ecological and socioeconomic consequences if they are unknown (and/or unanticipated), but if known they may provide clear thresholds to inform management targets. In pelagic systems, strongly non-linear relationships are often driven by climate and trophodynamic variables but are also associated with local stressors, such as overfishing and pollution, that can be more easily controlled by managers. Even when marine resource managers cannot influence ecosystem change, they can use information

  1. Effects of solar UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with climate change.

    PubMed

    Häder, D-P; Kumar, H D; Smith, R C; Worrest, R C

    2007-03-01

    Recent results continue to show the general consensus that ozone-related increases in UV-B radiation can negatively influence many aquatic species and aquatic ecosystems (e.g., lakes, rivers, marshes, oceans). Solar UV radiation penetrates to ecological significant depths in aquatic systems and can affect both marine and freshwater systems from major biomass producers (phytoplankton) to consumers (e.g., zooplankton, fish, etc.) higher in the food web. Many factors influence the depth of penetration of radiation into natural waters including dissolved organic compounds whose concentration and chemical composition are likely to be influenced by future climate and UV radiation variability. There is also considerable evidence that aquatic species utilize many mechanisms for photoprotection against excessive radiation. Often, these protective mechanisms pose conflicting selection pressures on species making UV radiation an additional stressor on the organism. It is at the ecosystem level where assessments of anthropogenic climate change and UV-related effects are interrelated and where much recent research has been directed. Several studies suggest that the influence of UV-B at the ecosystem level may be more pronounced on community and trophic level structure, and hence on subsequent biogeochemical cycles, than on biomass levels per se.

  2. Dom Export from Coastal Temperate Bog Forest Watersheds to Marine Ecosystems: Improving Understanding of Watershed Processes and Terrestrial-Marine Linkages on the Central Coast of British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliver, A. A.; Giesbrecht, I.; Tank, S. E.; Hunt, B. P.; Lertzman, K. P.

    2014-12-01

    The coastal temperate bog forests of British Columbia, Canada, export high amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) relative to the global average. Little is known about the factors influencing the quantity and quality of DOM exported from these forests or the role of this terrestrially-derived DOM in near-shore marine ecosystems. The objectives of this study are to better understand patterns and controls of DOM being exported from bog forest watersheds and its potential role in near-shore marine ecosystems. In 2013, the Kwakshua Watershed Ecosystems Study at Hakai Beach Institute (Calvert Island, BC) began year-round routine collection and analysis of DOM, nutrients, and environmental variables (e.g. conductivity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen) of freshwater grab samples from the outlets of seven watersheds draining directly to the ocean, as well as near-shore marine samples adjacent to freshwater outflows. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) varied across watersheds (mean= 11.45 mg L-1, sd± 4.22) and fluctuated synchronously with seasons and storm events. In general, higher DOC was associated with lower specific UV absorbance (SUVA254; mean= 4.59 L mg-1 m-1, sd± 0.55). The relationship between DOC and SUVA254 differed between watersheds, suggesting exports in DOM are regulated by individual watershed attributes (e.g. landscape classification, flow paths) as well as precipitation. We are using LiDAR and other remote sensing data to examine watershed controls on DOC export. At near-shore marine sites, coupled CTD (Conductivity Temperature Depth) and optical measures (e.g. spectral slopes, slope ratios (SR), EEMs), showed a clear freshwater DOM signature within the system following rainfall events. Ongoing work will explore the relationship between bog forest watershed attributes and DOM flux and composition, with implications for further studies on biogeochemical cycling, carbon budgets, marine food webs, and climate change.

  3. Evidence and implications of recent and projected climate change in Alaska's forest ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolken, Jane M.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Rupp, T. Scott; Chapin, Stuart III; Trainor, Sarah F.; Barrett, Tara M.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Hennon, Paul E.; Beever, Erik A.; Conn, Jeff S.; Crone, Lisa K.; D'Amore, David V.; Fresco, Nancy; Hanley, Thomas A.; Kielland, Knut; Kruse, James J.; Patterson, Trista; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Verbyla, David L.; Yarie, John

    2011-01-01

    The structure and function of Alaska's forests have changed significantly in response to a changing climate, including alterations in species composition and climate feedbacks (e.g., carbon, radiation budgets) that have important regional societal consequences and human feedbacks to forest ecosystems. In this paper we present the first comprehensive synthesis of climate-change impacts on all forested ecosystems of Alaska, highlighting changes in the most critical biophysical factors of each region. We developed a conceptual framework describing climate drivers, biophysical factors and types of change to illustrate how the biophysical and social subsystems of Alaskan forests interact and respond directly and indirectly to a changing climate. We then identify the regional and global implications to the climate system and associated socio-economic impacts, as presented in the current literature. Projections of temperature and precipitation suggest wildfire will continue to be the dominant biophysical factor in the Interior-boreal forest, leading to shifts from conifer- to deciduous-dominated forests. Based on existing research, projected increases in temperature in the Southcentral- and Kenai-boreal forests will likely increase the frequency and severity of insect outbreaks and associated wildfires, and increase the probability of establishment by invasive plant species. In the Coastal-temperate forest region snow and ice is regarded as the dominant biophysical factor. With continued warming, hydrologic changes related to more rapidly melting glaciers and rising elevation of the winter snowline will alter discharge in many rivers, which will have important consequences for terrestrial and marine ecosystem productivity. These climate-related changes will affect plant species distribution and wildlife habitat, which have regional societal consequences, and trace-gas emissions and radiation budgets, which are globally important. Our conceptual framework facilitates

  4. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Tallis, Heather

    2016-01-01

    The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

  5. Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and trophic mismatch.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Martin; Richardson, Anthony J

    2004-08-19

    Phenology, the study of annually recurring life cycle events such as the timing of migrations and flowering, can provide particularly sensitive indicators of climate change. Changes in phenology may be important to ecosystem function because the level of response to climate change may vary across functional groups and multiple trophic levels. The decoupling of phenological relationships will have important ramifications for trophic interactions, altering food-web structures and leading to eventual ecosystem-level changes. Temperate marine environments may be particularly vulnerable to these changes because the recruitment success of higher trophic levels is highly dependent on synchronization with pulsed planktonic production. Using long-term data of 66 plankton taxa during the period from 1958 to 2002, we investigated whether climate warming signals are emergent across all trophic levels and functional groups within an ecological community. Here we show that not only is the marine pelagic community responding to climate changes, but also that the level of response differs throughout the community and the seasonal cycle, leading to a mismatch between trophic levels and functional groups.

  6. Archaeology meets marine ecology: the antiquity of maritime cultures and human impacts on marine fisheries and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Erlandson, Jon M; Rick, Torben C

    2010-01-01

    Interdisciplinary study of coastal archaeological sites provides a wealth of information on the ecology and evolution of ancient marine animal populations, the structure of past marine ecosystems, and the history of human impacts on coastal fisheries. In this paper, we review recent methodological developments in the archaeology and historical ecology of coastal regions around the world. Using two case studies, we examine (a) a deep history of anthropogenic effects on the marine ecosystems of California's Channel Islands through the past 12,000 years and (b) geographic variation in the effects of human fishing on Pacific Island peoples who spread through Oceania during the late Holocene. These case studies--the first focused on hunter-gatherers, the second on maritime horticulturalists-provide evidence for shifting baselines and timelines, documenting a much deeper anthropogenic influence on many coastal ecosystems and fisheries than considered by most ecologists, conservation biologists, and fisheries managers.

  7. GENIES/SimCLIM Tools to Support Climate Change Information and Marine Resource Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Urich, P.; Yin, C.; Kouwenhoven, P.; CLIMsystems Team

    2013-05-01

    Climate change will significantly impact the global environment, and the faster the change, the greater the risk of damage. The natural environment will be assaulted by increases in sea surface temperature and changes in the biogeochemical cycles of ocean ecosystems. Marine resource managers have begun to realize that the projected impacts of climate change in coastal and marine environments are full of uncertainties, creating enormous challenges when it comes to climate change response planning. CMIP5 GCMs produced a large amount of climate and ocean biogeochemical data for different climate change scenarios, which can provide indispensable information for marine resource planning and decision making. However, for end users, climate and ocean information needs to be processed to make it usable while applying robust scientific methods to make that processing acceptable. SimCLIM/GENIES software provides a comprehensive climate information, data management, and impact assessment platform. The software system consists of historical data and projections for atmospheric and oceanic variables, including air-temperature, precipitation, wind speed, sea surface temperature, ocean primary production, pH, pCO2, DIO, and DIC, with the potential for other data layers. These data are pre-processed using different downscaling and pattern scaling approaches, and then stored in a compact format with a very high compression ratio, which makes them more transferable. Users can carry out statistical and ensemble analyses with the software in order to better understand uncertainties. Within the software system, historical climate data, a climate change scenario generator, and impact assessment tools are all integrated into a single platform. They are policy-maker and end-user oriented and present climate information in a friendly and easily understandable manner with excellent spatial visualization tools. Moreover, the system provided and released an ArcGIS/marine add-in, which allows

  8. Combined terrestrial and marine biomarker records from an Icelandic fjord: insights into Holocene climate drivers and marine/ terrestrial responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moossen, H. M.; Seki, O.; Quillmann, U.; Andrews, J. T.; Bendle, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Holocene climate change has affected human cultures throughout at least the last 4000 years (D'Andrea et al., 2011). Today, studying Holocene climate variability is important, both to constrain the influence of climate change on ancient cultures and to place contemporary climate change in a historic context. Organic geochemical biomarkers are an ideal tool to study how climatic changes have affected terrestrial and marine ecosystems, as a host of different biomarker based climate proxies have emerged over recent years. Applying the available biomarker proxies on sediment cores from fjordic environments facilitates the study of how climate has affected terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and how these ecosystems have interacted. Ìsafjardardjúp fjord in Northwest Iceland is an ideal location to study North Atlantic Holocene climate change because the area is very sensitive to changes in the oceanic and atmospheric current systems (Hurrell, 1995; Quillmann et al., 2010). In this study we present high resolution (1 sample/30 calibrated years) terrestrial and marine biomarker records from a 38 m sediment core from Ìsafjardardjúp fjord covering the Holocene. We reconstruct sea surface temperature variations using the alkenone derived UK'37 proxy. Air temperature changes are reconstructed using the GDGT derived MBT/CBT palaeothermometer. We use the average chain length (ACL) variability of n-alkanes derived from terrestrial higher plant leaf waxes to reconstruct changing precipitation regimes. The relationship between ACL and precipitation is confirmed by comparing it with the δD signature of the C29 n-alkane and soil pH changes inferred by the CBT proxy. The combined sea surface and air temperature and precipitation records indicate that different climate changing drivers were dominant at different stages of the Holocene. Sea surface temperatures were strongly influenced by the melting of the remaining glaciers from the last glacial maximum throughout the early

  9. Climate and Soil Interactions in the Context of Climate, Water, Ecosystems and Food Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatfield, J.

    2015-12-01

    Soil as source of ecosystem services is a major component of climate resilience. Two of the critical ecosystem services derived from soil are water and nutrient cycling. High quality soils improve the capacity to absorb and retain precipitation leading to enhanced water availability to plants which increases climate resilience. The trend towards increasing variability in precipitation requires that the soil be capable of maintaining infiltration rates under extreme precipitation events. Climate resilience will occur when crop productivity is stabilized under more variable climate regimes and dependent upon having adequate soil water supplies to each crop. There is a direct relationship between soil quality and crop productivity and as the soil resource is degraded there is a greater gap between attainable and actual productivity of crop. As the soil is improved there is enhanced nutrient cycling which in turn increases nutrient availability to the crop and food security. Soil becomes the foundation of sustainable ecosystems and enhancing the quality of soil will have a benefit to food and water resources. Improving the soil will benefit humankind through multiple impacts on water, food, and ecosystems.

  10. Marine mammal impacts in exploited ecosystems: would large scale culling benefit fisheries?

    PubMed

    Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy; Pauly, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Competition between marine mammals and fisheries for marine resources-whether real or perceived-has become a major issue for several countries and in international fora. We examined trophic interactions between marine mammals and fisheries based on a resource overlap index, using seven Ecopath models including marine mammal groups. On a global scale, most food consumed by marine mammals consisted of prey types that were not the main target of fisheries. For each ecosystem, the primary production required (PPR) to sustain marine mammals was less than half the PPR to sustain fisheries catches. We also developed an index representing the mean trophic level of marine mammal's consumption (TL(Q)) and compared it with the mean trophic level of fisheries' catches (TL(C)). Our results showed that overall TL(Q) was lower than TL(C) (2.88 versus 3.42). As fisheries increasingly exploit lower-trophic level species, the competition with marine mammals may become more important. We used mixed trophic impact analysis to evaluate indirect trophic effects of marine mammals, and in some cases found beneficial effects on some prey. Finally, we assessed the change in the trophic structure of an ecosystem after a simulated extirpation of marine mammal populations. We found that this lead to alterations in the structure of the ecosystems, and that there was no clear and direct relationship between marine mammals' predation and the potential catch by fisheries. Indeed, total biomass, with no marine mammals in the ecosystem, generally remained surprisingly similar, or even decreased for some species.

  11. Challenges in integrative approaches to modelling the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic: Physics to fish and coasts to ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Jason; Icarus Allen, J.; Anderson, Thomas R.; Brewin, Robert; Butenschön, Momme; Harle, James; Huse, Geir; Lehodey, Patrick; Lindemann, Christian; Memery, Laurent; Salihoglu, Baris; Senina, Inna; Yool, Andrew

    2014-12-01

    It has long been recognised that there are strong interactions and feedbacks between climate, upper ocean biogeochemistry and marine food webs, and also that food web structure and phytoplankton community distribution are important determinants of variability in carbon production and export from the euphotic zone. Numerical models provide a vital tool to explore these interactions, given their capability to investigate multiple connected components of the system and the sensitivity to multiple drivers, including potential future conditions. A major driver for ecosystem model development is the demand for quantitative tools to support ecosystem-based management initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to review approaches to the modelling of marine ecosystems with a focus on the North Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent shelf seas, and to highlight the challenges they face and suggest ways forward. We consider the state of the art in simulating oceans and shelf sea physics, planktonic and higher trophic level ecosystems, and look towards building an integrative approach with these existing tools. We note how the different approaches have evolved historically and that many of the previous obstacles to harmonisation may no longer be present. We illustrate this with examples from the on-going and planned modelling effort in the Integrative Modelling Work Package of the EURO-BASIN programme.

  12. Effects of climate change on forest ecosystems in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjartansson, Bjarki; Smith, Ben; Warlind, David; Olafsson, Haraldur

    2013-04-01

    The subartic region has been considered an area of high impact under future climate change senarios. We investigated the climatic effect on the change in potential forest distribution, structure and growth in Iceland from 1900 to 2100 by applying climatic time series to the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESSN. For the historical period we utilized a combination of gridded climatic datasets to create a time series for monthly means of temperature, precipitation and radiation. These datasets where provided by the Icelandic Metrological office (IMO) and the Climatic research unit at East Anglia (CRU). For the future climate we added data from three different general circulation models (GCḾs) where each model had three different representative concentration pathways (RCP). In order to compensate for topographical differences within modeled grid cells we divide each grid cell into elevation zones with 50 meters vertical interval. Each elevation zone is modeled explicitly with downscaled temperature values adjusted for the elevation. This gave us the opportunity to observe different ecosystems with in each grid cell and how they developed over time both horizontally and vertically. We applied the climatic time series to drive the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESSN. The model includes the features of the LPJ-GUESS model with added module where nitrogen is modeled explicitly. The addition of the nitrogen cycle allowed us to examine the nitrogen availability in soils and its effects on vegetation growth. Our results show that under the future scenario there is increased NPP under all RCṔs and GCḾs. We observe a general trend of increase in carbon pool buildup with varying degree around the island. There is an advance in forest limits into higher elevation areas. The lowland areas show a shift in species composition where conifers retreat upward from broadleaved species dominating the lower altitudes into the future. Increased temperature opens up areas in the

  13. Past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, climate and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 degrees C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the "Little Ice Age spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic conditions

  14. Coralline alga reveals first marine record of subarctic North Pacific climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halfar, J.; Steneck, R.; Schone, B.; Moore, G.W.K.; Joachimski, M.; Kronz, A.; Fietzke, J.; Estes, James

    2007-01-01

    While recent changes in subarctic North Pacific climate had dramatic effects on ecosystems and fishery yields, past climate dynamics and teleconnection patterns are poorly understood due to the absence of century-long high-resolution marine records. We present the first 117-year long annually resolved marine climate history from the western Bering Sea/Aleutian Island region using information contained in the calcitic skeleton of the long-lived crustose coralline red alga Clathromorphum nereostratum, a previously unused climate archive. The skeletal ??18O-time series indicates significant warming and/or freshening of surface waters after the middle of the 20th century. Furthermore, the time series is spatiotemporally correlated with Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and tropical El Nio??-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indices. Even though the western Bering Sea/Aleutian Island region is believed to be outside the area of significant marine response to ENSO, we propose that an ENSO signal is transmitted via the Alaskan Stream from the Eastern North Pacific, a region of known ENSO teleconnections. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  15. Environmental forcing and Southern Ocean marine predator populations: effects of climate change and variability.

    PubMed

    Trathan, P N; Forcada, J; Murphy, E J

    2007-12-29

    The Southern Ocean is a major component within the global ocean and climate system and potentially the location where the most rapid climate change is most likely to happen, particularly in the high-latitude polar regions. In these regions, even small temperature changes can potentially lead to major environmental perturbations. Climate change is likely to be regional and may be expressed in various ways, including alterations to climate and weather patterns across a variety of time-scales that include changes to the long interdecadal background signals such as the development of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Oscillating climate signals such as ENSO potentially provide a unique opportunity to explore how biological communities respond to change. This approach is based on the premise that biological responses to shorter-term sub-decadal climate variability signals are potentially the best predictor of biological responses over longer time-scales. Around the Southern Ocean, marine predator populations show periodicity in breeding performance and productivity, with relationships with the environment driven by physical forcing from the ENSO region in the Pacific. Wherever examined, these relationships are congruent with mid-trophic-level processes that are also correlated with environmental variability. The short-term changes to ecosystem structure and function observed during ENSO events herald potential long-term changes that may ensue following regional climate change. For example, in the South Atlantic, failure of Antarctic krill recruitment will inevitably foreshadow recruitment failures in a range of higher trophic-level marine predators. Where predator species are not able to accommodate by switching to other prey species, population-level changes will follow. The Southern Ocean, though oceanographically interconnected, is not a single ecosystem and different areas are dominated by different food webs. Where species occupy different positions in

  16. Ecosystems and Climate Change. Research Priorities for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    salinity or ice cover. Mismatches in the timing of growth or reproduction in relation to the availability of critical resources such as food or...ecosystems can store carbon and nitrogen as organic matter, or release them as greenhouse gases, depending on variations in loading, salinity , and...food webs including fish and marine mammals. Figure 9. September sea surface temperature, surface chlorophyll, and salinity from a 0.5-degree

  17. The marine ecosystem off Peru: What are the secrets of its fishery productivity and what might its future hold?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew; Weeks, Scarla J.

    2008-10-01

    The marine ecosystem located off the coast of central and northern Peru has stood as the “world’s champion” producer, by far, of exploitable fish biomass, generally yielding more than 20 times the tonnage of fishery landings produced by other comparable regional large marine ecosystems of the world’s oceans that operate under similar dynamic contexts and are characterized by comparable, or even greater, basic primary production. Two potentially contributing aspects are discussed from a framework of interregional comparative pattern recognition: (1) the advantageous low-latitude situation that combines strong upwelling-based nutrient enrichment with low wind-induced turbulence generation and relatively extended mean “residence times” within the favorable upwelling-conditioned near-coastal habitat and (2) the cyclic “re-setting” of the system by ENSO perturbations that may tend to interrupt malignant growth of adverse self-amplifying feedback loops within the nonlinear biological dynamics of the ecosystem. There is a developing scientific consensus that one of the more probable consequences of impending global climate changes will be a general slowing of the equatorial Pacific Walker Circulation and a consequent weakening of the Pacific trade wind system. Since the upwelling-favorable winds off Peru tend to flow directly into the Pacific southeast trade winds, a question arises as to the likely effect on the upwelling-producing winds that power the productivity of the regional coastal ecosystems of the Peru-Humboldt Current zone. It is argued that the effects will in fact be decoupled to the extent that upwelling-favorable winds will actually tend to increase off Peru. Data demonstrative of this decoupling are presented. A tendency for less intense El Niño episodes in the future is also suggested. These conclusions provide a framework for posing certain imponderables as to the future character of the Peruvian marine ecosystem and of the fisheries it

  18. Effects of climate change on Arctic marine mammal health.

    PubMed

    Burek, Kathy A; Gulland, Frances M D; O'Hara, Todd M

    2008-03-01

    The lack of integrated long-term data on health, diseases, and toxicant effects in Arctic marine mammals severely limits our ability to predict the effects of climate change on marine mammal health. The overall health of an individual animal is the result of complex interactions among immune status, body condition, pathogens and their pathogenicity, toxicant exposure, and the various environmental conditions that interact with these factors. Climate change could affect these interactions in several ways. There may be direct effects of loss of the sea ice habitat, elevations of water and air temperature, and increased occurrence of severe weather. Some of the indirect effects of climate change on animal health will likely include alterations in pathogen transmission due to a variety of factors, effects on body condition due to shifts in the prey base/food web, changes in toxicant exposures, and factors associated with increased human habitation in the Arctic (e.g., chemical and pathogen pollution in the runoff due to human and domestic-animal wastes and chemicals and increased ship traffic with the attendant increased risks of ship strike, oil spills, ballast pollution, and possibly acoustic injury). The extent to which climate change will impact marine mammal health will also vary among species, with some species more sensitive to these factors than others. Baseline data on marine mammal health parameters along with matched data on the population and climate change trends are needed to document these changes.

  19. What did we learn from PEGASEAS forum "Science and Governance of the Channel Marine Ecosystem"?

    PubMed

    Evariste, Emmanuelle; Claquin, Pascal; Robin, Jean-Paul; Auber, Arnaud; McQuatters-Gollop, Abigail; Fletcher, Stephen; Glegg, Gillian; Dauvin, Jean-Claude

    2015-04-15

    As one of the busiest marine ecosystems in the world, the English Channel is subjected to strong pressures due to the human activities occurring within it. Effective governance is required to improve the combined management of different activities and so secure the benefits provided by the Channel ecosystem. In July 2014, a Cross-Channel Forum, entitled "Science and Governance of the Channel Marine Ecosystem", was held in Caen (France) as part of the INTERREG project "Promoting Effective Governance of the Channel Ecosystem" (PEGASEAS). Here we use outputs from the Forum as a framework for providing Channel-specific advice and recommendations on marine governance themes, including the identification of knowledge gaps, which may form the foundation of future projects for the next INTERREG project call (2015-2020).

  20. Persistence of trophic hotspots and relation to human impacts within an upwelling marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Santora, Jarrod A; Sydeman, William J; Schroeder, Isaac D; Field, John C; Miller, Rebecca R; Wells, Brian K

    2017-03-01

    Human impacts (e.g., fishing, pollution, and shipping) on pelagic ecosystems are increasing, causing concerns about stresses on marine food webs. Maintaining predator-prey relationships through protection of pelagic hotspots is crucial for conservation and management of living marine resources. Biotic components of pelagic, plankton-based, ecosystems exhibit high variability in abundance in time and space (i.e., extreme patchiness), requiring investigation of persistence of abundance across trophic levels to resolve trophic hotspots. Using a 26-yr record of indicators for primary production, secondary (zooplankton and larval fish), and tertiary (seabirds) consumers, we show distributions of trophic hotspots in the southern California Current Ecosystem result from interactions between a strong upwelling center and a productive retention zone with enhanced nutrients, which concentrate prey and predators across multiple trophic levels. Trophic hotspots also overlap with human impacts, including fisheries extraction of coastal pelagic and groundfish species, as well as intense commercial shipping traffic. Spatial overlap of trophic hotspots with fisheries and shipping increases vulnerability of the ecosystem to localized depletion of forage fish, ship strikes on marine mammals, and pollution. This study represents a critical step toward resolving pelagic areas of high conservation interest for planktonic ecosystems and may serve as a model for other ocean regions where ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning of pelagic ecosystems is warranted.

  1. Abrupt climate change and collapse of deep-sea ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Cronin, T. M.; Demenocal, P.B.; Okahashi, H.; Linsley, B.K.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the deep-sea fossil record of benthic ostracodes during periods of rapid climate and oceanographic change over the past 20,000 years in a core from intermediate depth in the northwestern Atlantic. Results show that deep-sea benthic community "collapses" occur with faunal turnover of up to 50% during major climatically driven oceanographic changes. Species diversity as measured by the Shannon-Wiener index falls from 3 to as low as 1.6 during these events. Major disruptions in the benthic communities commenced with Heinrich Event 1, the Inter-Aller??d Cold Period (IACP: 13.1 ka), the Younger Dryas (YD: 12.9-11.5 ka), and several Holocene Bond events when changes in deep-water circulation occurred. The largest collapse is associated with the YD/IACP and is characterized by an abrupt two-step decrease in both the upper North Atlantic Deep Water assemblage and species diversity at 13.1 ka and at 12.2 ka. The ostracode fauna at this site did not fully recover until ???8 ka, with the establishment of Labrador Sea Water ventilation. Ecologically opportunistic slope species prospered during this community collapse. Other abrupt community collapses during the past 20 ka generally correspond to millennial climate events. These results indicate that deep-sea ecosystems are not immune to the effects of rapid climate changes occurring over centuries or less. ?? 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  2. Abrupt climate change and collapse of deep-sea ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Cronin, Thomas M; Demenocal, Peter B; Okahashi, Hisayo; Linsley, Braddock K

    2008-02-05

    We investigated the deep-sea fossil record of benthic ostracodes during periods of rapid climate and oceanographic change over the past 20,000 years in a core from intermediate depth in the northwestern Atlantic. Results show that deep-sea benthic community "collapses" occur with faunal turnover of up to 50% during major climatically driven oceanographic changes. Species diversity as measured by the Shannon-Wiener index falls from 3 to as low as 1.6 during these events. Major disruptions in the benthic communities commenced with Heinrich Event 1, the Inter-Allerød Cold Period (IACP: 13.1 ka), the Younger Dryas (YD: 12.9-11.5 ka), and several Holocene Bond events when changes in deep-water circulation occurred. The largest collapse is associated with the YD/IACP and is characterized by an abrupt two-step decrease in both the upper North Atlantic Deep Water assemblage and species diversity at 13.1 ka and at 12.2 ka. The ostracode fauna at this site did not fully recover until approximately 8 ka, with the establishment of Labrador Sea Water ventilation. Ecologically opportunistic slope species prospered during this community collapse. Other abrupt community collapses during the past 20 ka generally correspond to millennial climate events. These results indicate that deep-sea ecosystems are not immune to the effects of rapid climate changes occurring over centuries or less.

  3. Accelerated warming and emergent trends in fisheries biomass yields of the world's large marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Kenneth; Belkin, Igor M; Friedland, Kevin D; O'Reilly, John; Hyde, Kimberly

    2009-06-01

    Information on the effects of global climate change on trends in global fisheries biomass yields has been limited in spatial and temporal scale. Results are presented of a global study of the impact of sea surface temperature (SST) changes over the last 25 years on the fisheries yields of 63 large marine ecosystems (LMEs) that annually produce 80% of the world's marine fisheries catches. Warming trends were observed in 61 LMEs around the globe. In 18 of the LMEs, rates of SST warming were two to four times faster during the past 25 years than the globally averaged rates of SST warming reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007. Effects of warming on fisheries biomass yields were greatest in the fast-warming northern Northeast Atlantic LMEs, where increasing trends in fisheries biomass yields were related to zooplankton biomass increases. In contrast, fisheries biomass yields of LMEs in the fast-warming, more southerly reaches of the Northeast Atlantic were declining in response to decreases in zooplankton abundance. The LMEs around the margins of the Indian Ocean, where SSTs were among the world's slowest warming, revealed a consistent pattern of fisheries biomass increases during the past 25 years, driven principally by human need for food security from fisheries resources. As a precautionary approach toward more sustainable fisheries utilization, management measures to limit the total allowable catch through a cap-and-sustain approach are suggested for the developing nations recently fishing heavily on resources of the Agulhas Current, Somali Current, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal LMEs.

  4. Vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change moderated by habitat intactness.

    PubMed

    Eigenbrod, Felix; Gonzalez, Patrick; Dash, Jadunandan; Steyl, Ilse

    2015-01-01

    The combined effects of climate change and habitat loss represent a major threat to species and ecosystems around the world. Here, we analyse the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change based on current levels of habitat intactness and vulnerability to biome shifts, using multiple measures of habitat intactness at two spatial scales. We show that the global extent of refugia depends highly on the definition of habitat intactness and spatial scale of the analysis of intactness. Globally, 28% of terrestrial vegetated area can be considered refugia if all natural vegetated land cover is considered. This, however, drops to 17% if only areas that are at least 50% wilderness at a scale of 48×48 km are considered and to 10% if only areas that are at least 50% wilderness at a scale of 4.8×4.8 km are considered. Our results suggest that, in regions where relatively large, intact wilderness areas remain (e.g. Africa, Australia, boreal regions, South America), conservation of the remaining large-scale refugia is the priority. In human-dominated landscapes, (e.g. most of Europe, much of North America and Southeast Asia), focusing on finer scale refugia is a priority because large-scale wilderness refugia simply no longer exist. Action to conserve such refugia is particularly urgent since only 1 to 2% of global terrestrial vegetated area is classified as refugia and at least 50% covered by the global protected area network.

  5. Projected future climate change and Baltic Sea ecosystem management.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Agneta; Meier, H E Markus; Ripszam, Matyas; Rowe, Owen; Wikner, Johan; Haglund, Peter; Eilola, Kari; Legrand, Catherine; Figueroa, Daniela; Paczkowska, Joanna; Lindehoff, Elin; Tysklind, Mats; Elmgren, Ragnar

    2015-06-01

    Climate change is likely to have large effects on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Simulations indicate 2-4 °C warming and 50-80 % decrease in ice cover by 2100. Precipitation may increase ~30 % in the north, causing increased land runoff of allochthonous organic matter (AOM) and organic pollutants and decreased salinity. Coupled physical-biogeochemical models indicate that, in the south, bottom-water anoxia may spread, reducing cod recruitment and increasing sediment phosphorus release, thus promoting cyanobacterial blooms. In the north, heterotrophic bacteria will be favored by AOM, while phytoplankton production may be reduced. Extra trophic levels in the food web may increase energy losses and consequently reduce fish production. Future management of the Baltic Sea must consider the effects of climate change on the ecosystem dynamics and functions, as well as the effects of anthropogenic nutrient and pollutant load. Monitoring should have a holistic approach, encompassing both autotrophic (phytoplankton) and heterotrophic (e.g., bacterial) processes.

  6. Mismatch between marine plankton range movements and the velocity of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chivers, William J.; Walne, Anthony W.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2017-02-01

    The response of marine plankton to climate change is of critical importance to the oceanic food web and fish stocks. We use a 60-year ocean basin-wide data set comprising >148,000 samples to reveal huge differences in range changes associated with climate change across 35 plankton taxa. While the range of dinoflagellates and copepods tended to closely track the velocity of climate change (the rate of isotherm movement), the range of the diatoms moved much more slowly. Differences in range shifts were up to 900 km in a recent warming period, with average velocities of range movement between 7 km per decade northwards for taxa exhibiting niche plasticity and 99 km per decade for taxa exhibiting niche conservatism. The differing responses of taxa to global warming will cause spatial restructuring of the plankton ecosystem with likely consequences for grazing pressures on phytoplankton and hence for biogeochemical cycling, higher trophic levels and biodiversity.

  7. Mismatch between marine plankton range movements and the velocity of climate change.

    PubMed

    Chivers, William J; Walne, Anthony W; Hays, Graeme C

    2017-02-10

    The response of marine plankton to climate change is of critical importance to the oceanic food web and fish stocks. We use a 60-year ocean basin-wide data set comprising >148,000 samples to reveal huge differences in range changes associated with climate change across 35 plankton taxa. While the range of dinoflagellates and copepods tended to closely track the velocity of climate change (the rate of isotherm movement), the range of the diatoms moved much more slowly. Differences in range shifts were up to 900 km in a recent warming period, with average velocities of range movement between 7 km per decade northwards for taxa exhibiting niche plasticity and 99 km per decade for taxa exhibiting niche conservatism. The differing responses of taxa to global warming will cause spatial restructuring of the plankton ecosystem with likely consequences for grazing pressures on phytoplankton and hence for biogeochemical cycling, higher trophic levels and biodiversity.

  8. Climate change, parasitism and the structure of intertidal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Poulin, R; Mouritsen, K N

    2006-06-01

    Evidence is accumulating rapidly showing that temperature and other climatic variables are driving many ecological processes. At the same time, recent research has highlighted the role of parasitism in the dynamics of animal populations and the structure of animal communities. Here, the likely interactions between climate change and parasitism are discussed in the context of intertidal ecosystems. Firstly, using the soft-sediment intertidal communities of Otago Harbour, New Zealand, as a case study, parasites are shown to be ubiquitous components of intertidal communities, found in practically all major animal species in the system. With the help of specific examples from Otago Harbour, it is demonstrated that parasites can regulate host population density, influence the diversity of the entire benthic community, and affect the structure of the intertidal food web. Secondly, we document the extreme sensitivity of cercarial production in parasitic trematodes to increases in temperature, and discuss how global warming could lead to enhanced trematode infections. Thirdly, the results of a simulation model are used to argue that parasite-mediated local extinctions of intertidal animals are a likely outcome of global warming. Specifically, the model predicts that following a temperature increase of less than 4 degrees C, populations of the amphipod Corophium volutator, a hugely abundant tube-building amphipod on the mudflats of the Danish Wadden Sea, are likely to crash repeatedly due to mortality induced by microphallid trematodes. The available evidence indicates that climate-mediated changes in local parasite abundance will have significant repercussions for intertidal ecosystems. On the bright side, the marked effects of even slight increases in temperature on cercarial production in trematodes could form the basis for monitoring programmes, with these sensitive parasites providing early warning signals of the environmental impacts of global warming.

  9. Climate Change Has Cascading Ecological Effects on Mountain Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2007-12-01

    Evidence that ecosystems of the Northern Rocky Mountains are responding to climate change abounds. Alpine glaciers, as iconic landscape features, are disappearing rapidly with some glaciers losing one half of their area in five years. A model developed in the 1990s to predict future rates of melt has proved too conservative when compared to recent measurements. The largest glaciers in Glacier National Park are almost 10 years ahead of schedule in their retreat. The cascading ecological effects of losing glaciers in high-elevation watersheds includes shifts in distribution and dominance of temperature-sensitive stream macroinvertebrates as stream volume dwindles (or disappears) in later summer months and water temperatures increase. Critical spawning areas for threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) will be lost without the consistent supply of cold water that melting snow and ice provide and raise management questions regarding the efficacy of recovery efforts. Snowpacks are documented as becoming smaller and melting earlier in the spring, facilitating the invasion of subalpine meadows by trees and reducing habitat for current alpine wildlife. Even vital ecosystem disturbances, such as periodic snow avalanches that clear mountain slope forests, have been shown by tree-ring studies to be responsive to climatic trends and are likely to become less prevalent. Monitoring of high-elevation mountain environments is difficult and has largely been opportunistic despite the fact that these areas have experienced three times the temperature increases over the past century when compared to lowland environments. A system of alpine observatories is sorely needed. Tighter integration of mountains studies, and comparisons among diverse mountain systems of the western U.S. has been initiated by the USGS-sponsored Western Mountain Initiative and the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains to begin addressing this need.

  10. Effectiveness of marine protected areas in managing the drivers of ecosystem change: a case of Mnazi Bay Marine Park, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Machumu, Milali Ernest; Yakupitiyage, Amararatne

    2013-04-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being promoted in Tanzania to mitigate the drivers of ecosystem change such as overfishing and other anthropogenic impacts on marine resources. The effectiveness of MPAs in managing those drivers was assessed in three ecological zones, seafront, mangrove, and riverine of Mnazi Bay Marine Park, using Participatory Community Analysis techniques, questionnaire survey, checklist and fishery resource assessment methods. Eleven major drivers of ecosystem change were identified. Resource dependence had a major effect in all ecological zones of the park. The results indicated that the park's legislations/regulations, management procedures, and conservation efforts are reasonably effective in managing its resources. The positive signs accrued from conservation efforts have been realized by the communities in terms of increased catch/income, awareness and compliance. However, some natural and anthropogenic drivers continued to threaten the park's sustainability. Furthermore, implementation of resource use and benefit sharing mechanisms still remained a considerable challenge to be addressed.

  11. Projected decreases in future marine export production: the role of the carbon flux through the upper ocean ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, Charlotte; Vogt, Meike; Gruber, Nicolas; Aumont, Olivier; Bopp, Laurent; Doney, Scott C.; Dunne, John P.; Hauck, Judith; John, Jasmin G.; Lima, Ivan D.; Seferian, Roland; Völker, Christoph

    2016-07-01

    Accurate projections of marine particle export production (EP) are crucial for predicting the response of the marine carbon cycle to climate change, yet models show a wide range in both global EP and their responses to climate change. This is, in part, due to EP being the net result of a series of processes, starting with net primary production (NPP) in the sunlit upper ocean, followed by the formation of particulate organic matter and the subsequent sinking and remineralisation of these particles, with each of these processes responding differently to changes in environmental conditions. Here, we compare future projections in EP over the 21st century, generated by four marine ecosystem models under the high emission scenario Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 8.5 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and determine the processes driving these changes. The models simulate small to modest decreases in global EP between -1 and -12 %. Models differ greatly with regard to the drivers causing these changes. Among them, the formation of particles is the most uncertain process with models not agreeing on either magnitude or the direction of change. The removal of the sinking particles by remineralisation is simulated to increase in the low and intermediate latitudes in three models, driven by either warming-induced increases in remineralisation or slower particle sinking, and show insignificant changes in the remaining model. Changes in ecosystem structure, particularly the relative role of diatoms matters as well, as diatoms produce larger and denser particles that sink faster and are partly protected from remineralisation. Also this controlling factor is afflicted with high uncertainties, particularly since the models differ already substantially with regard to both the initial (present-day) distribution of diatoms (between 11-94 % in the Southern Ocean) and the diatom contribution to particle formation (0.6-3.8 times higher than their

  12. Embedding ecosystem services into the Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Illustrated by eutrophication in the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Higgins, T. G.; Gilbert, A. J.

    2014-03-01

    The introduction of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) with its focus on an Ecosystem Approach places an emphasis on the human dimensions of environmental problems. Human activities may be the source of marine degradation, but may also be adversely affected should degradation compromise the provision of ecosystem services. The MSFD marks a shift away from management aiming to restore past, undegraded states toward management for Good Environmental Status (GEnS) based on delivery of marine goods and services. An example relating ecosystem services to criteria for Good Environmental Status is presented for eutrophication, a long recognised problem in many parts of Europe's seas and specifically targeted by descriptors for GEnS. Taking the North Sea as a case study the relationships between the eutrophication criteria of the MSFD and final and intermediate marine ecosystem services are examined. Ecosystem services are valued, where possible in monetary terms, in order to illustrate how eutrophication affects human welfare (economic externalities) through its multiple effects on ecosystem services.

  13. Interplay between top-down, bottom-up, and wasp-waist control in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; McKinnell, Skip

    2006-02-01

    In October 2004, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) sponsored a symposium to consider “ Mechanisms that regulate North Pacific ecosystems: Bottom up, top down, or something else?” It sought to examine how marine populations, particularly the upper-trophic-level species, are regulated and to understand how energy flows through marine ecosystems. This introductory essay examines aspects of control mechanisms in pelagic marine ecosystems and some of the issues discussed during the symposium and in the 11 papers that were selected for this special issue. At global scales, the greatest biomass of fishes, seabirds and marine mammals tends to occur in regions of the world ocean with high primary production, e.g., the sub-arctic seas and up-welling regions of continental shelves. These large-scale animal distribution patterns are driven by food availability, not the absence of predators. At regional scales however, it is likely that current predation or past predation events have shaped local distributions, at least in marine birds and pinnipeds. Wasp-waist control occurs when one of the intermediate trophic levels is dominated by a single species, as occurs with small pelagic fishes of the world’s up-welling zones. Processes in these ecosystems may have features that result in a switch from bottom-up to top-down control.

  14. Predicting ecological changes on benthic estuarine assemblages through decadal climate trends along Brazilian Marine Ecoregions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernardino, Angelo F.; Netto, Sérgio A.; Pagliosa, Paulo R.; Barros, Francisco; Christofoletti, Ronaldo A.; Rosa Filho, José S.; Colling, André; Lana, Paulo C.

    2015-12-01

    Estuaries are threatened coastal ecosystems that support relevant ecological functions worldwide. The predicted global climate changes demand actions to understand, anticipate and avoid further damage to estuarine habitats. In this study we reviewed data on polychaete assemblages, as a surrogate for overall benthic communities, from 51 estuaries along five Marine Ecoregions of Brazil (Amazonia, NE Brazil, E Brazil, SE Brazil and Rio Grande). We critically evaluated the adaptive capacity and ultimately the resilience to decadal changes in temperature and rainfall of the polychaete assemblages. As a support for theoretical predictions on changes linked to global warming we compared the variability of benthic assemblages across the ecoregions with a 40-year time series of temperature and rainfall data. We found a significant upward trend in temperature during the last four decades at all marine ecoregions of Brazil, while rainfall increase was restricted to the SE Brazil ecoregion. Benthic assemblages and climate trends varied significantly among and within ecoregions. The high variability in climate patterns in estuaries within the same ecoregion may lead to correspondingly high levels of noise on the expected responses of benthic fauna. Nonetheless, we expect changes in community structure and productivity of benthic species at marine ecoregions under increasing influence of higher temperatures, extreme events and pollution.

  15. Quantifying Patterns of Change in Marine Ecosystem Response to Multiple Pressures

    PubMed Central

    Large, Scott I.; Fay, Gavin; Friedland, Kevin D.; Link, Jason S.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to understand and ultimately predict ecosystem response to multiple pressures is paramount to successfully implement ecosystem-based management. Thresholds shifts and nonlinear patterns in ecosystem responses can be used to determine reference points that identify levels of a pressure that may drastically alter ecosystem status, which can inform management action. However, quantifying ecosystem reference points has proven elusive due in large part to the multi-dimensional nature of both ecosystem pressures and ecosystem responses. We used ecological indicators, synthetic measures of ecosystem status and functioning, to enumerate important ecosystem attributes and to reduce the complexity of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). Random forests were used to quantify the importance of four environmental and four anthropogenic pressure variables to the value of ecological indicators, and to quantify shifts in aggregate ecological indicator response along pressure gradients. Anthropogenic pressure variables were critical defining features and were able to predict an average of 8-13% (up to 25-66% for individual ecological indicators) of the variation in ecological indicator values, whereas environmental pressures were able to predict an average of 1-5 % (up to 9-26% for individual ecological indicators) of ecological indicator variation. Each pressure variable predicted a different suite of ecological indicator’s variation and the shapes of ecological indicator responses along pressure gradients were generally nonlinear. Threshold shifts in ecosystem response to exploitation, the most important pressure variable, occurred when commercial landings were 20 and 60% of total surveyed biomass. Although present, threshold shifts in ecosystem response to environmental pressures were much less important, which suggests that anthropogenic pressures have significantly altered the ecosystem structure and functioning of the NES LME. Gradient response

  16. Quantifying patterns of change in marine ecosystem response to multiple pressures.

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Fay, Gavin; Friedland, Kevin D; Link, Jason S

    2015-01-01

    The ability to understand and ultimately predict ecosystem response to multiple pressures is paramount to successfully implement ecosystem-based management. Thresholds shifts and nonlinear patterns in ecosystem responses can be used to determine reference points that identify levels of a pressure that may drastically alter ecosystem status, which can inform management action. However, quantifying ecosystem reference points has proven elusive due in large part to the multi-dimensional nature of both ecosystem pressures and ecosystem responses. We used ecological indicators, synthetic measures of ecosystem status and functioning, to enumerate important ecosystem attributes and to reduce the complexity of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). Random forests were used to quantify the importance of four environmental and four anthropogenic pressure variables to the value of ecological indicators, and to quantify shifts in aggregate ecological indicator response along pressure gradients. Anthropogenic pressure variables were critical defining features and were able to predict an average of 8-13% (up to 25-66% for individual ecological indicators) of the variation in ecological indicator values, whereas environmental pressures were able to predict an average of 1-5 % (up to 9-26% for individual ecological indicators) of ecological indicator variation. Each pressure variable predicted a different suite of ecological indicator's variation and the shapes of ecological indicator responses along pressure gradients were generally nonlinear. Threshold shifts in ecosystem response to exploitation, the most important pressure variable, occurred when commercial landings were 20 and 60% of total surveyed biomass. Although present, threshold shifts in ecosystem response to environmental pressures were much less important, which suggests that anthropogenic pressures have significantly altered the ecosystem structure and functioning of the NES LME. Gradient response

  17. Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Matthew J.; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Pearce-Higgins, James W.; Dennis, Peter; West, Chris; Holden, Joseph; Wallage, Zoe E.; Thomas, Chris D.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has the capacity to alter physical and biological ecosystem processes, jeopardizing the survival of associated species. This is a particular concern in cool, wet northern peatlands that could experience warmer, drier conditions. Here we show that climate, ecosystem processes and food chains combine to influence the population performance of species in British blanket bogs. Our peatland process model accurately predicts water-table depth, which predicts abundance of craneflies (keystone invertebrates), which in turn predicts observed abundances and population persistence of three ecosystem-specialist bird species that feed on craneflies during the breeding season. Climate change projections suggest that falling water tables could cause 56–81% declines in cranefly abundance and, hence, 15–51% reductions in the abundances of these birds by 2051–2080. We conclude that physical (precipitation, temperature and topography), biophysical (evapotranspiration and desiccation of invertebrates) and ecological (food chains) processes combine to determine the distributions and survival of ecosystem-specialist predators. PMID:26227623

  18. Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Matthew J; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Dennis, Peter; West, Chris; Holden, Joseph; Wallage, Zoe E; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-07-31

    Climate change has the capacity to alter physical and biological ecosystem processes, jeopardizing the survival of associated species. This is a particular concern in cool, wet northern peatlands that could experience warmer, drier conditions. Here we show that climate, ecosystem processes and food chains combine to influence the population performance of species in British blanket bogs. Our peatland process model accurately predicts water-table depth, which predicts abundance of craneflies (keystone invertebrates), which in turn predicts observed abundances and population persistence of three ecosystem-specialist bird species that feed on craneflies during the breeding season. Climate change projections suggest that falling water tables could cause 56-81% declines in cranefly abundance and, hence, 15-51% reductions in the abundances of these birds by 2051-2080. We conclude that physical (precipitation, temperature and topography), biophysical (evapotranspiration and desiccation of invertebrates) and ecological (food chains) processes combine to determine the distributions and survival of ecosystem-specialist predators.

  19. A holistic approach to marine eco-systems biology.

    PubMed

    Karsenti, Eric; Acinas, Silvia G; Bork, Peer; Bowler, Chris; De Vargas, Colomban; Raes, Jeroen; Sullivan, Matthew; Arendt, Detlev; Benzoni, Francesca; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Follows, Mick; Gorsky, Gaby; Hingamp, Pascal; Iudicone, Daniele; Jaillon, Olivier; Kandels-Lewis, Stefanie; Krzic, Uros; Not, Fabrice; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Pesant, Stéphane; Reynaud, Emmanuel Georges; Sardet, Christian; Sieracki, Michael E; Speich, Sabrina; Velayoudon, Didier; Weissenbach, Jean; Wincker, Patrick

    2011-10-01

    The structure, robustness, and dynamics of ocean plankton ecosystems remain poorly understood due to sampling, analysis, and computational limitations. The Tara Oceans consortium organizes expeditions to help fill this gap at the global level.

  20. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    PubMed

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens.

  1. Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) of Marine Ecosystems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-03

    Supplement 1). Since krill are mainly found in the upper water column ( m) (Hamner et al. 1983, Brierley & Watkins 2000, Brierley et al. 2002), RSR...remotely assess populations and study the behavior of fish and other marine organisms, such as Antarctic krill , to help the study of marine ecology and...remotely assess populations and study the behavior of fish and other pelagic organisms, such as Antarctic krill , over broad temporal and spatial scales. A

  2. Ecosystem responses to manipulated climate warming in a subalpine meadow

    SciTech Connect

    Harte, J.; Saleska, S.; Shaw, R.

    1995-09-01

    In a subalpine meadow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Gunnison County, CO USA, overhead radiators were used to simulate over 4 years the ecosystem warming expected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Warming advanced snowmelt by a week or more, elevated midsummer soil temperatures by up to 6 degrees at midday, and reduced soil moisture by up to 25%. Soil microclimate response to heating varied considerably and explicably with season, time of day, and vegetation cover. Observed effects of heating on soil mesofaunal biomass and diversity, forb, graminoid, and shrub above-ground biomass, and net seasonal carbon balance are summarized and contrasted with their interannual variation and spatial variation along natural microclimate gradients. It is concluded that natural microclimate variations provide a poor surrogate for studying ecological effects of climate alteration.

  3. Multiple stressors threatening the future of the Baltic Sea-Kattegat marine ecosystem: implications for policy and management actions.

    PubMed

    Jutterström, S; Andersson, H C; Omstedt, A; Malmaeus, J M

    2014-09-15

    The paper discusses the combined effects of ocean acidification, eutrophication and climate change on the Baltic Sea and the implications for current management strategies. The scientific basis is built on results gathered in the BONUS+ projects Baltic-C and ECOSUPPORT. Model results indicate that the Baltic Sea is likely to be warmer, more hypoxic and more acidic in the future. At present management strategies are not taking into account temporal trends and potential ecosystem change due to warming and/or acidification, and therefore fulfilling the obligations specified within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, OSPAR and HELCOM conventions and national environmental objectives may become significantly more difficult. The paper aims to provide a basis for a discussion on the effectiveness of current policy instruments and possible strategies for setting practical environmental objectives in a changing climate and with multiple stressors.

  4. An integrated approach to manage coastal ecosystems and prevent marine pollution effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcelli, Marco; Bonamano, Simone; Carli, Filippo Maria; Giovacchini, Monica; Madonia, Alice; Mancini, Emanuele; Molino, Chiara; Piermattei, Viviana; Manfredi Frattarelli, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    This work focuses an integrated approach based on Sea-Use-Map (SUM), backed by a permanent monitoring system (C-CEMS-Civitavecchia Coastal Environmental Monitoring System). This tool supports the management of the marine coastal area, contributing substantially to ecosystem benefits evaluation and to minimize pollution impacts. Within the Blue Growth strategy, the protection of marine ecosystems is considered a priority for the sustainable growth of marine and maritime sectors. To face this issue, the European MSP and MSFD directives (2014/89/EU; 2008/56/EC) strongly promote the adoption of an ecosystem-based approach, paying particular attention to the support of monitoring networks that use L-TER (long-term ecological research) observations and integrate multi-disciplinary data sets. Although not largely used in Europe yet, the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI), developed in 1979 by NOAA (and promoted by IMO in 2010), can be considered an excellent example of ecosystem-based approach to reduce the environmental consequences of an oil spill event in a coastal area. SUM is an ecosystem oriented cartographic tool specifically designed to support the sustainable management of the coastal areas, such as the selection of the best sites for the introduction of new uses or the identification of the coastal areas subjected to potential impacts. It also enables a rapid evaluation of the benefits produced by marine areas as well as of their anthropogenic disturbance. SUM integrates C-CEMS dataset, geomorphological and ecological features and knowledge on the coastal and maritime space uses. The SUM appliance allowed to obtain relevant operational results in the Civitavecchia coastal area (Latium, Italy), characterized by high variability of marine and coastal environments, historical heritage and affected by the presence of a big harbour, relevant industrial infrastructures, and touristic features. In particular, the valuation of marine ecosystem services based on

  5. Enabling the Integrated Assessment of Large Marine Ecosystems: Informatics to the Forefront of Science-Based Decision Support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, M.; Fox, P. A.; Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; West, P.; Hare, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Integrated assessments of large marine ecosystems require the understanding of interactions between environmental, ecological, and socio-economic factors that affect production and utilization of marine natural resources. Assessing the functioning of complex coupled natural-human systems calls for collaboration between natural and social scientists across disciplinary and national boundaries. We are developing a platform to implement and sustain informatics solutions for these applications, providing interoperability among very diverse and heterogeneous data and information sources, as well as multi-disciplinary organizations and people. We have partnered with NOAA NMFS scientists to facilitate the deployment of an integrated ecosystem approach to management in the Northeast U.S. (NES) and California Current Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). Our platform will facilitate the collaboration and knowledge sharing among NMFS natural and social scientists, promoting community participation in integrating data, models, and knowledge. Here, we present collaborative software tools developed to aid the production of the Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the NES LME. The ESR addresses the D-P-S portion of the DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) management framework: reporting data, indicators, and information products for climate drivers, physical and human (fisheries) pressures, and ecosystem state (primary and secondary production and higher trophic levels). We are developing our tools in open-source software, with the main tool based on a web application capable of providing the ability to work on multiple data types from a variety of sources, providing an effective way to share the source code used to generate data products and associated metadata as well as track workflow provenance to allow in the reproducibility of a data product. Our platform retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, reports data quality and other standardized metadata, provides iterative

  6. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects.

    PubMed

    Kardol, Paul; Cregger, Melissa A; Campany, Courtney E; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the soil communities that depend on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and precipitation in Tennessee (USA). Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils) and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: (1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning, and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate-change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. These results indicate that accurate assessments of climate-change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate-change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the

  7. Climate change impact on peatland and forest ecosystems of Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Kondrasheva, N.Yu.; Kobak, K.I.; Turchinovich, I.Ye.

    1996-12-31

    Paleoclimatic and paleobotanic reconstructions allow a conclusion that ecosystems and natural zones significantly changed due to climate fluctuations. The average long-term carbon accumulation in peatlands of Russia was estimated as 45.6 mln tons of carbon per year. During the Holocene the rate of peat accumulation changed. During the Subboreal period the rate of peat accumulation gradually decreased to 17 gC/m2 yr, reaching its lowest value in the Subatlantic period. Apparently, the rate of peat accumulation decreased in Subboreal period due to sharp cooling and precipitation decrease. Future rates of peat accumulation might be higher than the present one. Forest ecosystems of north-western Russia also significantly changed during the Holocene. In Atlantic time the boundary between middle and south taiga was located 500 km northward compared to the present and broad-leaved forest occupied large areas. According to their forecast, a mean global air temperature increase by 1.4 C is expected to result in a considerable decrease in coniferous forest area and an increase in mixed and broad-leaved forest area.

  8. Comparative analysis of European wide marine ecosystem shifts: a large-scale approach for developing the basis for ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Möllmann, Christian; Conversi, Alessandra; Edwards, Martin

    2011-08-23

    Abrupt and rapid ecosystem shifts (where major reorganizations of food-web and community structures occur), commonly termed regime shifts, are changes between contrasting and persisting states of ecosystem structure and function. These shifts have been increasingly reported for exploited marine ecosystems around the world from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic. Understanding the drivers and mechanisms leading to marine ecosystem shifts is crucial in developing adaptive management strategies to achieve sustainable exploitation of marine ecosystems. An international workshop on a comparative approach to analysing these marine ecosystem shifts was held at Hamburg University, Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, Germany on 1-3 November 2010. Twenty-seven scientists from 14 countries attended the meeting, representing specialists from seven marine regions, including the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Barents Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Biscay and the Scotian Shelf off the Canadian East coast. The goal of the workshop was to conduct the first large-scale comparison of marine ecosystem regime shifts across multiple regional areas, in order to support the development of ecosystem-based management strategies.

  9. Late Holocene climate variability in the Sahel: inferences from a marine dust record offshore Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuut, Jan-Berend; Mulitza, Stefan; Heslop, David; Pittauerova, Daniela; Fischer, Helmut; Zabel, Matthias; Collins, James; Kuhnert, Henning; Mollenhauer, Gesine; Meyer, Inka

    2010-05-01

    Societies and ecosystems in northern Africa are strongly affected by the availability of water. As a consequence, long-term absence of rainfall has very dear effects on the ecosystems, as was dramatically shown in the 70'ies and 80'ies of the 20 century. Recent high-resolution reconstructions of Sahel palaeoclimate allow for new insights into these drastic climate variations and to disentangle the effects of the different components of the climate system on African climate change. In this study we extend the instrumental record of climate variability using a marine sediment core that was retrieved off the coast of Senegal, northwest Africa. The 530-cm long record covers the last 4,000 years continuously. A Pb age model allows for a matching of the proxy record with instrumental data. Specifically, variations in the grain-size distributions of the terrigenous sediment fraction, deconvolved with an end-member modelling algorithm (Weltje, 1997) are used to reconstruct rainfall variability on land. In addition, chemical data are used to study the effect of human-induced dust production throughout the late Holocene. We show that dust deposition is closely related to monsoonal precipitation in West Africa until the 17th century AD, followed by a sharp increase in dust deposition at the beginning of the 18th century. We hypothesise that this increase in dust mobilisation is related to the advent of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region.

  10. Late Quaternary climate variability in the Sahel: inferences from marine dust records offshore Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuut, J. W.; Meyer, I.; Fischer, H.; Mollenhauer, G.; Mulitza, S.; Pittauerova, D.; Zabel, M.; Schulz, M.

    2008-12-01

    Societies and ecosystems in northern Africa are strongly affected by the availability of water. As a consequence, long-term absence of rainfall has very dear effects on the ecosystems, as was dramatically shown in the 70'ies and 80'ies of the 20th century. Recent high-resolution reconstructions of Sahel palaeoclimate allow for new insights into these drastic climate variations and to disentangle the effects of the different components of the climate system on African climate change. In this study we extend the instrumental record of climate variability using marine sediment cores that were retrieved off the coast of Senegal, northwest Africa. The sediment records contain continuous high-resolution records of dust sedimentation ranging from about 4,000 to about 57,000 years. A 210Pb age model for the youngest sediments allows for a matching of the proxy rainfall record with instrumental precipitation data. Specifically, variations in the grain-size distributions of the terrigenous sediment fraction, deconvolved with an end-member modelling algorithm (Weltje, 1997) are used to reconstruct rainfall variability on land throughout the late Quaternary.

  11. Ecosystem-based analysis of a marine protected area where fisheries and protected species coexist.

    PubMed

    Espinoza-Tenorio, Alejandro; Montaño-Moctezuma, Gabriela; Espejel, Ileana

    2010-04-01

    The Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve (UGC&CRDBR) is a Marine Protected Area that was established in 1993 with the aim of preserving biodiversity and remediating environmental impacts. Because remaining vigilant is hard and because regulatory measures are difficult to enforce, harvesting has been allowed to diminish poaching. Useful management strategies have not been implemented, however, and conflicts remain between conservation legislation and the fisheries. We developed a transdisciplinary methodological scheme (pressure-state-response, loop analysis, and Geographic Information System) that includes both protected species and fisheries modeled together in a spatially represented marine ecosystem. We analyzed the response of this marine ecosystem supposing that conservation strategies were successful and that the abundance of protected species had increased. The final aim of this study was to identify ecosystem-level management alternatives capable of diminishing the conflict between conservation measures and fisheries. This methodological integration aimed to understand the functioning of the UGC&CRDBR community as well as to identify implications of conservation strategies such as the recovery of protected species. Our results suggest research hypotheses related to key species that should be protected within the ecosystem, and they point out the importance of considering spatial management strategies. Counterintuitive findings underline the importance of understanding how the community responds to disturbances and the effect of indirect pathways on the abundance of ecosystem constituents. Insights from this research are valuable in defining policies in marine reserves where fisheries and protected species coexist.

  12. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

    PubMed Central

    Broszeit, Stefanie; Pilling, Graham M.; Grant, Susie M.; Austen, Melanie C.

    2016-01-01

    Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions. PMID:27928037

  13. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

    PubMed

    Cavanagh, Rachel D; Broszeit, Stefanie; Pilling, Graham M; Grant, Susie M; Murphy, Eugene J; Austen, Melanie C

    2016-12-14

    Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions.

  14. Effects of acidification on olfactory-mediated behaviour in freshwater and marine ecosystems: a synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Leduc, Antoine O. H. C.; Munday, Philip L.; Brown, Grant E.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2013-01-01

    For many aquatic organisms, olfactory-mediated behaviour is essential to the maintenance of numerous fitness-enhancing activities, including foraging, reproduction and predator avoidance. Studies in both freshwater and marine ecosystems have demonstrated significant impacts of anthropogenic acidification on olfactory abilities of fish and macroinvertebrates, leading to impaired behavioural responses, with potentially far-reaching consequences to population dynamics and community structure. Whereas the ecological impacts of impaired olfactory-mediated behaviour may be similar between freshwater and marine ecosystems, the underlying mechanisms are quite distinct. In acidified freshwater, molecular change to chemical cues along with reduced olfaction sensitivity appear to be the primary causes of olfactory-mediated behavioural impairment. By contrast, experiments simulating future ocean acidification suggest that interference of high CO2 with brain neurotransmitter function is the primary cause for olfactory-mediated behavioural impairment in fish. Different physico-chemical characteristics between marine and freshwater systems are probably responsible for these distinct mechanisms of impairment, which, under globally rising CO2 levels, may lead to strikingly different consequences to olfaction. While fluctuations in pH may occur in both freshwater and marine ecosystems, marine habitat will remain alkaline despite future ocean acidification caused by globally rising CO2 levels. In this synthesis, we argue that ecosystem-specific mechanisms affecting olfaction need to be considered for effective management and conservation practices. PMID:23980246

  15. Assessment of the impact of increased solar ultraviolet radiation upon marine ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandyke, H.; Worrest, R. C.

    1976-01-01

    Data was provided to assess the potential impact upon marine ecosystems if space shuttle operations contribute to a reduction of the stratospheric ozone layer. The potential for irreversible damage to the productivity, structure and/or functioning of a model estuarine ecosystem by increased UV-B radiation was established. The sensitivity of key community components (the primary producers) to increased UV-B radiation was delineated.

  16. Increasing variance in North Pacific climate relates to unprecedented ecosystem variability off California.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Santora, Jarrod A; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Marinovic, Baldo; Di Lorenzo, Emanuele

    2013-06-01

    Changes in variance are infrequently examined in climate change ecology. We tested the hypothesis that recent high variability in demographic attributes of salmon and seabirds off California is related to increasing variability in remote, large-scale forcing in the North Pacific operating through changes in local food webs. Linear, indirect numerical responses between krill (primarily Thysanoessa spinifera) and juvenile rockfish abundance (catch per unit effort (CPUE)) explained >80% of the recent variability in the demography of these pelagic predators. We found no relationships between krill and regional upwelling, though a strong connection to the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) index was established. Variance in NPGO and related central Pacific warming index increased after 1985, whereas variance in the canonical ENSO and Pacific Decadal Oscillation did not change. Anthropogenic global warming or natural climate variability may explain recent intensification of the NPGO and its increasing ecological significance. Assessing non-stationarity in atmospheric-environmental interactions and placing greater emphasis on documenting changes in variance of bio-physical systems will enable insight into complex climate-marine ecosystem dynamics.

  17. Climate Change Alters Seedling Emergence and Establishment in an Old-Field Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Classen, Aimee T; Norby, Richard J; Campany, Courtney E; Sides, Katherine E; Weltzin, Jake

    2010-01-01

    In shaping how ecosystems respond to climatic change, ecosystem structure can dominate over physiological responses of individuals, especially under conditions of multiple, simultaneous changes in environmental factors. Ecological succession drives large-scale changes in ecosystem structure over time, but the mechanisms whereby climatic change alters succession remain unresolved. Here, we investigate effects of atmospheric and climatic change on seedling establishment, recognizing that small shifts in seedling establishment of different species may have long-term repercussions on the transition of fields to forests in the future. Our 4-year experiment in an old-field ecosystem revealed that response of seedling emergence to different combinations of atmospheric CO2 concentration, air temperature, and soil moisture depends on seed phenology, the timing of seed arrival into an ecosystem. We conclude that seed phenology is an important plant trait that can shape, and help predict, the trajectories of ecosystems under climatic change.

  18. The effect of widespread early aerobic marine ecosystems on methane cycling and the Great Oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daines, Stuart J.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2016-01-01

    The balance of evidence suggests that oxygenic photosynthesis had evolved by 3.0-2.7 Ga, several hundred million years prior to the Great Oxidation ≈2.4 Ga. Previous work has shown that if oxygenic photosynthesis spread globally prior to the Great Oxidation, this could have supported widespread aerobic ecosystems in the surface ocean, without oxidising the atmosphere. Here we use a suite of models to explore the implications for carbon cycling and the Great Oxidation. We find that recycling of oxygen and carbon within early aerobic marine ecosystems would have restricted the balanced fluxes of methane and oxygen escaping from the ocean, lowering the atmospheric concentration of methane in the Great Oxidation transition and its aftermath. This in turn would have minimised any bi-stability of atmospheric oxygen, by weakening a stabilising feedback on oxygen from hydrogen escape to space. The result would have been a more reversible and probably episodic rise of oxygen at the Great Oxidation transition, consistent with existing geochemical evidence. The resulting drop in methane levels to ≈10 ppm is consistent with climate cooling at the time but adds to the puzzle of what kept the rest of the Proterozoic warm. A key test of the scenario of abundant methanotrophy in oxygen oases before the Great Oxidation is its predicted effects on the organic carbon isotope (δ13Corg) record. Our open ocean general circulation model predicts δC13org ≈ - 30 to -45‰ consistent with most data from 2.65 to 2.45 Ga. However, values of δC13org ≈ - 50 ‰ require an extreme scenario such as concentrated methanotroph production where shelf-slope upwelling of methane-rich water met oxic shelf water.

  19. Functional diversity of marine ecosystems after the Late Permian mass extinction event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, William J.; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2014-03-01

    The Late Permian mass extinction event about 252 million years ago was the most severe biotic crisis of the past 500 million years and occurred during an episode of global warming. The loss of around two-thirds of marine genera is thought to have had substantial ecological effects, but the overall impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems and the pattern of marine recovery are uncertain. Here we analyse the fossil occurrences of all known benthic marine invertebrate genera from the Permian and Triassic periods, and assign each to a functional group based on their inferred lifestyle. We show that despite the selective extinction of 62-74% of these genera, all but one functional group persisted through the crisis, indicating that there was no significant loss of functional diversity at the global scale. In addition, only one new mode of life originated in the extinction aftermath. We suggest that Early Triassic marine ecosystems were not as ecologically depauperate as widely assumed. Functional diversity was, however, reduced in particular regions and habitats, such as tropical reefs; at these smaller scales, recovery varied spatially and temporally, probably driven by migration of surviving groups. We find that marine ecosystems did not return to their pre-extinction state, and by the Middle Triassic greater functional evenness is recorded, resulting from the radiation of previously subordinate groups such as motile, epifaunal grazers.

  20. Projected decreases in future marine export production: the role of the carbon flux through the upper ocean ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, C.; Vogt, M.; Gruber, N.; Aumont, O.; Bopp, L.; Doney, S. C.; Dunne, J. P.; Hauck, J.; John, J. G.; Lima, I. D.; Seferian, R.; Völker, C.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate projections of marine particle export production (EP) are crucial for predicting the response of the marine carbon cycle to climate change, yet models show a wide range in both global EP and their responses to climate change. This is, in part, due to EP being the net result of a series of processes, starting with net primary production (NPP) in the sunlit upper ocean, followed by the formation of particulate organic matter and the subsequent sinking and remineralization of these particles, with each of these processes responding differently to changes in environmental conditions. Here, we compare future projections in EP over the 21st century, generated by four marine ecosystem models under IPCC's high emission scenario RCP8.5, and determine the processes driving these changes. The models simulate small to modest decreases in global EP between -1 and -12 %. Models differ greatly with regard to the drivers causing these changes. Among them, the formation of particles is the most uncertain process with models not agreeing on either magnitude or the direction of change. The removal of the sinking particles by remineralization is simulated to increase in the low and intermediate latitudes in three models, driven by either warming-induced increases in remineralization or slower particle sinking, and show insignificant changes in the remaining model. Changes in ecosystem structure, particularly the relative role of diatoms matters as well, as diatoms produce larger and denser particles that sink faster and are partly protected from remineralization. Also this controlling factor is afflicted with high uncertainties, particularly since the models differ already substantially with regard to both the initial (present-day) distribution of diatoms (between 11-94 % in the Southern Ocean) and the diatom contribution to particle formation (0.6-3.8 times lower/higher than their contribution to biomass). As a consequence, changes in diatom concentration are a strong driver

  1. Using expert judgment to estimate marine ecosystem vulnerability in the California Current.

    PubMed

    Teck, Sarah J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Kappel, Carrie V; Micheli, Fiorenza; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Crain, Caitlin M; Martone, Rebecca; Shearer, Christine; Arvai, Joe; Fischhoff, Baruch; Murray, Grant; Neslo, Rabin; Cooke, Roger

    2010-07-01

    As resource management and conservation efforts move toward multi-sector, ecosystem-based approaches, we need methods for comparing the varying responses of ecosystems to the impacts of human activities in order to prioritize management efforts, allocate limited resources, and understand cumulative effects. Given the number and variety of human activities affecting ecosystems, relatively few empirical studies are adequately comprehensive to inform these decisions. Consequently, management often turns to expert judgment for information. Drawing on methods from decision science, we offer a method for eliciting expert judgment to (1) quantitatively estimate the relative vulnerability of ecosystems to stressors, (2) help prioritize the management of stressors across multiple ecosystems, (3) evaluate how experts give weight to different criteria to characterize vulnerability of ecosystems to anthropogenic stressors, and (4) identify key knowledge gaps. We applied this method to the California Current region in order to evaluate the relative vulnerability of 19 marine ecosystems to 53 stressors associated with human activities, based on surveys from 107 experts. When judging the relative vulnerability of ecosystems to stressors, we found that experts primarily considered two criteria: the ecosystem's resistance to the stressor and the number of species or trophic levels affected. Four intertidal ecosystems (mudflat, beach, salt marsh, and rocky intertidal) were judged most vulnerable to the suite of human activities evaluated here. The highest vulnerability rankings for coastal ecosystems were invasive species, ocean acidification, sea temperature change, sea level rise, and habitat alteration from coastal engineering, while offshore ecosystems were assessed to be most vulnerable to ocean acidification, demersal destructive fishing, and shipwrecks. These results provide a quantitative, transparent, and repeatable assessment of relative vulnerability across ecosystems to

  2. Late Holocene interdecadal climate variability in the Sahel: inferences from a marine dust record offshore Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, I.; Stuut, J.-B.; Mollenhauer, G.; Mulitza, S.; Zabel, M.

    2009-04-01

    Present-day climate in northwestern Africa strongly depends on the avaiability of water. At least since the Pliocene the Saharan Desert and the semiarid Sahel belt (tropical North Afrika) have been frequently affected by sudden shifts to more arid climate. The rate of change from arid to humid conditions is presently under heavy debate (e.g., deMenocal et al., 2001, Kröpelin et al., 2008). A recent example of abrupt droughts occurred in the early 70's and 80's of the last century. In this study we compare different high-resolution marine sediment records of Sahel climate variability from the Senegal mud belt, northwest Africa. Marine sediment cores show the variations of terrigenous input (both aeolian dust and fluvial matter) from the African continent. Due to their different distinctive grain-size distributions, aeolian dust and fluvial mud can be recognised and quantified in marine sediments (e.g., Stuut et al., 2002). Based on these variations in the grain-size distributions of the terrigenous sediment fraction, deconvolved with an end-member modelling algorithm (Weltje, 1997), are used to reconstruct rainfall variability and dust production on land for the last 4,000 years. References P. B. deMenocal, et al. (2001). Late Holocene Cultural Responses to Climate Change During the Holocene. Science 292, 667 S. Kröpelin, et al. (2008) Response to Comment on "Climate-Driven Ecosystem Succession in the Sahara: The Past 6000 Years" Science 322, 1326c G. J. Weltje (1997) End-member modeling of compositional data: Numerical-statistical algorithms for solving the explicit mixing problem. Mathematical Geology 9, 4

  3. Changing climate and endangered high mountain ecosystems in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Daniel; Moreno, Hernán Alonso; Gutiérrez, María Elena; Zapata, Paula Andrea

    2008-07-15

    High mountain ecosystems are among the most sensitive environments to changes in climatic conditions occurring on global, regional and local scales. The article describes the changing conditions observed over recent years in the high mountain basin of the Claro River, on the west flank of the Colombian Andean Central mountain range. Local ground truth data gathered at 4150 m, regional data available at nearby weather stations, and satellite info were used to analyze changes in the mean and the variance, and significant trends in climatic time series. Records included minimum, mean and maximum temperatures, relative humidity, rainfall, sunshine, and cloud characteristics. In high levels, minimum and maximum temperatures during the coldest days increased at a rate of about 0.6 degrees C/decade, whereas maximum temperatures during the warmest days increased at a rate of about 1.3 degrees C/decade. Rates of increase in maximum, mean and minimum diurnal temperature range reached 0.6, 0.7, and 0.5 degrees C/decade. Maximum, mean and minimum relative humidity records showed reductions of about 1.8, 3.9 and 6.6%/decade. The total number of sunny days per month increased in almost 2.1 days. The headwaters exhibited no changes in rainfall totals, but evidenced an increased occurrence of unusually heavy rainfall events. Reductions in the amount of all cloud types over the area reached 1.9%/decade. In low levels changes in mean monthly temperatures and monthly rainfall totals exceeded + 0.2 degrees C and - 4% per decade, respectively. These striking changes might have contributed to the retreat of glacier icecaps and to the disappearance of high altitude water bodies, as well as to the occurrence and rapid spread of natural and man-induced forest fires. Significant reductions in water supply, important disruptions of the integrity of high mountain ecosystems, and dramatic losses of biodiversity are now a steady menu of the severe climatic conditions experienced by these

  4. An atmospheric-to-marine synoptic classification for statistical downscaling marine climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camus, Paula; Rueda, Ana; Méndez, Fernando J.; Losada, Iñigo J.

    2016-12-01

    A regression-guided classification is implemented in statistical downscaling models based on weather types for downscaling multivariate wave climate and modelling extreme events. The semi-supervised method classifies the atmospheric circulation conditions (predictor) and the estimations from a regression model linking the circulation with local marine climate (filtered predictand). A weighted factor controls the influence of the predictor and predictand in the weather patterns to improve the performance of the classification to reflect local marine climate characteristics. In addition to the analysis of the variance explained by the predictor and the predictand, the selection of the optimal value of the weighted factor is based on the predictand response in order to avoid subjectivity in the solution. The statistical models using the guided classification are applied in the North Atlantic. The new technique reduces the dispersion of the multivariate predictand within weather types and improves the model skill to downscale waves and to reproduce extremes.

  5. Transient dynamics of an altered large marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Frank, Kenneth T; Petrie, Brian; Fisher, Jonathan A D; Leggett, William C

    2011-07-27

    Overfishing of large-bodied benthic fishes and their subsequent population collapses on the Scotian Shelf of Canada's east coast and elsewhere resulted in restructuring of entire food webs now dominated by planktivorous, forage fish species and macroinvertebrates. Despite the imposition of strict management measures in force since the early 1990s, the Scotian Shelf ecosystem has not reverted back to its former structure. Here we provide evidence of the transient nature of this ecosystem and its current return path towards benthic fish species domination. The prolonged duration of the altered food web, and its current recovery, was and is being governed by the oscillatory, runaway consumption dynamics of the forage fish complex. These erupting forage species, which reached biomass levels 900% greater than those prevalent during the pre-collapse years of large benthic predators, are now in decline, having outstripped their zooplankton food supply. This dampening, and the associated reduction in the intensity of predation, was accompanied by lagged increases in species abundances at both lower and higher trophic levels, first witnessed in zooplankton and then in large-bodied predators, all consistent with a return towards the earlier ecosystem structure. We conclude that the reversibility of perturbed ecosystems can occur and that this bodes well for other collapsed fisheries.

  6. Mercury in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Sources, Pathways, and Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Jane L.; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M.; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P.; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L.; Loseto, Lisa L.; Steffen, Alexandra; St. Louis, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods has many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  7. Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvell, C.D.; Mitchell, C.E.; Ward, J.R.; Altizer, S.; Dobson, A.P.; Ostfeld, R.S.; Samuel, M.D.

    2002-01-01

    Infectious diseases can cause rapid population declines or species extinctions. Many pathogens of terrestrial and marine taxa are sensitive to temperature, rainfall, and humidity, creating synergisms that could affect biodiversity. Climate warming can increase pathogen development and survival rates, disease transmission, and host susceptibility. Although most host-parasite systems are predicted to experience more frequent or severe disease impacts with warming, a subset of pathogens might decline with warming, releasing hosts from disease. Recently, changes in El Niño–Southern Oscillation events have had a detectable influence on marine and terrestrial pathogens, including coral diseases, oyster pathogens, crop pathogens, Rift Valley fever, and human cholera. To improve our ability to predict epidemics in wild populations, it will be necessary to separate the independent and interactive effects of multiple climate drivers on disease impact.

  8. Climate Warming and Disease Risks for Terrestrial and Marine Biota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvell, C. Drew; Mitchell, Charles E.; Ward, Jessica R.; Altizer, Sonia; Dobson, Andrew P.; Ostfeld, Richard S.; Samuel, Michael D.

    2002-06-01

    Infectious diseases can cause rapid population declines or species extinctions. Many pathogens of terrestrial and marine taxa are sensitive to temperature, rainfall, and humidity, creating synergisms that could affect biodiversity. Climate warming can increase pathogen development and survival rates, disease transmission, and host susceptibility. Although most host-parasite systems are predicted to experience more frequent or severe disease impacts with warming, a subset of pathogens might decline with warming, releasing hosts from disease. Recently, changes in El Niño-Southern Oscillation events have had a detectable influence on marine and terrestrial pathogens, including coral diseases, oyster pathogens, crop pathogens, Rift Valley fever, and human cholera. To improve our ability to predict epidemics in wild populations, it will be necessary to separate the independent and interactive effects of multiple climate drivers on disease impact.

  9. Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota.

    PubMed

    Harvell, C Drew; Mitchell, Charles E; Ward, Jessica R; Altizer, Sonia; Dobson, Andrew P; Ostfeld, Richard S; Samuel, Michael D

    2002-06-21

    Infectious diseases can cause rapid population declines or species extinctions. Many pathogens of terrestrial and marine taxa are sensitive to temperature, rainfall, and humidity, creating synergisms that could affect biodiversity. Climate warming can increase pathogen development and survival rates, disease transmission, and host susceptibility. Although most host-parasite systems are predicted to experience more frequent or severe disease impacts with warming, a subset of pathogens might decline with warming, releasing hosts from disease. Recently, changes in El Niño-Southern Oscillation events have had a detectable influence on marine and terrestrial pathogens, including coral diseases, oyster pathogens, crop pathogens, Rift Valley fever, and human cholera. To improve our ability to predict epidemics in wild populations, it will be necessary to separate the independent and interactive effects of multiple climate drivers on disease impact.

  10. Potential impact of climate change on marine dimethyl sulfide emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bopp, Laurent; Aumont, Olivier; Belviso, Sauveur; Monfray, Patrick

    2003-02-01

    Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is a biogenic compound produced in sea-surface water and outgased to the atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, DMS is a significant source of cloud condensation nuclei in the unpolluted marine atmosphere. It has been postulated that climate may be partly modulated by variations in DMS production through a DMS-cloud condensation nuclei-albedo feedback. We present here a modelled estimation of the response of DMS sea-water concentrations and DMS fluxes to climate change, following previous work on marine DMS modeling (Aumont et al., 2002) and on the global warming impact on marine biology (Bopp et al., 2001). An atmosphere ocean general circulation model (GCM) was coupled to a marine biogeochemical scheme and used without flux correction to simulate climate response to increased greenhouse gases (a 1% increase per year in atmospheric CO2 until it has doubled). The predicted global distribution of DMS at 1 × CO2 compares reasonably well with observations; however, in the high latitudes, very elevated concentrations of DMS due to spring and summer blooms of Phaeocystis can not be reproduced. At 2 × CO2, the model estimates a small increase of global DMS flux to the atmosphere (+2%) but with large spatial heterogeneities (from -15% to +30% for the zonal mean). Mechanisms affecting DMS fluxes are changes in (1) marine biological productivity, (2) relative abundance of phytoplankton species and (3) wind intensity. The mean DMS flux perturbation we simulate represents a small negative feedback on global warming; however, the large regional changes may significantly impact regional temperature and precipitation patterns.

  11. Chapter 2. Vulnerability of marine turtles to climate change.

    PubMed

    Poloczanska, Elvira S; Limpus, Colin J; Hays, Graeme C

    2009-01-01

    Marine turtles are generally viewed as vulnerable to climate change because of the role that temperature plays in the sex determination of embryos, their long life history, long age-to-maturity and their highly migratory nature. Extant species of marine turtles probably arose during the mid-late Jurassic period (180-150 Mya) so have survived past shifts in climate, including glacial periods and warm events and therefore have some capacity for adaptation. The present-day rates of increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and associated temperature changes, are very rapid; the capacity of marine turtles to adapt to this rapid change may be compromised by their relatively long generation times. We consider the evidence and likely consequences of present-day trends of climate change on marine turtles. Impacts are likely to be complex and may be positive as well as negative. For example, rising sea levels and increased storm intensity will negatively impact turtle nesting beaches; however, extreme storms can also lead to coastal accretion. Alteration of wind patterns and ocean currents will have implications for juveniles and adults in the open ocean. Warming temperatures are likely to impact directly all turtle life stages, such as the sex determination of embryos in the nest and growth rates. Warming of 2 degrees C could potentially result in a large shift in sex ratios towards females at many rookeries, although some populations may be resilient to warming if female biases remain within levels where population success is not impaired. Indirectly, climate change is likely to impact turtles through changes in food availability. The highly migratory nature of turtles and their ability to move considerable distances in short periods of time should increase their resilience to climate change. However, any such resilience of marine turtles to climate change is likely to be severely compromised by other anthropogenic influences. Development of coastlines may

  12. Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics to Elucidate Functions in Marine Organisms and Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Goulitquer, Sophie; Potin, Philippe; Tonon, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Marine systems are very diverse and recognized as being sources of a wide range of biomolecules. This review provides an overview of metabolite profiling based on mass spectrometry (MS) approaches in marine organisms and their environments, focusing on recent advances in the field. We also point out some of the technical challenges that need to be overcome in order to increase applications of metabolomics in marine systems, including extraction of chemical compounds from different matrices and data management. Metabolites being important links between genotype and phenotype, we describe added value provided by integration of data from metabolite profiling with other layers of omics, as well as their importance for the development of systems biology approaches in marine systems to study several biological processes, and to analyze interactions between organisms within communities. The growing importance of MS-based metabolomics in chemical ecology studies in marine ecosystems is also illustrated. PMID:22690147

  13. Large-scale impacts of climate change on tropical West African ecosystems over the past ~540,000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosling, William; Miller, Charlotte; Kemp, David; Coe, Angela; Gilmour, Iain

    2016-04-01

    A paucity of empirical non-marine data means that uncertainty surrounds the impact of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems in tropical regions. The sedimentary-fill of the Bosumtwi impact crater (Ghana) provides the longest Quaternary terrestrial archive of environmental change in Africa, spanning the last ~540,000 years. Here we present a reconstruction of vegetation biomes and moisture availability in tropical West Africa for the past ~540,000 years using pollen analysis and the nitrogen isotope composition of bulk organic matter preserved in sediments from Lake Bosumtwi. Variations in grass pollen abundance (0-99%) indicate abrupt transitions between savannah and woodland biomes. Coeval variations in the nitrogen isotopic composition of organic matter indicate that intervals of savannah expansion coincided with minimum lake-levels and low regional moisture availability. The observed changes responded to orbitally paced global climate variations on both glacial-interglacial and shorter timescales. Importantly, the magnitude and abruptness of ecosystem change revealed by our data exceeds that previously determined from marine records, demonstrating for the first time the true sensitivity of tropical regions to Quaternary climate change.

  14. Regional Approach for Linking Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Strategies Under Climate Change of Pastoral Communities in the Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, D. S.; Galvin, K.; Togtohyn, C.

    2012-12-01

    Dramatic changes due to climate and land use dynamics in the Mongolian Plateau affecting ecosystem services and agro-pastoral systems in Mongolia. Recently, market forces and development strategies are affecting land and water resources of the pastoral communities which are being further stressed due to climatic changes. Evaluation of pastoral systems, where humans depend on livestock and grassland ecosystem services, have demonstrated the vulnerability of the social-ecological system to climate change. Current social-ecological changes in ecosystem services are affecting land productivity and carrying capacity, land-atmosphere interactions, water resources, and livelihood strategies. The general trend involves greater intensification of resource exploitation at the expense of traditional patterns of extensive range utilization. Thus we expect climate-land use-land cover relationships to be crucially modified by the social-economic forces. The analysis incorporates information about the social-economic transitions taking place in the region which affect land-use, food security, and ecosystem dynamics. The region of study extends from the Mongolian plateau in Mongolia. Our research indicate that sustainability of pastoral systems in the region needs to integrate the impact of climate change on ecosystem services with socio-economic changes shaping the livelihood strategies of pastoral systems in the region. Adaptation strategies which incorporate integrated analysis of landscape management and livelihood strategies provides a framework which links ecosystem services to critical resource assets. Analysis of the available livelihood assets provides insights to the adaptive capacity of various agents in a region or in a community. Sustainable development pathways which enable the development of these adaptive capacity elements will lead to more effective adaptive management strategies for pastoral land use and herder's living standards. Pastoralists will have the

  15. Review of inorganic nitrogen transformations and effect of global climate change on inorganic nitrogen cycling in ocean ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Haryun

    2016-03-01

    Inorganic N transformations (nitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, denitrification, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium) are regulated by various biogeochemical factors linked either by the supply of electron acceptors and donors or by competition for electron acceptors. This review considers both the microbial community related to each process and the technical methods used to measure each process rate. With this background knowledge, this article summarizes how global climate change through increased pCO2, ocean acidification, deoxygenation and anthropogenic N deposition will alter oceanic N cycling, and finally emphasizes the need for comprehensive research on inorganic N transformation in marine ecosystems.

  16. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: From Sources to Seafood Consumers -- A Work Group Report

    EPA Science Inventory

    Consumption of marine fish and shellfish is a major route of human exposure to methyl mercury. This paper is the result of a workshop by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program in November 2006 on "Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems and Effects on Human...

  17. Modeling Complex Marine Ecosystems: An Investigation of Two Teaching Approaches with Fifth Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papaevripidou, M.; Constantinou, C. P.; Zacharia, Z. C.

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated acquisition and transfer of the modeling ability of fifth graders in various domains. Teaching interventions concentrated on the topic of marine ecosystems either through a modeling-based approach or a worksheet-based approach. A quasi-experimental (pre-post comparison study) design was used. The control group (n = 17)…

  18. Consequences of natural upwelling in oligotrophic marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walsh, J J

    1980-03-01

    One of the major environmental consequences of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plans may be the artificial upwelling of nutrients to the surface waters of oligotrophic ecosystems. Within a 10 km/sup 2/ area, OTEC plants of 1000 MWe total capacity could upwell the same amount of nutrients as occurs naturally off Peru each day. The biological response to possible eutrophication by OTEC plants may not be similar to that within coastal upwelling ecosystems, however. Upwelling in offshore oceanic systems does not lead to increased primary production despite high nutrient content of the euphotic zone. Continuous grazing may not allow phytoplankton blooms to develop in oceanic upwelling systems to the proposed OTEC sites. At present this is a hypothesis to be tested before full evaluation of OTEC induced upwelling can be made.

  19. Global Sea Surface Temperature and Ecosystem Change Across the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veenstra, T. J. T.; Bakker, V. B.; Sangiorgi, F.; Peterse, F.; Schouten, S.; Sluijs, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO) (ca. 17 to 14 Ma) is generally considered as the warmest episode of the Neogene based on deep marine oxygen isotope records and terrestrial plant fossils. To date, however, reasonable resolution high-quality sea surface temperature (SST) proxy records spanning its onset are scarce at best. For the remainder of the MMCO, reliable SST records are absent from the tropics and very scarce in temperate and polar regions. This leaves the question if the MMCO was truly associated with global warming and if this warming was associated with biotic change. We use organic biomarker paleothermometry (Uk'37 and TEX86) to reconstruct SST across the MMCO at four locations along a pole-to-pole transect in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Additionally, we use marine palynology (mostly dinoflagellate cysts) to assess ecosystem change at these locations. This study includes the first tropical biomarker-based SST records of the MMCO. Together with new and existing SST records from higher latitudes and the corresponding palynological records, they provide new insights in the temporal and spatial development of the MMCO. Our results indicate that Mid-Miocene warming was most prominent in the Norwegian Sea, showed a more complex, perhaps upwelling-related pattern in a tropical location, and was small in the Southern Hemisphere.

  20. An Underwater Light Attenuation Scheme for Marine Ecosystem Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-01

    absorption curves of phytoplankton pigments , dissolved organic matter, and other paniculate materials," Limnol. Occanogr. 26, 671-689 (1981). 18. A...Introduction The underwater distribution and variability of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) are important components in numerical models of marine...under-estimation; now the remaining blue-green bands should not be absorbed so strongly. S4, with the coefficients optimized via the bio-optical model

  1. Interactions of aquaculture, marine coastal ecosystems, and near-shore waters: A bibliography. Bibliographies and literature of agriculture (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Hanfman, D.T.; Coleman, D.E.; Tibbitt, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    The bibliography contains selected literature citations on the interactions of aquaculture and marine coastal ecosystems. The focus is on aquaculture effluents and their impact on marine coastal ecosystems and waterways as well as the impact of pollutants on aquaculture development. Factors affecting these issues include domestic and industrial wastes, thermal discharges, acid rain, heavy metals, oil spills, and microbial contamination of marine waters and aquatic species. Coastal zone management, environmenal impact of aquaculture, and water quality issues are also included in the bibliography.

  2. Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Guiot, Joel; Cramer, Wolfgang

    2016-10-28

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement of December 2015 aims to maintain the global average warming well below 2°C above the preindustrial level. In the Mediterranean basin, recent pollen-based reconstructions of climate and ecosystem variability over the past 10,000 years provide insights regarding the implications of warming thresholds for biodiversity and land-use potential. We compare scenarios of climate-driven future change in land ecosystems with reconstructed ecosystem dynamics during the past 10,000 years. Only a 1.5°C warming scenario permits ecosystems to remain within the Holocene variability. At or above 2°C of warming, climatic change will generate Mediterranean land ecosystem changes that are unmatched in the Holocene, a period characterized by recurring precipitation deficits rather than temperature anomalies.

  3. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the ecosystem-based approach – pitfalls and solutions.

    PubMed

    Berg, Torsten; Fürhaupter, Karin; Teixeira, Heliana; Uusitalo, Laura; Zampoukas, Nikolaos

    2015-07-15

    The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims at good environmental status (GES) in marine waters, following an ecosystem-based approach, focused on 11 descriptors related to ecosystem features, human drivers and pressures. Furthermore, 29 subordinate criteria and 56 attributes are detailed in an EU Commission Decision. The analysis of the Decision and the associated operational indicators revealed ambiguity in the use of terms, such as indicator, impact and habitat and considerable overlap of indicators assigned to various descriptors and criteria. We suggest re-arrangement and elimination of redundant criteria and attributes avoiding double counting in the subsequent indicator synthesis, a clear distinction between pressure and state descriptors and addition of criteria on ecosystem services and functioning. Moreover, we suggest the precautionary principle should be followed for the management of pressures and an evidence-based approach for monitoring state as well as reaching and maintaining GES.

  4. Manatees as sentinels of marine ecosystem health: are they the 2000-pound canaries?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonde, R.K.; Aguirre, A.A.; Powell, J.

    2004-01-01

    The order Sirenia is represented by three species of manatees and one species of dugong distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world and considered vulnerable to extinction. The sentinel species concept is useful to identify indicators of the environment and may reflect the quality of health in marine ecosystems. The single species approach to evaluate ecological health may provide a series of “snap shots” of environmental changes to determine if animal, human, or ecosystem health may be affected. Under this concept, marine vertebrates may be good integrators of changes over space and time, and excellent sentinels of ecosystem health. Based on their life history, manatees may or may not be ideal sentinels, as they are robust, long-lived species and appear remarkably resilient to natural disease and the effects of human-related injury and trauma. These characteristics might be the result of an efficient and responsive immune system compared to other marine mammals. Although relatively immune to infectious agents, manatees face other potentially serious threats, including epizootic diseases and pollution while in large aggregations. Manatees can serve as excellent sentinels of harmful algal blooms due to their high sensitivity, specifically to brevetoxicosis, which has caused at least two major die-offs in recent times. Threats to manatees worldwide, such as illegal hunting and boat collisions, are increasing. Habitat is being lost at an alarming rate and the full effects of uncontrolled human population growth on the species are unknown. The manatee may serve as a sentinel species, prognosticating the deleterious effects of unhealthy marine and aquatic ecosystems on humans. We have identified a number of critical research needs and opportunities for transdisciplinary collaboration that could help advance the use of the sentinel species concept in marine ecosystem health and monitoring of disease emergence using our knowledge on these magnificent

  5. Climate change impacts on lake thermal dynamics and ecosystem vulnerabilities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sahoo, G. B; Forrest, A. L; Schladow, S. G ;; Reuter, J. E; Coats, R.; Dettinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Using water column temperature records collected since 1968, we analyzed the impacts of climate change on thermal properties, stability intensity, length of stratification, and deep mixing dynamics of Lake Tahoe using a modified stability index (SI). This new SI is easier to produce and is a more informative measure of deep lake stability than commonly used stability indices. The annual average SI increased at 16.62 kg/m2/decade although the summer (May–October) average SI increased at a higher rate (25.42 kg/m2/decade) during the period 1968–2014. This resulted in the lengthening of the stratification season by approximately 24 d. We simulated the lake thermal structure over a future 100 yr period using a lake hydrodynamic model driven by statistically downscaled outputs of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Model (GFDL) for two different green house gas emission scenarios (the A2 in which greenhouse-gas emissions increase rapidly throughout the 21st Century, and the B1 in which emissions slow and then level off by the late 21st Century). The results suggest a continuation and intensification of the already observed trends. The length of stratification duration and the annual average lake stability are projected to increase by 38 d and 12 d and 30.25 kg/m2/decade and 8.66 kg/m2/decade, respectively for GFDLA2 and GFDLB1, respectively during 2014–2098. The consequences of this change bear the hallmarks of climate change induced lake warming and possible exacerbation of existing water quality, quantity and ecosystem changes. The developed methodology could be extended and applied to other lakes as a tool to predict changes in stratification and mixing dynamics.

  6. Climate Regulation Services of Natural and Managed Ecosystems of the Americas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.; Snyder, P. K.; Twine, T. E.; Costa, M. H.; Cuadra, S.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2011-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems regulate climate through both biogeochemical mechanisms (greenhouse gas regulation) and biophysical mechanisms (regulation of water and energy). Land management therefore provides some of the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation. However, most policies aimed at climate protection through land management, including UNFCCC mechanisms and bioenergy sustainability standards, account only for biogeochemical climate services. By ignoring biophysical climate regulation services that in some cases offset the biogeochemical regulation services, these policies run the risk of failing to advance the best climate solutions. Quantifying the combined value of biogeochemical and biophysical climate regulation services remains an important challenge. Here, we use a combination of data synthesis and modeling to quantify how biogeochemical and biophysical effects combine to shape the climate regulation value (CRV) of 18 natural and managed ecosystem types across the Western Hemisphere. Natural ecosystems generally had higher CRVs than agroecosystems, largely driven by differences in biogeochemical services. Biophysical contributions ranged from minimal to dominant. They were highly variable in space and across ecosystem types, and their relative importance varied strongly with the spatio-temporal scale of analysis. Our findings pertain to current efforts to protect climate through land management. Specifically, they reinforce the importance of protecting tropical forests and recent findings that the climatic effects of bioenergy production may be somewhat more positive than previously estimated. Given that biophysical effects in some cases dominate, ensuring effective climate protection through land management requires consideration of combined biogeochemical and biophysical climate regulation services. While quantification of ecosystem climate services is necessarily complex, our CRV index serves as one potential approach to measure the

  7. Impacts of climate change on marine top predators: Advances and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobday, Alistair J.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Evans, Karen; Nicol, Simon; Young, Jock W.; Weng, Kevin C.

    2015-03-01

    Oceanic top predators are the subject of studies by researchers under the international Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) program. A wide range of data sets have shown that environmental conditions, such as temperature and marine productivity, affect the distribution and biological processes of these species, and thus the activities of the humans that depend on them. In this special issue, 25 papers arising from the 2nd CLIOTOP symposium, held in Noumea, New Caledonia in February 2013 report the importance of realistic physical descriptions of oceanic processes for climate change projections, demonstrate a wide range of predator responses to historical climate variability, describe new analytical approaches for understanding the physiology, behaviour and trophodynamics, and project future distributions for a range of species. Several contributions discuss the implications for conservation and fisheries and show that resolving ecosystem management challenges and conflicts in the face of climate change is possible, but will require attention by decision-makers to issues that are broader than their traditional mandate. In the coming years, an increased focus on the development of management options to reduce the impacts of climate change on top predators and their dependent industries is needed.

  8. Nutrient supply and mercury dynamics in marine ecosystems: A conceptual model

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Celia Y.; Hammerschmidt, Chad R.; Mason, Robert P.; Gilmour, Cynthia C.; Sunderland, Elsie M.; Greenfield, Ben K.; Buckman, Kate L.; Lamborg, Carl H.

    2013-01-01

    There is increasing interest and concern over the impacts of mercury (Hg) inputs to marine ecosystems. One of the challenges in assessing these effects is that the cycling and trophic transfer of Hg are strongly linked to other contaminants and disturbances. In addition to Hg, a major problem facing coastal waters is the impacts of elevated nutrient, particularly nitrogen (N), inputs. Increases in nutrient loading alter coastal ecosystems in ways that should change the transport, transformations and fate of Hg, including increases in fixation of organic carbon and deposition to sediments, decreases in the redox status of sediments and changes in fish habitat. In this paper we present a conceptual model which suggests that increases in loading of reactive N to marine ecosystems might alter Hg dynamics, decreasing bioavailabilty and trophic transfer. This conceptual model is most applicable to coastal waters, but may also be relevant to the pelagic ocean. We present information from case studies that both support and challenge this conceptual model, including marine observations across a nutrient gradient; results of a nutrient-trophic transfer Hg model for pelagic and coastal ecosystems; observations of Hg species, and nutrients from coastal sediments in the northeastern U.S.; and an analysis of fish Hg concentrations in estuaries under different nutrient loadings. These case studies suggest that changes in nutrient loading can impact Hg dynamics in coastal and open ocean ecosystems. Unfortunately none of the case studies is comprehensive; each only addresses a portion of the conceptual model and has limitations. Nevertheless, our conceptual model has important management implications. Many estuaries near developed areas are impaired due to elevated nutrient inputs. Widespread efforts are underway to control N loading and restore coastal ecosystem function. An unintended consequence of nutrient control measures could be to exacerbate problems associated with Hg

  9. The added complications of climate change: understanding and managing biodiversity and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amanda Staudt,; Allison K. Leidner,; Jennifer Howard,; Kate A. Brauman,; Jeffrey S. Dukes,; Hansen, Lara J.; Paukert, Craig; Sabo, John L.; Solorzano, Luis A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystems around the world are already threatened by land-use and land-cover change, extraction of natural resources, biological disturbances, and pollution. These environmental stressors have been the primary source of ecosystem degradation to date, and climate change is now exacerbating some of their effects. Ecosystems already under stress are likely to have more rapid and acute reactions to climate change; it is therefore useful to understand how multiple stresses will interact, especially as the magnitude of climate change increases. Understanding these interactions could be critically important in the design of climate adaptation strategies, especially because actions taken by other sectors (eg energy, agriculture, transportation) to address climate change may create new ecosystem stresses.

  10. Climate Variability in Coastal Ecosystems - Use of MODIS Land Surface and Sea Surface Temperature Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chintalapati, S.; Lakshmi, V.

    2007-12-01

    The intertidal zone, with its complex blend of marine and terrestrial environments, is one of the intensively studied ecosystems, in understanding the effects of climate change on species abundance and distribution. As climatic conditions change, the geographic limits of the intertidal species will likely move towards more tolerable coastal conditions. Traditionally, understanding climate change effects through species physiologic response have involved use of in situ measurements and thermal engineering models. But these approaches are constrained by their data intensive requirements and may not be suitable for predicting change patterns relevant to large scale species distributions. Satellite remote sensing provides an alternate approach, given the regular global coverage at moderate spatial resolutions. The present study uses six years of land surface temperature (LST) and sea surface temperature (SST) data from MODIS/Terra instrument along various coastlines around the globe - East and West Coast US, Southern Africa, Northern Japan and New Zealand. Apart from the dominant annual cycle in LST and SST, the other seasonal cycles vary from dominant semi-annual cycles in lower latitudes to 1.5 and 2 year cycles at higher latitudes. The monthly anomalies show strong spatial structure at lower latitudes when compared to higher latitudes, with the exception of US east coast, where the spatial structure extended almost along the whole coastline, indicating strong regulation from the Gulf Stream. The patterns along different coast lines are consistent with the atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns existing at those regions. These results suggest that the climatology at the coastal regions can be adequately represented using satellite-based temperature data, thus enabling further research in understanding the effects of climate change on species abundance and distribution at larger scales.

  11. Ecosystem service provision: an operational way for marine biodiversity conservation and management.

    PubMed

    Cognetti, Giuseppe; Maltagliati, Ferruccio

    2010-11-01

    Since no extensive conceptual framework has been developed on the issues of ecosystem service (ES) and service provider (SP) in the marine environment, we have made an attempt to apply these to the conservation and management of marine biodiversity. Within this context, an accurate individuation of SPs, namely the biological component of a given ecosystem that supports human activities is fundamental. SPs are the agents responsible for making the ES-based approach operational. The application of these concepts to the marine environment should be based on an model different to the terrestrial one. In the latter, the basic model envisages a matrix of a human-altered landscape with fragments of original biodiversity; conversely, in the marine environment the model provides fragments where human activities are carried out and the matrix is represented by the original biodiversity. We have identified three main classes of ES provision: in natural, disturbed and human-controlled environments. Economic valuation of marine ESs is an essential condition for making conservation strategies financially sustainable, as it may stimulate the perceived need for investing in protection and exploitation of marine resources.

  12. Matching biological traits to environmental conditions in marine benthic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bremner, J.; Rogers, S. I.; Frid, C. L. J.

    2006-05-01

    The effects of variability in environmental conditions on species composition in benthic ecosystems are well established, but relatively little is known about how environmental variability relates to ecosystem functioning. Benthic invertebrate assemblages are heavily involved in the maintenance of ecological processes and investigation of the biological characteristics (traits) expressed in these assemblages can provide information about some aspects of functioning. The aim of this study was to establish and explore relationships between environmental variability and biological traits expressed in megafauna assemblages in two UK regions. Patterns of trait composition were matched to environmental conditions and subsets of variables best describing these patterns determined. The nature of the relationships were subsequently examined at two separate scales, both between and within the regions studied. Over the whole area, some traits related to size, longevity, reproduction, mobility, flexibility, feeding method, sociability and living habit were negatively correlated with salinity, sea surface temperature, annual temperature range and the level of fishing effort, and positively associated with fish taxon richness and shell content of the substratum. Between the two regions, reductions in temperature range and shell content were associated with infrequent relative occurrences of short-lived, moderately mobile, flexible, solitary, opportunistic, permanent-burrow dwelling fauna and those exhibiting reproductive strategies based on benthic development. Relationships between some traits and environmental conditions diverged within the two regions, with increases in fishing effort and shell content of the substratum being associated with low frequencies of occurrence of moderately mobile and moderately to highly flexible fauna within one region, but high frequencies in the other. These changes in trait composition have implications for ecosystem processes, with, for

  13. Relationships among fisheries exploitation, environmental conditions, and ecological indicators across a series of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Caihong; Large, Scott; Knight, Ben; Richardson, Anthony J.; Bundy, Alida; Reygondeau, Gabriel; Boldt, Jennifer; van der Meeren, Gro I.; Torres, Maria A.; Sobrino, Ignacio; Auber, Arnaud; Travers-Trolet, Morgane; Piroddi, Chiara; Diallo, Ibrahima; Jouffre, Didier; Mendes, Hugo; Borges, Maria Fatima; Lynam, Christopher P.; Coll, Marta; Shannon, Lynne J.; Shin, Yunne-Jai

    2015-08-01

    Understanding how external pressures impact ecosystem structure and functioning is essential for ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. We quantified the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions on ecological indicators derived from two different data sources, fisheries catch data (catch-based) and fisheries independent survey data (survey-based) for 12 marine ecosystems using a partial least squares path modeling approach (PLS-PM). We linked these ecological indicators to the total biomass of the ecosystem. Although the effects of exploitation and environmental conditions differed across the ecosystems, some general results can be drawn from the comparative approach. Interestingly, the PLS-PM analyses showed that survey-based indicators were less tightly associated with each other than the catch-based ones. The analyses also showed that the effects of environmental conditions on the ecological indicators were predominantly significant, and tended to be negative, suggesting that in the recent period, indicators accounted for changes in environmental conditions and the changes were more likely to be adverse. Total biomass was associated with fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions; however its association with the ecological indicators was weak across the ecosystems. Knowledge of the relative influence of exploitation and environmental pressures on the dynamics within exploited ecosystems will help us to move towards ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. PLS-PM proved to be a useful approach to quantify the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions and suggest it could be used more widely in fisheries oceanography.

  14. Effects of near-future ocean acidification, fishing, and marine protection on a temperate coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Cornwall, Christopher E; Eddy, Tyler D

    2015-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem responses to global and local anthropogenic impacts is paramount to predicting future ecosystem states. We used an ecosystem modeling approach to investigate the independent and cumulative effects of fishing, marine protection, and ocean acidification on a coastal ecosystem. To quantify the effects of ocean acidification at the ecosystem level, we used information from the peer-reviewed literature on the effects of ocean acidification. Using an Ecopath with Ecosim ecosystem model for the Wellington south coast, including the Taputeranga Marine Reserve (MR), New Zealand, we predicted ecosystem responses under 4 scenarios: ocean acidification + fishing; ocean acidification + MR (no fishing); no ocean acidification + fishing; no ocean acidification + MR for the year 2050. Fishing had a larger effect on trophic group biomasses and trophic structure than ocean acidification, whereas the effects of ocean acidification were only large in the absence of fishing. Mortality by fishing had large, negative effects on trophic group biomasses. These effects were similar regardless of the presence of ocean acidification. Ocean acidification was predicted to indirectly benefit certain species in the MR scenario. This was because lobster (Jasus edwardsii) only recovered to 58% of the MR biomass in the ocean acidification + MR scenario, a situation that benefited the trophic groups lobsters prey on. Most trophic groups responded antagonistically to the interactive effects of ocean acidification and marine protection (46%; reduced response); however, many groups responded synergistically (33%; amplified response). Conservation and fisheries management strategies need to account for the reduced recovery potential of some exploited species under ocean acidification, nonadditive interactions of multiple factors, and indirect responses of species to ocean acidification caused by declines in calcareous predators.

  15. Ecosystem sensitivity to climate warming: A modeling approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Warmer atmospheric temperatures will affect ecosystem functioning directly through changes in metabolic rate and tissue damage of organisms. Indirectly, increased temperatures can also affect ecosystem water balance with increased evapotranspiration (from bare-soil evaporation and transpiration) tha...

  16. Experimental confirmation of multiple community states in a marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Petraitis, Peter S.; Methratta, Elizabeth T.; Rhile, Erika C.; Vidargas, Nicholas A.; Dudgeon, Steve R.

    2009-01-01

    Small changes in environmental conditions can unexpectedly tip an ecosystem from one community type to another, and these often irreversible shifts have been observed in semi-arid grasslands, freshwater lakes and ponds, coral reefs, and kelp forests. A commonly accepted explanation is that these ecosystems contain multiple stable points, but experimental tests confirming multiple stable states have proven elusive. Here we present a novel approach and show that mussel beds and rockweed stands are multiple stable states on intertidal shores in the Gulf of Maine, USA. Using broad-scale observational data and long-term data from experimental clearings, we show that the removal of rockweed by winter ice scour can tip persistent rockweed stands to mussel beds. The observational data were analyzed with Anderson's discriminant analysis of principal coordinates, which provided an objective function to separate mussel beds from rockweed stands. The function was then applied to 55 experimental plots, which had been established in rockweed stands in 1996. Based on 2005 data, all uncleared controls and all but one of the small clearings were classified as rockweed stands; 37% of the large clearings were classified as mussel beds. Our results address the establishment of mussels versus rockweeds and complement rather than refute the current paradigm that mussel beds and rockweed stands, once established, are maintained by site-specific differences in strong consumer control. PMID:19399520

  17. Australia: Climate-Ecosystem Variability and Impacts on Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gustafson, K. C.; Diabate, M.; Anyamba, A.

    2012-12-01

    Climate variability in Australia is largely driven by an atmospheric phenomenon called the Southern Oscillation (SO), which involves a see-saw like behavior between low and high pressure systems within the equatorial Pacific regions. The interaction of SO with abnormally high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) - El Niño - or abnormally low SSTs - La Niña ("anti-El Niño") - creates extreme drought or extreme flooding respectively throughout the Australian continent. These El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events have significant impacts on Australia's landscape, ecosystems, agriculture production, and, as this report show, human health. The teleconnection between ENSO and human health is straight forward but not obvious. During La Niña years, when ENSO events are characterized by increased rainfall and consequential flooding, Australia's tropical, warm climate in addition to an associated increase in vegetation growth from the increased rainfall creates an ideal habitat for mosquito population increase. Certain species of Australian mosquitoes [Culux annulirostris] are carriers of Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) virus which is a rare but potentially fatal infection that attacks neurological and muscular functioning. It is hypothesized that a widespread increase in vegetation indicates an expansion of ideal mosquito production habitats and will translate to an increased risk of MVE contraction. The objective of this research is to show if a correlation exists between the ENSO-driven climate- and consequential ecosystem- changes and MVE outbreaks throughout Australia. To do so, this study makes use of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor operating on NASA's Terra satellite to obtain monthly Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. It is assumed in this research that an anomalous increase in NDVI values - indicative of vegetation growth - occurs as a result of increased rainfall. Due to Australia's tropical positioning and

  18. From Bacteria to Whales: Using Functional Size Spectra to Model Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Julia L; Heneghan, Ryan F; Everett, Jason D; Trebilco, Rowan; Richardson, Anthony J

    2017-03-01

    Size-based ecosystem modeling is emerging as a powerful way to assess ecosystem-level impacts of human- and environment-driven changes from individual-level processes. These models have evolved as mechanistic explanations for observed regular patterns of abundance across the marine size spectrum hypothesized to hold from bacteria to whales. Fifty years since the first size spectrum measurements, we ask how far have we come? Although recent modeling studies capture an impressive range of sizes, complexity, and real-world applications, ecosystem coverage is still only partial. We describe how this can be overcome by unifying functional traits with size spectra (which we call functional size spectra) and highlight the key knowledge gaps that need to be filled to model ecosystems from bacteria to whales.

  19. Tropical Marginal Seas: Priority Regions for Managing Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, A. David; Williams, Alan; Young, Jock; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Dunstan, Piers; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Watson, Reg; Brinkman, Richard; Cappo, Mike; Duggan, Samantha; Kelley, Russell; Ridgway, Ken; Lindsay, Dhugal; Gledhill, Daniel; Hutton, Trevor; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marginal seas (TMSs) are natural subregions of tropical oceans containing biodiverse ecosystems with conspicuous, valued, and vulnerable biodiversity assets. They are focal points for global marine conservation because they occur in regions where human populations are rapidly expanding. Our review of 11 TMSs focuses on three key ecosystems - coral reefs and emergent atolls, deep benthic systems, and pelagic biomes - and synthesizes, illustrates, and contrasts knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystem function, interaction between adjacent habitats, and anthropogenic pressures. TMSs vary in the extent that they have been subject to human influence - from the nearly pristine Coral Sea to the heavily exploited South China and Caribbean Seas - but we predict that they will all be similarly complex to manage because most span multiple national jurisdictions. We conclude that developing a structured process to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas that uses a set of globally agreed criteria is a tractable first step toward effective multinational and transboundary ecosystem management of TMSs.

  20. Tropical marginal seas: priority regions for managing marine biodiversity and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    McKinnon, A David; Williams, Alan; Young, Jock; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Dunstan, Piers; Brewin, Robert J W; Watson, Reg; Brinkman, Richard; Cappo, Mike; Duggan, Samantha; Kelley, Russell; Ridgway, Ken; Lindsay, Dhugal; Gledhill, Daniel; Hutton, Trevor; Richardson, Anthony J

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marginal seas (TMSs) are natural subregions of tropical oceans containing biodiverse ecosystems with conspicuous, valued, and vulnerable biodiversity assets. They are focal points for global marine conservation because they occur in regions where human populations are rapidly expanding. Our review of 11 TMSs focuses on three key ecosystems-coral reefs and emergent atolls, deep benthic systems, and pelagic biomes-and synthesizes, illustrates, and contrasts knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystem function, interaction between adjacent habitats, and anthropogenic pressures. TMSs vary in the extent that they have been subject to human influence-from the nearly pristine Coral Sea to the heavily exploited South China and Caribbean Seas-but we predict that they will all be similarly complex to manage because most span multiple national jurisdictions. We conclude that developing a structured process to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas that uses a set of globally agreed criteria is a tractable first step toward effective multinational and transboundary ecosystem management of TMSs.

  1. Marine water quality under climate change conditions/scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzi, Jonathan; Torresan, Silvia; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Brigolin, Daniele; Carniel, Sandro; Pastres, Roberto; Marcomini, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The increase of sea temperature and the changes in marine currents are generating impacts on coastal waters such as changes in water biogeochemical and physical parameters (e.g. primary production, pH, salinity) leading to progressive degradation of the marine environment. With the main aim of analysing the potential impacts of climate change on coastal water quality, a Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) methodology was developed and applied to coastal marine waters of the North Adriatic (i.e. coastal water bodies of the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, Italy). RRA integrates the outputs of regional models providing information on macronutrients (i.e. dissolved inorganic nitrogen e reactive phosphorus), dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity and temperature, etc., under future climate change scenarios with site-specific environmental and socio-economic indicators (e.g. biotic index, presence and extension of seagrasses, presence of aquaculture). The presented approach uses Geographic Information Systems to manage, analyse, and visualize data and employs Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for the integration of stakeholders preferences and experts judgments into the evaluation process. RRA outputs are hazard, exposure, vulnerability, risk and damage maps useful for the identification and prioritization of hot-spot areas and vulnerable targets in the considered region. Therefore, the main aim of this contribution is to apply the RRA methodology to integrate, visualize, and rank according to spatial distribution, physical and chemical data concerning the coastal waters of the North Adriatic Sea in order to predict possible changes of the actual water quality.

  2. How are climate and marine biological outbreaks functionally linked?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, M.L.; Bonaventura, J.; Mitchell, T.P.; Prospero, J.M.; Shinn, E.A.; Van Dolah, F.; Barber, R.T.

    2001-01-01

    Since the mid-1970s, large-scale episodic events such as disease epidemics, mass mortalities, harmful algal blooms and other population explosions have been occurring in marine environments at an historically unprecedented rate. The variety of organisms involved (host, pathogens and other opportunists) and the absolute number of episodes have also increased during this period. Are these changes coincidental? Between 1972 and 1976, a global climate regime shift took place, and it is manifest most clearly by a change in strength of the North Pacific and North Atlantic pressure systems. Consequences of this regime shift are: (1) prolonged drought conditions in the Sahel region of Africa; (2) increased dust supply to the global atmosphere, by a factor of approximately four; (3) increased easterly trade winds across the Atlantic; (4) increased eolian transport of dust to the Atlantic and Caribbean basins; and (5) increased deposition of iron-rich eolian dust to typically iron-poor marine regions. On the basis of well-documented climate and dust observations and the widely accepted increase in marine outbreak rates, this paper proposes that the increased iron supply has altered the micronutrient factors limiting growth of opportunistic organisms and virulence of pathogenic microbes, particularly in macronutrient-rich coastal systems.

  3. Management of the marine environment: integrating ecosystem services and societal benefits with the DPSIR framework in a systems approach.

    PubMed

    Atkins, Jonathan P; Burdon, Daryl; Elliott, Mike; Gregory, Amanda J

    2011-02-01

    Ever increasing and diverse use of the marine environment is leading to human-induced changes in marine life, habitats and landscapes, making necessary the development of marine policy that considers all members of the user community and addresses current, multiple, interacting uses. Taking a systems approach incorporating an understanding of The Ecosystem Approach, we integrate the DPSIR framework with ecosystem services and societal benefits, and the focus this gives allows us to create a specific framework for supporting decision making in the marine environment. Based on a linking of these three concepts, we present a set of basic postulates for the management of the marine environment and emphasise that these postulates should hold for marine management to be achieved. We illustrate these concepts using two case studies: the management of marine aggregates extraction in UK waters and the management of marine biodiversity at Flamborough Head, UK.

  4. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible solutions to pollutants in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mostofa, Khan M G; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Vione, Davide; Gao, Kunshan; Ogawa, Hiroshi

    2013-11-01

    Algal toxins or red-tide toxins produced during algal blooms are naturally-derived toxic emerging contaminants (ECs) that may kill organisms, including humans, through contaminated fish or seafood. Other ECs produced either naturally or anthropogenically ultimately flow into marine waters. Pharmaceuticals are also an important pollution source, mostly due to overproduction and incorrect disposal. Ship breaking and recycle industries (SBRIs) can also release various pollutants and substantially deteriorate habitats and marine biodiversity. Overfishing is significantly increasing due to the global food crisis, caused by an increasing world population. Organic matter (OM) pollution and global warming (GW) are key factors that exacerbate these challenges (e.g. algal blooms), to which acidification in marine waters should be added as well. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible remedial measures of these challenges to marine ecosystems are discussed, including their eventual impact on all forms of life including humans.

  5. Topography-induced changes in ecosystem structure and its implications for response of terrestrial ecosystem to future climate variability and change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J.; Guan, H.

    2006-12-01

    It is well known that climate is a primary control of the structure of terrestrial ecosystems. Ecosystems adapt to climate by adjusting either the type of vegetation or the canopy density. Within an established ecosystem is difficult to estimate the role of climate because there is little climate contrast, but this is remedied by observing the larger climate gradient across climate-controlled ecotones. In particular the complex topography of mountainous terrain provides a unique opportunity to constrain the climatic boundary condition of neighboring ecosystems and revealing the vegetation-climate relationship. We use a newly developed topography- and vegetation-based surface energy partitioning model (TVET) to quantify the boundary conditions for a juniper-creosote bush ecotone in central New Mexico, and demonstrate how extreme climate variability (e.g., sustainined drought) can lead to an ecotone shift. We also investigate the relationship between vegetation density and climate using remote sensing imagery for a nearby pinyon-juniper ecosystem in central New Mexico, and demonstrate how an ecosystem adapts to a small climate gradient by adjusting its density. Such studies help build a predictive understanding about the future evolution of terrestrial ecosystems due to climate variability and change.

  6. Bioinvasion: a paradigm shift from marine to inland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jaiswal, Neeshma; Malhotra, Anshu; Malhotra, Sandeep K

    2016-06-01

    Anisakidosis is one of the most fearsome zoonotic food borne disease in aquaculture. The natural infections by anisakidoids or related variety in freshwater fish are not known, though sporadic experimental reports are available abroad (Butcher and Shamsi 2011). Invasive severity of anisakidoids in fish from Gangetic riverine ecosystems, i.e., in river Ganges at Fatehpur and Allahabad, as well as in river Yamuna at Allahabad, and molecular heterogeneity among these worms have been extensively investigated. The pathways of transmission of non-native alien species due to long distance migratory habits of Rita rita, man-made alterations including dredging in long stretches of the river bed of Ganges to facilitate ballast water transfer mechanism owing to the commercial ship movements between Haldia and Allahabad; and sudden water chemistry (salinity, hardness, alkalinity) alteration (due particularly to rainy period) oriented micro-fauna interchange are identified, and remedial measures suggested.

  7. Taylor's law and body size in exploited marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Joel E; Plank, Michael J; Law, Richard

    2012-12-01

    Taylor's law (TL), which states that variance in population density is related to mean density via a power law, and density-mass allometry, which states that mean density is related to body mass via a power law, are two of the most widely observed patterns in ecology. Combining these two laws predicts that the variance in density is related to body mass via a power law (variance-mass allometry). Marine size spectra are known to exhibit density-mass allometry, but variance-mass allometry has not been investigated. We show that variance and body mass in unexploited size spectrum models are related by a power law, and that this leads to TL with an exponent slightly <2. These simulated relationships are disrupted less by balanced harvesting, in which fishing effort is spread across a wide range of body sizes, than by size-at-entry fishing, in which only fish above a certain size may legally be caught.

  8. Benthic Marine Cyanobacterial Mat Ecosystems: Biogeochemistry and Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are complete ecosystems that can include processes of primary production, diagenesis and lithification. Light sustains oxygenic photosynthesis, which in turn provides energy, organic matter and oxygen to the community. Due to both absorption and scattering phenomena, incident light is transformed with depth in the mat, both in intensity and spectral composition. Mobile photo synthesizers optimize their position with respect to this light gradient. When photosynthesis ceases at night, the upper layers of the mat become reduced and sulfidic. Counteracting gradients of oxygen and sulfide combine to provide daily-contrasting environments separated on a scale of a few mm. The functional complexity of mats, coupled with the highly proximal and ordered spatial arrangement of biota, offers the potential for a staggering number of interactions. At a minimum, the products of each functional group of microorganisms affect the other groups both positively and negatively. For example, cyanobacteria generate organic matter (potential substrates) but also oxygen (a toxin for many anaerobes). Anaerobic activity recycles nutrients to the photosynthesizers but also generates potentially toxic sulfide. The combination of benefits and hazards of light, oxygen and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods, and to various depths in the mat. Observations of mats have produced numerous surprises. For example, obligately anaerobic processes can occur in the presence of abundant oxygen, highly reduced gases are produced in the presence of abundant sulfate, meiofauna thrive at high sulfide concentrations, and the mats' constituent populations respond to environmental changes in complex ways. While photosynthetic bacteria dominate the biomass and productivity of the mat, nonphotosynthetic, anaerobic processes constitute the ultimate biological filter on the ecosystem's emergent biosignatures, including those

  9. Seabirds as indicators of marine ecosystems: Introduction: A modern role for seabirds as indicators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, John F.; Sydeman, William J.; Wiese, Francis

    2007-01-01

    A key requirement for implementing ecosystem-based management is to obtain timely information on significant fluctuations in the ecosystem (Botsford et al. 1997). However, obtaining all necessary information about physical and biological changes at appropriate temporal and spatial scales is a daunting task. Intuitively, one might assume that physical data are more important for the interpretation of ecosystem changes than biological data, but analyses of time series data suggest otherwise: physical data are more erratic and often confusing over the short term compared to biological data, which tend to fluctuate less on annual time scales (Hare & Mantua 2000). Even so, biological time-series may also be confusing when coexisting marine species respond differently to ecosystem variability. For example, while warming temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska following the 1976 to 1977 regime shift favored an increase in gadoids and flatfish, a variety of forage fish and pandalid shrimp species virtually disappeared (Anderson & Piatt 1999). Zooplankton communities in the Gulf of Alaska also demonstrated similar patterns of response (Francis et al. 1998). At the basin scale, favorable conditions for salmon in Alaska following the regime shift were matched inversely by poor conditions in the California Current (Francis et al. 1998). In marine birds, subtropical species increased, while subarctic ones decreased during a warming phase in the southern California Bight. Clearly, no single index can tell the whole story accurately. Multi-species, multi-region, and multi-trophic level approaches are needed to quantify fluctuations in marine ecosystem processes and in the distribution and abundance of its inhabitants, to determine critical parameter thresholds and to use this information in management and marine conservation.

  10. Restoration of marine coastal ecosystem health as a new goal for integrated catchment management in Tolo Harbor, Hong Kong, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fu-Liu; Hao, Jun-Yi; Tao, Shu; Dawson, Richard W; Lam, K C; Chen, Yongqin David

    2006-04-01

    This article demonstrates why it is necessary to have the restoration of marine coastal ecosystem health as a new goal for integrated catchment management in the coastal area of Tolo Harbor. The present goal of integrated catchment management (ICM) in the Tolo Harbor is based on water quality objectives. The performance of the ICM plan, the Tolo Harbor Action Plan (THAP), was evaluated using marine coastal ecosystem health indicators including both stress and response indicators. Since the implementation of THAP in 1988, some significant reductions in pollution loading have been observed: reduction of 83% of biological oxygen demand load and 82% of total nitrogen between 1988 and 1999. There has also been an improvement in the health of Tolo Harbor's marine coastal ecosystem as evidenced by trends in physical, chemical, and biological indicators, although reverse fluctuations in some periods exist. However, such improvement can only be considered as the first sign of complete ecosystem health restoration, because ecosystem health covers not only physical, chemical, and biological aspects of an ecosystem, but also ecosystem service functions. The findings support the need to take the restoration and protection of marine coastal ecosystem health as a new goal rather than using water quality objectives. Steps necessary to further improve Tolo Harbor's marine coastal ecosystem health are also discussed.

  11. Annually resolved North Atlantic marine climate over the last millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, D. J.; Scourse, J. D.; Halloran, P. R.; Nederbragt, A. J.; Wanamaker, A. D.; Butler, P. G.; Richardson, C. A.; Heinemeier, J.; Eiríksson, J.; Knudsen, K. L.; Hall, I. R.

    2016-12-01

    Owing to the lack of absolutely dated oceanographic information before the modern instrumental period, there is currently significant debate as to the role played by North Atlantic Ocean dynamics in previous climate transitions (for example, Medieval Climate Anomaly-Little Ice Age, MCA-LIA). Here we present analyses of a millennial-length, annually resolved and absolutely dated marine δ18O archive. We interpret our record of oxygen isotope ratios from the shells of the long-lived marine bivalve Arctica islandica (δ18O-shell), from the North Icelandic shelf, in relation to seawater density variability and demonstrate that solar and volcanic forcing coupled with ocean circulation dynamics are key drivers of climate variability over the last millennium. During the pre-industrial period (AD 1000-1800) variability in the sub-polar North Atlantic leads changes in Northern Hemisphere surface air temperatures at multi-decadal timescales, indicating that North Atlantic Ocean dynamics played an active role in modulating the response of the atmosphere to solar and volcanic forcing.

  12. Annually resolved North Atlantic marine climate over the last millennium

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, D. J.; Scourse, J. D.; Halloran, P. R.; Nederbragt, A. J.; Wanamaker, A. D.; Butler, P. G.; Richardson, C. A.; Heinemeier, J.; Eiríksson, J.; Knudsen, K. L.; Hall, I. R.

    2016-01-01

    Owing to the lack of absolutely dated oceanographic information before the modern instrumental period, there is currently significant debate as to the role played by North Atlantic Ocean dynamics in previous climate transitions (for example, Medieval Climate Anomaly-Little Ice Age, MCA-LIA). Here we present analyses of a millennial-length, annually resolved and absolutely dated marine δ18O archive. We interpret our record of oxygen isotope ratios from the shells of the long-lived marine bivalve Arctica islandica (δ18O-shell), from the North Icelandic shelf, in relation to seawater density variability and demonstrate that solar and volcanic forcing coupled with ocean circulation dynamics are key drivers of climate variability over the last millennium. During the pre-industrial period (AD 1000–1800) variability in the sub-polar North Atlantic leads changes in Northern Hemisphere surface air temperatures at multi-decadal timescales, indicating that North Atlantic Ocean dynamics played an active role in modulating the response of the atmosphere to solar and volcanic forcing. PMID:27922004

  13. Advection in polar and sub-polar environments: Impacts on high latitude marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Arrigo, Kevin; Berge, Jørgen; Daly, Kendra L.; Danielson, Seth; Daase, Malin; Hop, Haakon; Isla, Enrique; Karnovsky, Nina; Laidre, Kristin; Mueter, Franz J.; Murphy, Eugene J.; Renaud, Paul E.; Smith, Walker O.; Trathan, Philip; Turner, John; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter

    2016-12-01

    We compare and contrast the ecological impacts of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns on polar and sub-polar marine ecosystems. Circulation patterns differ strikingly between the north and south. Meridional circulation in the north provides connections between the sub-Arctic and Arctic despite the presence of encircling continental landmasses, whereas annular circulation patterns in the south tend to isolate Antarctic surface waters from those in the north. These differences influence fundamental aspects of the polar ecosystems from the amount, thickness and duration of sea ice, to the types of organisms, and the ecology of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Meridional flows in both the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans transport heat, nutrients, and plankton northward into the Chukchi Sea, the Barents Sea, and the seas off the west coast of Greenland. In the North Atlantic, the advected heat warms the waters of the southern Barents Sea and, with advected nutrients and plankton, supports immense biomasses of fish, seabirds and marine mammals. On the Pacific side of the Arctic, cold waters flowing northward across the northern Bering and Chukchi seas during winter and spring limit the ability of boreal fish species to take advantage of high seasonal production there. Southward flow of cold Arctic waters into sub-Arctic regions of the North Atlantic occurs mainly through Fram Strait with less through the Barents Sea and the Canadian Archipelago. In the Pacific, the transport of Arctic waters and plankton southward through Bering Strait is minimal. In the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and its associated fronts are barriers to the southward dispersal of plankton and pelagic fishes from sub-Antarctic waters, with the consequent evolution of Antarctic zooplankton and fish species largely occurring in isolation from those to the north. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current also disperses biota throughout the Southern Ocean

  14. The links between ecosystem multifunctionality and above- and belowground biodiversity are mediated by climate

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Xin; Sanders, Nathan J.; Shi, Yu; Chu, Haiyan; Classen, Aimée T.; Zhao, Ke; Chen, Litong; Shi, Yue; Jiang, Youxu; He, Jin-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Plant biodiversity is often correlated with ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems. However, we know little about the relative and combined effects of above- and belowground biodiversity on multiple ecosystem functions (for example, ecosystem multifunctionality, EMF) or how climate might mediate those relationships. Here we tease apart the effects of biotic and abiotic factors, both above- and belowground, on EMF on the Tibetan Plateau, China. We found that a suite of biotic and abiotic variables account for up to 86% of the variation in EMF, with the combined effects of above- and belowground biodiversity accounting for 45% of the variation in EMF. Our results have two important implications: first, including belowground biodiversity in models can improve the ability to explain and predict EMF. Second, regional-scale variation in climate, and perhaps climate change, can determine, or at least modify, the effects of biodiversity on EMF in natural ecosystems. PMID:26328906

  15. The links between ecosystem multifunctionality and above- and belowground biodiversity are mediated by climate.

    PubMed

    Jing, Xin; Sanders, Nathan J; Shi, Yu; Chu, Haiyan; Classen, Aimée T; Zhao, Ke; Chen, Litong; Shi, Yue; Jiang, Youxu; He, Jin-Sheng

    2015-09-02

    Plant biodiversity is often correlated with ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems. However, we know little about the relative and combined effects of above- and belowground biodiversity on multiple ecosystem functions (for example, ecosystem multifunctionality, EMF) or how climate might mediate those relationships. Here we tease apart the effects of biotic and abiotic factors, both above- and belowground, on EMF on the Tibetan Plateau, China. We found that a suite of biotic and abiotic variables account for up to 86% of the variation in EMF, with the combined effects of above- and belowground biodiversity accounting for 45% of the variation in EMF. Our results have two important implications: first, including belowground biodiversity in models can improve the ability to explain and predict EMF. Second, regional-scale variation in climate, and perhaps climate change, can determine, or at least modify, the effects of biodiversity on EMF in natural ecosystems.

  16. Evidence for abrupt climate changes in annually laminated marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Kemp, Alan E S

    2003-09-15

    Annually laminated sediments from marine or lacustrine settings represent valuable high-resolution archives of climate change that record variation due to changing precipitation and run-off from land or variation in biological productivity and flux in the water column. Because of their annual resolution such sediments may capture abrupt changes of interannual to decadal scales rivaling corals and ice cores in resolution. Laminated sediments often occur intermittently in the sediment column, and the onset and cessation of laminae commonly record the abrupt crossing of thresholds related to climate change, for example, in the degree of oxygenation of bottom waters. Such records from marginal basins and continental margins have been pivotal in demonstrating that abrupt changes hitherto documented only in high-latitude ice cores are synchronous with climatic change at low latitudes. These insights into global teleconnections have improved our understanding of the mechanisms of rapid climate change. In deep-sea settings, the discovery of the episodic occurrence of laminated diatom-rich sediments in the Equatorial Pacific and Southern Ocean provides evidence for massive climate-related biogeochemical excursions tied to abrupt changes in the input, distribution and availability of nutrients in the oceans.

  17. Climatically driven emissions of hydrocarbons from marine sediments during deglaciation

    PubMed Central

    Hill, T. M.; Kennett, J. P.; Valentine, D. L.; Yang, Z.; Reddy, C. M.; Nelson, R. K.; Behl, R. J.; Robert, C.; Beaufort, L.

    2006-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seepage emits oil and gas, including methane (≈30 Tg of CH4 per year), to the ocean and atmosphere. Sediments from the California margin contain preserved tar, primarily formed through hydrocarbon weathering at the sea surface. We present a record of variation in the abundance of tar in sediments for the past 32,000 years, providing evidence for increases in hydrocarbon emissions before and during Termination IA [16,000 years ago (16 ka) to 14 ka] and again over Termination IB (11–10 ka). Our study provides direct evidence for increased hydrocarbon seepage associated with deglacial warming through tar abundance in marine sediments, independent of previous geochemical proxies. Climate-sensitive gas hydrates may modulate thermogenic hydrocarbon seepage during deglaciation. PMID:16945904

  18. Basin-wide Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems and Biodiversity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mekong ecosystems are under pressure from a number of "drivers", including rapid economic development, population growth, unsustainable resource use, and climate change. Ecological modeling can help assess vulnerability and impacts of these drivers on the Lower Mekong Basin.

  19. Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Considerations for Long Island (NY) Planning Post Hurricane Sandy

    EPA Science Inventory

    Freshwater habitats provide fishable, swimmable and drinkable resources and are a nexus of geophysical and biological processes. These processes in turn influence the persistence and sustainability of populations, communities and ecosystems. Climate change and landuse change enco...

  20. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in marine ecosystems of the American continents: foresight from current knowledge.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Susan D; Kannan, Kurunthachalam

    2009-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of synthetic halogenated organic compounds used in commercial and household products, such as textiles, furniture, and electronics, to increase their flame ignition resistance and to meet fire safety standards. The demonstrated persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxic potential of these compounds in animals and in humans are of increasing concern. The oceans are considered global sinks for PBDEs, as higher levels are found in marine organisms than in terrestrial biota. For the past three decades, North America has dominated the world market demand for PBDEs, consuming 95% of the penta-BDE formulation. Accordingly, the PBDE concentrations in marine biota and people from North America are the highest in the world and are increasing. Despite recent restrictions on penta- and octa-BDE commercial formulations, penta-BDE containing products will remain a reservoir for PBDE release for years to come, and the deca-BDE formulation is still in high-volume use. In this paper, we review all available data on the occurrence and trends of PBDEs in the marine ecosystems (air, water, sediments, invertebrates, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals) of North and South America. We outline here our concerns about the potential future impacts of large existing stores of banned PBDEs in consumer products, and the vast and growing reservoirs of deca-BDE as well as new and naturally occurring brominated compounds on marine ecosystems.

  1. The Mar Piccolo of Taranto: an interesting marine ecosystem for the environmental problems studies.

    PubMed

    Cardellicchio, Nicola; Annicchiarico, Cristina; Di Leo, Antonella; Giandomenico, Santina; Spada, Lucia

    2016-07-01

    The National Project RITMARE (la Ricerca ITaliana per il MARE-Italian Research for the sea) started from 1 January 2012. It is one of the national research programs funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research. RITMARE is coordinated by the National Research Council (CNR) and involves an integrated effort of most of the scientific community working on marine and maritime issues. Within the project, different marine study areas of strategic importance for the Mediterranean have been identified: Among these, the coastal area of Taranto (Ionian Sea, Southern Italy) was chosen for its different industry settlements and the relative impact on the marine environment. In particular, the research has been concentrated on the Mar Piccolo of Taranto, a complex marine ecosystem model important in terms of ecological, social, and economic activities for the presence also of extensive mussel farms. The site has been selected also because the Mar Piccolo area is a characteristic "on field" laboratory suitable to investigate release and diffusion mechanisms of contaminants, evaluate chemical-ecological risks towards the marine ecosystem and human health, and suggest and test potential remediation strategies for contaminated sediments. In this context, within the project RITMARE, a task force of researchers has contributed to elaboration a functioning conceptual model with a multidisciplinary approach useful to identify anthropogenic forcings, its impacts, and solutions of environmental remediation. This paper describes in brief some of the environmental issues related to the Mar Piccolo basin.

  2. Spatial and body-size dependent response of marine pelagic communities to projected global climate change.

    PubMed

    Lefort, Stelly; Aumont, Olivier; Bopp, Laurent; Arsouze, Thomas; Gehlen, Marion; Maury, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Temperature, oxygen, and food availability directly affect marine life. Climate models project a global warming of the ocean's surface (~+3 °C), a de-oxygenation of the ocean's interior (~-3%) and a decrease in total marine net primary production (~-8%) under the 'business as usual' climate change scenario (RCP8.5). We estimated the effects of these changes on biological communities using a coupled biogeochemical (PISCES)--ecosystems (APECOSM) model forced by the physical outputs of the last generation of the IPSL-CM Earth System Model. The APECOSM model is a size-structured bio-energetic model that simulates the 3D dynamical distributions of three interactive pelagic communities (epipelagic, mesopelagic, and migratory) under the effects of multiple environmental factors. The PISCES-APECOSM model ran from 1850 to 2100 under historical forcing followed by RCP8.5. Our RCP8.5 simulation highlights significant changes in the spatial distribution, biomass, and maximum body-size of the simulated pelagic communities. Biomass and maximum body-size increase at high latitude over the course of the century, reflecting the capacity of marine organisms to respond to new suitable environment. At low- and midlatitude, biomass and maximum body-size strongly decrease. In those regions, large organisms cannot maintain their high metabolic needs because of limited and declining food availability. This resource reduction enhances the competition and modifies the biomass distribution among and within the three communities: the proportion of small organisms increases in the three communities and the migrant community that initially comprised a higher proportion of small organisms is favored. The greater resilience of small body-size organisms resides in their capacity to fulfill their metabolic needs under reduced energy supply and is further favored by the release of predation pressure due to the decline of large organisms. These results suggest that small body-size organisms might be

  3. High abundances of cyanomyoviruses in marine ecosystems demonstrate ecological relevance.

    PubMed

    Matteson, Audrey R; Rowe, Janet M; Ponsero, Alise J; Pimentel, Tiana M; Boyd, Philip W; Wilhelm, Steven W

    2013-05-01

    The distribution of cyanomyoviruses was estimated using a quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach that targeted the g20 gene as a proxy for phage. Samples were collected spatially during a > 3000 km transect through the Sargasso Sea and temporally during a gyre-constrained phytoplankton bloom within the southern Pacific Ocean. Cyanomyovirus abundances were lower in the Sargasso Sea than in the southern Pacific Ocean, ranging from 2.75 × 10(3) to 5.15 × 10(4) mL(-1) and correlating with the abundance of their potential hosts (Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus). Cyanomyovirus abundance in the southern Pacific Ocean (east of New Zealand) followed Synechococcus host populations in the system: this included a decrease in g20 gene copies (from 4.3 × 10(5) to 9.6 × 10(3) mL(-1) ) following the demise of a Synechococcus bloom. When compared with direct counts of viruses, observations suggest that the cyanomyoviruses comprised 0.5 to >25% of the total virus community. We estimated daily lysis rates of 0.2-46% of the standing stock of Synechococcus in the Pacific Ocean compared with c. < 1.0% in the Sargasso Sea. In total, our observations confirm this family of viruses is abundant in marine systems and that they are an important source of cyanobacterial mortality.

  4. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steven G.; Aldridge, Heather D.; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m‑2 yr‑1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr‑1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr‑1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  5. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V; Cohen, Erika C; McNulty, Steven G; Aldridge, Heather D; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-21

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m(-2) yr(-1) (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr(-1) (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr(-1)). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  6. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steven G.; Aldridge, Heather D.; Zhang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m−2 yr−1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr−1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr−1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services. PMID:27100360

  7. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; `Ohukani`ohi`a Gon, Sam; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  8. Global Distribution and Climate Forcing of Marine Organic Aerosol - Part 2: Effects on Cloud Properties and Radiative Forcing

    SciTech Connect

    Gantt, Brett; Xu, Jun; Meskhidze, N.; Zhang, Yang; Nenes, Athanasios; Ghan, Steven J.; Liu, Xiaohong; Easter, Richard C.; Zaveri, Rahul A.

    2012-07-25

    A series of simulations with the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) with a 7-mode Modal Aerosol Model were conducted to assess the changes in cloud microphysical properties and radiative forcing resulting from marine organic aerosols. Model simulations show that the anthropogenic aerosol indirect forcing (AIF) predicted by CAM5 is decreased in absolute magnitude by up to 0.09 Wm{sup -2} (7 %) when marine organic aerosols are included. Changes in the AIF from marine organic aerosols are associated with small global increases in low-level incloud droplet number concentration and liquid water path of 1.3 cm{sup -3} (1.5 %) and 0.22 gm{sup -2} (0.5 %), respectively. Areas especially sensitive to changes in cloud properties due to marine organic aerosol include the Southern Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, and North Atlantic Ocean, all of which are characterized by high marine organic emission rates. As climate models are particularly sensitive to the background aerosol concentration, this small but non-negligible change in the AIF due to marine organic aerosols provides a notable link for ocean-ecosystem marine low-level cloud interactions and may be a candidate for consideration in future earth system models.

  9. Managing for Climate Change in Western Forest Ecosystems; The Role of Refugia in Adaptation Strategies (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Morelli, T.

    2009-12-01

    Managing forested ecosystems in western North America for adaptation to climate change involves options that depend on resource objectives, landscape conditions, sensitivity to change, and social desires. Strategies range from preserving species and ecosystems in the face of change (resisting change); managing for resilience to change; realigning ecosystems that have been severely altered so that they can adapt successfully; and enabling species to respond to climate changes. We are exploring one extreme in this range of strategies, that is, to manage locations, species, communities, or ecosystems as refugia. This concept is familiar from the Quaternary literature as isolated locations where climates remained warm during cold glacial intervals and wherein species contracted and persisted in small populations. References to refugia have been made in the climate-adaptation literature but little elaborated, and applications have not been described. We are addressing this gap conceptually and in case-studies from national forest and national park environments in California. Using a classification of refugium categories, we extend the concept beyond the original use to include diverse locations and conditions where plant or animal species, or ecosystems of concern, would persist during future changing climatic backgrounds. These locations may be determined as refugial for reasons of local microclimate, substrate, elevation, topographic context, paleohistory, species ecology, or management capacity. Recognizing that species and ecosystems respond to climate change differently, refugium strategies are appropriate in some situations and not others. We describe favorable conditions for using refugium strategies and elaborate specific approaches in Sierra Nevada case studies.

  10. [Research advances in vulnerability assessment of natural ecosystem response to climate change].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui-xia; Wu, Shao-hong; Jiang, Lu-guang

    2007-02-01

    Climate change with global warming as the sign has been caught great attention by the governments, international organizations, and scientists in the world. Human society and natural ecosystem are both exposed to climate change, and more and more people are waked up by its increasing harm. Vulnerability analysis and assessment are the key and basis for adapting and mitigating climate change, being the highlight in the research fields of climate change and ecology in recent years. The vulnerability assessment of climate change is being carried out in various research fields and on different scales, and much progress has been made. This paper introduced the concept of vulnerability, and summarized the research progress in vulnerability assessment of climate change, with the focus on the frame and methodology of vulnerability assessment of natural ecosystem response to climate change. The existed problems and future prospects in this research area were also discussed.

  11. Assimilation of remotely-sensed diffuse attenuation data to improve the simulation of a marine ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciavatta, Stefano; Torres, Ricardo; Martinez-Vicente, Victor; Smyth, Timothy; Dall'Olmo, Giorgio; Polimene, Luca; Allen, Icarus

    2014-05-01

    Biogeochemical processes in shelf seas and coastal areas can determine the health and productivity of local systems and are important terms of the global carbon budget. The quantitative characterization of the spatial-temporal evolution of biogeochemical variables in shelf-seas is thus relevant in the framework of marine system management and climate change studies In this work we evaluate, for the first time, whether the assimilation of remotely-sensed diffuse attenuation coefficient data into a marine ecosystem model can improve the simulation of key biogeochemical variables and processes in a shelf sea. A localized Ensemble Kalman filter was used to assimilate weekly SeaWiFS data of diffuse light attenuation coefficient, i.e. Kd(443), into an ecosystem model of the western English Channel, for the simulation of year 2006. The spatial distributions of (unassimilated) surface chlorophyll from SeaWiFS, and eighteen time series of biogeochemical and optical data measured weekly at the monitoring station L4 were used to evaluate the system performance. A comparative assimilation experiment was run by using SeaWiFS chlorophyll data. We found that Kd(443) assimilation reduced the root mean square error and improved the correlation with the assimilated satellite observations in the largest part area of the WEC. The error for the (unassimilated) chlorophyll tended to decrease as well, but the estimates deteriorated in some parts of the study area. Assimilation of Kd(443) provided better estimates of the (unassimilated) in situ data when compared with both the reference simulation and chlorophyll assimilation. Indeed, model RMSE and bias of the estimates decreased for more than a half of the variables, and the skill metrics resulted in general better for the assimilation of the optical data. Importantly, assimilation of Kd(443) impacted the simulation of biogeochemical fluxes and ecosystem processes (e.g. shifted the simulated food web towards the microbial loop), and in

  12. Adapting to extreme climates: raising animals in hot and arid ecosystems in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, S. Niggol

    2015-05-01

    This paper provides an analysis of adaptation to extreme climate changes using the Australian animal husbandry data. The paper finds that farmers have adapted to a hot and arid climate regime through animal husbandry. The number of sheep vastly increases into arid ecosystems while the number of beef cattle does not decline in high temperatures. In the future climate system in which Australia becomes hotter and more arid, we predict that farmers will increase by large percentages the numbers of beef cattle and/or sheep owned in order to adapt to a highly unfavorable climate condition, especially into the arid ecosystems. This paper shows how humanity has adapted to climate extremes taking into account changing ecosystems.

  13. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth`s surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society`s ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  14. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO sub 2 and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth's surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society's ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  15. Integrating Climate and Ecosystem-Response Sciences in Temperate Western North American Mountains: The CIRMOUNT Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Fagre, D. B.

    2004-12-01

    Mountain regions are uniquely sensitive to changes in climate, vulnerable to climate effects on biotic and physical factors of intense social concern, and serve as critical early-warning systems of climate impacts. Escalating demands on western North American (WNA) mountain ecosystems increasingly stress both natural resources and rural community capacities; changes in mountain systems cascade to issues of national concern. Although WNA has long been a focus for climate- and climate-related environmental research, these efforts remain disciplinary and poorly integrated, hindering interpretation into policy and management. Knowledge is further hampered by lack of standardized climate monitoring stations at high-elevations in WNA. An initiative is emerging as the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT) whose primary goal is to improve knowledge of high-elevation climate systems and to better integrate physical, ecological, and social sciences relevant to climate change, ecosystem response, and natural-resource policy in WNA. CIRMOUNT seeks to focus research on climate variability and ecosystem response (progress in understanding synoptic scale processes) that improves interpretation of linkages between ecosystem functions and human processing (progress in understanding human-environment integration), which in turn would yield applicable information and understanding on key societal issues such as mountains as water towers, biodiversity, carbon forest sinks, and wildland hazards such as fire and forest dieback (progress in understanding ecosystem services and key thresholds). Achieving such integration depends first on implementing a network of high-elevation climate-monitoring stations, and linking these with integrated ecosystem-response studies. Achievements since 2003 include convening the 2004 Mountain Climate Sciences Symposium (1, 2) and several special sessions at technical conferences; initiating a biennial mountain climate

  16. Cenozoic planktonic marine diatom diversity and correlation to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lazarus, David; Barron, John; Renaudie, Johan; Diver, Patrick; Türke, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Marine planktonic diatoms export carbon to the deep ocean, playing a key role in the global carbon cycle. Although commonly thought to have diversified over the Cenozoic as global oceans cooled, only two conflicting quantitative reconstructions exist, both from the Neptune deep-sea microfossil occurrences database. Total diversity shows Cenozoic increase but is sample size biased; conventional subsampling shows little net change. We calculate diversity from a separately compiled new diatom species range catalog, and recalculate Neptune subsampled-in-bin diversity using new methods to correct for increasing Cenozoic geographic endemism and decreasing Cenozoic evenness. We find coherent, substantial Cenozoic diversification in both datasets. Many living cold water species, including species important for export productivity, originate only in the latest Miocene or younger. We make a first quantitative comparison of diatom diversity to the global Cenozoic benthic ∂18O (climate) and carbon cycle records (∂13C, and 20-0 Ma pCO2). Warmer climates are strongly correlated with lower diatom diversity (raw: rho = .92, p2 were only moderately higher than today. Diversity is strongly correlated to both ∂13C and pCO2 over the last 15 my (for both: r>.9, detrended r>.6, all p<.001), but only weakly over the earlier Cenozoic, suggesting increasingly strong linkage of diatom and climate evolution in the Neogene. Our results suggest that many living marine planktonic diatom species may be at risk of extinction in future warm oceans, with an unknown but potentially substantial negative impact on the ocean biologic pump and oceanic carbon sequestration. We cannot however extrapolate our my-scale correlations with generic climate proxies to anthropogenic time-scales of warming without additional species-specific information on proximate ecologic controls.

  17. Cenozoic planktonic marine diatom diversity and correlation to climate change.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, David; Barron, John; Renaudie, Johan; Diver, Patrick; Türke, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Marine planktonic diatoms export carbon to the deep ocean, playing a key role in the global carbon cycle. Although commonly thought to have diversified over the Cenozoic as global oceans cooled, only two conflicting quantitative reconstructions exist, both from the Neptune deep-sea microfossil occurrences database. Total diversity shows Cenozoic increase but is sample size biased; conventional subsampling shows little net change. We calculate diversity from a separately compiled new diatom species range catalog, and recalculate Neptune subsampled-in-bin diversity using new methods to correct for increasing Cenozoic geographic endemism and decreasing Cenozoic evenness. We find coherent, substantial Cenozoic diversification in both datasets. Many living cold water species, including species important for export productivity, originate only in the latest Miocene or younger. We make a first quantitative comparison of diatom diversity to the global Cenozoic benthic ∂(18)O (climate) and carbon cycle records (∂(13)C, and 20-0 Ma pCO2). Warmer climates are strongly correlated with lower diatom diversity (raw: rho = .92, p<.001; detrended, r = .6, p = .01). Diatoms were 20% less diverse in the early late Miocene, when temperatures and pCO2 were only moderately higher than today. Diversity is strongly correlated to both ∂(13)C and pCO2 over the last 15 my (for both: r>.9, detrended r>.6, all p<.001), but only weakly over the earlier Cenozoic, suggesting increasingly strong linkage of diatom and climate evolution in the Neogene. Our results suggest that many living marine planktonic diatom species may be at risk of extinction in future warm oceans, with an unknown but potentially substantial negative impact on the ocean biologic pump and oceanic carbon sequestration. We cannot however extrapolate our my-scale correlations with generic climate proxies to anthropogenic time-scales of warming without additional species-specific information on proximate ecologic

  18. Unexpected Early Triassic marine ecosystem and the rise of the Modern evolutionary fauna

    PubMed Central

    Brayard, Arnaud; Krumenacker, L. J.; Botting, Joseph P.; Jenks, James F.; Bylund, Kevin G.; Fara, Emmanuel; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Olivier, Nicolas; Goudemand, Nicolas; Saucède, Thomas; Charbonnier, Sylvain; Romano, Carlo; Doguzhaeva, Larisa; Thuy, Ben; Hautmann, Michael; Stephen, Daniel A.; Thomazo, Christophe; Escarguel, Gilles

    2017-01-01

    In the wake of the end-Permian mass extinction, the Early Triassic (~251.9 to 247 million years ago) is portrayed as an environmentally unstable interval characterized by several biotic crises and heavily depauperate marine benthic ecosystems. We describe a new fossil assemblage—the Paris Biota—from the earliest Spathian (middle Olenekian, ~250.6 million years ago) of the Bear Lake area, southeastern Idaho, USA. This highly diversified assemblage documents a remarkably complex marine ecosystem including at least seven phyla and 20 distinct metazoan orders, along with algae. Most unexpectedly, it combines early Paleozoic and middle Mesozoic taxa previously unknown from the Triassic strata, among which are primitive Cambrian-Ordovician leptomitid sponges (a 200–million year Lazarus taxon) and gladius-bearing coleoid cephalopods, a poorly documented group before the Jurassic (~50 million years after the Early Triassic). Additionally, the crinoid and ophiuroid specimens show derived anatomical characters that were thought to have evolved much later. Unlike previous works that suggested a sluggish postcrisis recovery and a low diversity for the Early Triassic benthic organisms, the unexpected composition of this exceptional assemblage points toward an early and rapid post-Permian diversification for these clades. Overall, it illustrates a phylogenetically diverse, functionally complex, and trophically multileveled marine ecosystem, from primary producers up to top predators and potential scavengers. Hence, the Paris Biota highlights the key evolutionary position of Early Triassic fossil ecosystems in the transition from the Paleozoic to the Modern marine evolutionary fauna at the dawn of the Mesozoic era. PMID:28246643

  19. Unexpected Early Triassic marine ecosystem and the rise of the Modern evolutionary fauna.

    PubMed

    Brayard, Arnaud; Krumenacker, L J; Botting, Joseph P; Jenks, James F; Bylund, Kevin G; Fara, Emmanuel; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Olivier, Nicolas; Goudemand, Nicolas; Saucède, Thomas; Charbonnier, Sylvain; Romano, Carlo; Doguzhaeva, Larisa; Thuy, Ben; Hautmann, Michael; Stephen, Daniel A; Thomazo, Christophe; Escarguel, Gilles

    2017-02-01

    In the wake of the end-Permian mass extinction, the Early Triassic (~251.9 to 247 million years ago) is portrayed as an environmentally unstable interval characterized by several biotic crises and heavily depauperate marine benthic ecosystems. We describe a new fossil assemblage-the Paris Biota-from the earliest Spathian (middle Olenekian, ~250.6 million years ago) of the Bear Lake area, southeastern Idaho, USA. This highly diversified assemblage documents a remarkably complex marine ecosystem including at least seven phyla and 20 distinct metazoan orders, along with algae. Most unexpectedly, it combines early Paleozoic and middle Mesozoic taxa previously unknown from the Triassic strata, among which are primitive Cambrian-Ordovician leptomitid sponges (a 200-million year Lazarus taxon) and gladius-bearing coleoid cephalopods, a poorly documented group before the Jurassic (~50 million years after the Early Triassic). Additionally, the crinoid and ophiuroid specimens show derived anatomical characters that were thought to have evolved much later. Unlike previous works that suggested a sluggish postcrisis recovery and a low diversity for the Early Triassic benthic organisms, the unexpected composition of this exceptional assemblage points toward an early and rapid post-Permian diversification for these clades. Overall, it illustrates a phylogenetically diverse, functionally complex, and trophically multileveled marine ecosystem, from primary producers up to top predators and potential scavengers. Hence, the Paris Biota highlights the key evolutionary position of Early Triassic fossil ecosystems in the transition from the Paleozoic to the Modern marine evolutionary fauna at the dawn of the Mesozoic era.

  20. Oceanic and Climate phasing analysis across Marine Isotope Stage 3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, G., III; McManus, J. F.; Curry, W. B.; Roberts, N. L.; Piotrowski, A. M.; Keigwin, L. D.

    2015-12-01

    Glacial climate oscillated between cold stadial periods similar to the Last Glacial Maximum and warmer periods more similar to today from 25,000 to 60,000 years BP, an envelop of time referred to as marine isotope stage three (MIS3). The sudden warmings (Dansgaard-Oeschger events) and ice sheet surges (Heinrich events) have long captured researchers' attention as a means of exploring significant perturbations to the climate system. The climate dynamics associated with these events have been recently elucidated throughhigh-resolution analysis of ice and sediment core archives. In particular, it has been recently demonstrated through synchronization of Greenlandic and Antarctic ice cores that abrupt climate events propagated from the Northern to Southern hemisphere. Likewise, during Heinrich events ice rafted detritus appeared in the Northern North Atlantic generally after cold stadial conditions had already been established. These results indict the ocean's conveyor as the vehicle hemispheric partitioning heat across these events. Here we test the phased response of multiple paleoproxies sensitive to circulation across these abrupt climate events through all of MIS3. Through correlation analysis of multiple paleoproxy records generated from a high accumulation sediment core taken from the Bermuda Rise, we examine the phase relationship of high latitude climate records with the kinematic circulation proxy Pa/Th, benthic d13C and d18O, SST, d18Osw, CaCO3 content, 230Th-normalized bulk and component fluxes in order to infer the sequence of change across these abrupt millennial events. We find that shifts in water mass composition precede increases in temperatures across the identified time interval, while the export of Pa relative to Th increases in tandem with changes in with Bermuda Rise SST estimates during warmings, but lags during cooling. Rapid shifts in thorium normalized carbonate flux supply secondary evidence for changes in preservation accompanying changes

  1. Abrupt climate change and transient climates during the Paleogene: a marine perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zachos, J. C.; Lohmann, K. C.; Walker, J. C.; Wise, S. W.

    1993-01-01

    Detailed investigations of high latitude sequences recently collected by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) indicate that periods of rapid climate change often culminated in brief transient climates, with more extreme conditions than subsequent long term climates. Two examples of such events have been identified in the Paleogene; the first in latest Paleocene time in the middle of a warming trend that began several million years earlier: the second in earliest Oligocene time near the end of a Middle Eocene to Late Oligocene global cooling trend. Superimposed on the earlier event was a sudden and extreme warming of both high latitude sea surface and deep ocean waters. Imbedded in the latter transition was an abrupt decline in high latitude temperatures and the brief appearance of a full size continental ice-sheet on Antarctica. In both cases the climate extremes were not stable, lasting for less than a few hundred thousand years, indicating a temporary or transient climate state. Geochemical and sedimentological evidence suggest that both Paleogene climate events were accompanied by reorganizations in ocean circulation, and major perturbations in marine productivity and the global carbon cycle. The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum was marked by reduced oceanic turnover and decreases in global delta 13C and in marine productivity, while the Early Oligocene glacial maximum was accompanied by intensification of deep ocean circulation and elevated delta 13C and productivity. It has been suggested that sudden changes in climate and/or ocean circulation might occur as a result of gradual forcing as certain physical thresholds are exceeded. We investigate the possibility that sudden reorganizations in ocean and/or atmosphere circulation during these abrupt transitions generated short-term positive feedbacks that briefly sustained these transient climatic states.

  2. Abrupt climate change and transient climates during the Paleogene: a marine perspective.

    PubMed

    Zachos, J C; Lohmann, K C; Walker, J C; Wise, S W

    1993-03-01

    Detailed investigations of high latitude sequences recently collected by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) indicate that periods of rapid climate change often culminated in brief transient climates, with more extreme conditions than subsequent long term climates. Two examples of such events have been identified in the Paleogene; the first in latest Paleocene time in the middle of a warming trend that began several million years earlier: the second in earliest Oligocene time near the end of a Middle Eocene to Late Oligocene global cooling trend. Superimposed on the earlier event was a sudden and extreme warming of both high latitude sea surface and deep ocean waters. Imbedded in the latter transition was an abrupt decline in high latitude temperatures and the brief appearance of a full size continental ice-sheet on Antarctica. In both cases the climate extremes were not stable, lasting for less than a few hundred thousand years, indicating a temporary or transient climate state. Geochemical and sedimentological evidence suggest that both Paleogene climate events were accompanied by reorganizations in ocean circulation, and major perturbations in marine productivity and the global carbon cycle. The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum was marked by reduced oceanic turnover and decreases in global delta 13C and in marine productivity, while the Early Oligocene glacial maximum was accompanied by intensification of deep ocean circulation and elevated delta 13C and productivity. It has been suggested that sudden changes in climate and/or ocean circulation might occur as a result of gradual forcing as certain physical thresholds are exceeded. We investigate the possibility that sudden reorganizations in ocean and/or atmosphere circulation during these abrupt transitions generated short-term positive feedbacks that briefly sustained these transient climatic states.

  3. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-05

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide.

  4. Crop failure rates in a geoengineered climate: impact of climate change and marine cloud brightening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkes, B.; Challinor, A.; Nicklin, K.

    2015-08-01

    The impact of geoengineering on crops has to date been studied by examining mean yields. We present the first work focusing on the rate of crop failures under a geoengineered climate. We investigate the impact of a future climate and a potential geoengineering scheme on the number of crop failures in two regions, Northeastern China and West Africa. Climate change associated with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the number of crop failures in Northeastern China while reducing the number of crop failures in West Africa. In both regions marine cloud brightening is likely to reduce the number crop failures, although it is more effective at reducing mild crop failure than severe crop failure. We find that water stress, rather than heat stress, is the main cause of crop failure in current, future and geoengineered climates. This demonstrates the importance of irrigation and breeding for tolerance to water stress as adaptation methods in all futures. Analysis of global rainfall under marine cloud brightening has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of climate change on global wheat and groundnut production.

  5. Climate Change Experiments in Arctic Ecosystems: Scientific Strategy and Design Criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; McGuire, A. D.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.; Norby, R. J.; Thornton, P. E.; Schuur, E. A.; Shugart, H. H.; Walsh, J. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate. These are among the largest and coldest of all ecosystems and are perceived by many as especially vulnerable to environmental change. Warming, in particular, is expected to be greatest in northern latitudes with potentially significant consequences for tundra, taiga, and peat lands. Observational evidence suggests that warming is already affecting physical and ecological processes in high-latitude ecosystems. Models predict that permafrost degradation and the northward expansion of shrubs into tundra represent important feedbacks on climate. Manipulative experiments can help understand the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate warming. Previous attempts to manipulate the environment of ecosystems in arctic and subarctic regions have focused on warming plant and soils, but treatments have been limited to small scales and modest increases in temperature. Manipulating the environment at larger scales and exposing ecosystems to higher temperatures for longer periods of time will be required to fully describe the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that govern land-atmosphere interactions. A variety of logistical and engineering challenges must be overcome and new approaches developed before we can address the questions being asked of the scientific community especially as we continue to move toward large-scale and long-term experiments. In light of the many uncertainties that surround the response of high-latitude ecosystems to global climate change, it is important that the scientific community consider how manipulative experiments can address and resolve ecosystem impacts and feedbacks to climate. A workshop sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science was recently held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The goal of the workshop was to highlight conclusions from observational and modeling studies about the response of arctic and subarctic ecosystems to a changing climate

  6. Characterizing Vegetation Model Skill and Uncertainty in Simulated Ecosystem Response to Climate Change in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drapek, R. J.; Kim, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    We simulated ecosystem response to climate change in the USA and Canada at a 5 arc-minute grid resolution using the MC1 dynamic global vegetation model and nine CMIP3 future climate projections as input. The climate projections were produced by 3 GCMs simulating 3 SRES emissions scenarios. We examined MC1 outputs for the conterminous USA by summarizing them by EPA level II and III ecoregions to characterize model skill and evaluate the magnitude and uncertainties of simulated ecosystem response to climate change. First, we evaluated model skill by comparing outputs from the recent historical period with benchmark datasets. Distribution of potential natural vegetation simulated by MC1 was compared with Kuchler's map. Above ground live carbon simulated by MC1 was compared with the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset. Fire return intervals calculated by MC1 were compared with maximum and minimum values compiled for the United States. Each EPA Level III Ecoregion was scored for average agreement with corresponding benchmark data and an average score was calculated for all three types of output. Greatest agreement with benchmark data happened in the Western Cordillera, the Ozark / Ouachita-Appalachian Forests, and the Southeastern USA Plains (EPA Level II Ecoregions). The lowest agreement happened in the Everglades and the Tamaulipas-Texas Semiarid Plain. For simulated ecosystem response to future climate projections we examined MC1 output for shifts in vegetation type, vegetation carbon, runoff, and biomass consumed by fire. Each ecoregion was scored for the amount of change from historical conditions for each variable and an average score was calculated. Smallest changes were forecast for Western Cordillera and Marine West Coast Forest ecosystems. Largest changes were forecast for the Cold Deserts, the Mixed Wood Plains, and the Central USA Plains. By combining scores of model skill for the historical period for each EPA Level 3 Ecoregion with scores representing the

  7. Responses of ecosystem carbon cycling to climate change treatments along an elevation gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Zhuoting; Koch, George W.; Dijkstra, Paul; Bowker, Matthew A.; Hungate, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    Global temperature increases and precipitation changes are both expected to alter ecosystem carbon (C) cycling. We tested responses of ecosystem C cycling to simulated climate change using field manipulations of temperature and precipitation across a range of grass-dominated ecosystems along an elevation gradient in northern Arizona. In 2002, we transplanted intact plant–soil mesocosms to simulate warming and used passive interceptors and collectors to manipulate precipitation. We measured daytime ecosystem respiration (ER) and net ecosystem C exchange throughout the growing season in 2008 and 2009. Warming generally stimulated ER and photosynthesis, but had variable effects on daytime net C exchange. Increased precipitation stimulated ecosystem C cycling only in the driest ecosystem at the lowest elevation, whereas decreased precipitation showed no effects on ecosystem C cycling across all ecosystems. No significant interaction between temperature and precipitation treatments was observed. Structural equation modeling revealed that in the wetter-than-average year of 2008, changes in ecosystem C cycling were more strongly affected by warming-induced reduction in soil moisture than by altered precipitation. In contrast, during the drier year of 2009, warming induced increase in soil temperature rather than changes in soil moisture determined ecosystem C cycling. Our findings suggest that warming exerted the strongest influence on ecosystem C cycling in both years, by modulating soil moisture in the wet year and soil temperature in the dry year.

  8. Climate Feedback on Methane Emissions From Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butenhoff, C. L.; Sithole, A.; Khalil, A. K.; Rice, A. L.; Shearer, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems are one of the important components of the climate system that are bound to change and cause feedbacks with global warming. One major mechanism of this feedback is the response of biological processes, mostly bacteria, that produce or consume greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Here we are concerned with the emissions of CH4 which is considered the most important non-CO2 greenhouse gas because it has more than doubled during the last century and is about 20 times more potent per kilogram once emitted to the atmosphere. Methane is produced by anaerobic methanogens in wetland soils and rice paddies, and is consumed by methanotrophic bacteria in aerobic and upland soils. Together these sources account for about 40-60% of global methane emissions. Properly accounting for the feedback of CH4 emissions with temperature in Earth Systems Models (ESMs) remains an open challenge in part due to the lack of experimental data. Reported Q10 values (factor by which reaction rate increases for a 10°C rise in temperature) of CH4 flux from wetlands and rice agriculture vary over an order of magnitude for reasons that are not well known contributing to this uncertainty. We report here a suite of experimental measurements to determine the Q10 of CH4 flux from rice agriculture and to understand how it depends on the temperature responses of its underlying processes. Since processes may have different Q10 values it is essential that these are properly represented in ESMs. We grew rice plants in temperature-controlled mesocosms at 20, 24, 28 and 32°C over two seasons (years 2009 - 2010) and measured flux, production and oxidation rates, at regular intervals using static chambers, soil core incubations, and carbon isotopes (δ13C-CH4), respectively. In addition we used qPCR techniques to measure methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) and particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes from mesocosm soil cores to establish the temperature

  9. Placing marine protected areas onto the ecosystem-based management seascape

    PubMed Central

    Halpern, Benjamin S.; Lester, Sarah E.; McLeod, Karen L.

    2010-01-01

    The rapid increase in the science and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world in the past 15 years is now being followed by similar increases in the science and application of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM). Despite important overlaps and some common goals, these two approaches have remained either separated in the literature and in conservation and management efforts or treated as if they are one and the same. In the cases when connections are acknowledged, there is often little assessment of if or how well MPAs can achieve specific EBM goals. Here we start by critically evaluating commonalities and differences between MPAs and EBM. Next, we use global analyses to show where and how much no-take marine reserves can be expected to contribute to EBM goals, specifically by reducing the cumulative impacts of stressors on ocean ecosystems. These analyses revealed large stretches of coastal oceans where reserves can play a major role in reducing cumulative impacts and thus improving overall ocean condition, at the same time highlighting the limitations of marine reserves as a single tool to achieve comprehensive EBM. Ultimately, better synergies between these two burgeoning approaches provide opportunities to greatly benefit ocean health. PMID:20176945

  10. Assessment of marine ecosystem services indicators: Experiences and lessons learned from 14 European case studies.

    PubMed

    Lillebø, Ana I; Somma, Francesca; Norén, Katja; Gonçalves, Jorge; Alves, M Fátima; Ballarini, Elisabetta; Bentes, Luis; Bielecka, Malgorzata; Chubarenko, Boris V; Heise, Susanne; Khokhlov, Valeriy; Klaoudatos, Dimitris; Lloret, Javier; Margonski, Piotr; Marín, Atucha; Matczak, Magdalena; Oen, Amy Mp; Palmieri, Maria G; Przedrzymirska, Joanna; Różyński, Grzegorz; Sousa, Ana I; Sousa, Lisa P; Tuchkovenko, Yurii; Zaucha, Jacek

    2016-10-01

    This article shares the experiences, observations, and discussions that occurred during the completing of an ecosystem services (ES) indicator framework to be used at European Union (EU) and Member States' level. The experience base was drawn from 3 European research projects and 14 associated case study sites that include 13 transitional-water bodies (specifically 8 coastal lagoons, 4 riverine estuaries, and 1 fjord) and 1 coastal-water ecosystem. The ES pertinent to each case study site were identified along with indicators of these ES and data sources that could be used for mapping. During the process, several questions and uncertainties arose, followed by discussion, leading to these main lessons learned: 1) ES identification: Some ES that do not seem important at the European scale emerge as relevant at regional or local scales; 2) ES indicators: When direct indicators are not available, proxies for indicators (indirect indicators) might be used, including combined data on monitoring requirements imposed by EU legislation and international agreements; 3) ES mapping: Boundaries and appropriate data spatial resolution must be established because ES can be mapped at different temporal and spatial scales. We also acknowledge that mapping and assessment of ES supports the dialogue between human well-being and ecological status. From an evidence-based marine planning-process point of view, mapping and assessment of marine ES are of paramount importance to sustainable use of marine natural capital and to halt the loss of marine biodiversity. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:726-734. © 2016 SETAC.

  11. Placing marine protected areas onto the ecosystem-based management seascape.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Lester, Sarah E; McLeod, Karen L

    2010-10-26

    The rapid increase in the science and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world in the past 15 years is now being followed by similar increases in the science and application of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM). Despite important overlaps and some common goals, these two approaches have remained either separated in the literature and in conservation and management efforts or treated as if they are one and the same. In the cases when connections are acknowledged, there is often little assessment of if or how well MPAs can achieve specific EBM goals. Here we start by critically evaluating commonalities and differences between MPAs and EBM. Next, we use global analyses to show where and how much no-take marine reserves can be expected to contribute to EBM goals, specifically by reducing the cumulative impacts of stressors on ocean ecosystems. These analyses revealed large stretches of coastal oceans where reserves can play a major role in reducing cumulative impacts and thus improving overall ocean condition, at the same time highlighting the limitations of marine reserves as a single tool to achieve comprehensive EBM. Ultimately, better synergies between these two burgeoning approaches provide opportunities to greatly benefit ocean health.

  12. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Attrill, Martin J.; Becker, Peter H.; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W.; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  13. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: Spatial Patterns and Processes of Production, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Celia; Amirbahman, Aria; Fisher, Nicholas; Harding, Gareth; Lamborg, Carl; Nacci, Diane; Taylor, David

    2008-01-01

    The spatial variation of MeHg production, bioaccumulation and biomagnification in marine food webs is poorly characterized but critical to understanding the links between sources and higher trophic levels such as fish that are ultimately vectors of human and wildlife exposure. This paper discusses both large and local scale processes controlling Hg supply, methylation, bioaccumulation and transfer in marine ecosystems. While global estimates of Hg supply suggest important open ocean reservoirs of MeHg, only coastal processes and food webs are known sources of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and bioadvection. The patterns observed to date suggest that not all sources and biotic receptors are spatially linked and that physical and ecological processes are important in transferring MeHg from source regions to bioaccumulation in marine food webs and from lower to higher trophic levels. PMID:19015919

  14. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Grecian, W James; Witt, Matthew J; Attrill, Martin J; Bearhop, Stuart; Becker, Peter H; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W; Godley, Brendan J; González-Solís, Jacob; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Patrick, Samantha C; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A; Stenhouse, Iain J; Votier, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action.

  15. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Output Efficiency in Southern Loblolly Pine Forests.

    PubMed

    Susaeta, Andres; Adams, Damian C; Carter, Douglas R; Dwivedi, Puneet

    2016-09-01

    Forests provide myriad ecosystem services that are vital to humanity. With climate change, we expect to see significant changes to forests that will alter the supply of these critical services and affect human well-being. To better understand the impacts of climate change on forest-based ecosystem services, we applied a data envelopment analysis method to assess plot-level efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services in Florida natural loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests. Using field data for n = 16 loblolly pine forest plots, including inputs such as site index, tree density, age, precipitation, and temperatures for each forest plot, we assessed the relative plot-level production of three ecosystem services: timber, carbon sequestered, and species richness. The results suggested that loblolly pine forests in Florida were largely inefficient in the provision of these ecosystem services under current climatic conditions. Climate change had a small negative impact on the loblolly pine forests efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, we discussed the reduction of tree density that may not improve ecosystem services production.

  16. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Output Efficiency in Southern Loblolly Pine Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susaeta, Andres; Adams, Damian C.; Carter, Douglas R.; Dwivedi, Puneet

    2016-09-01

    Forests provide myriad ecosystem services that are vital to humanity. With climate change, we expect to see significant changes to forests that will alter the supply of these critical services and affect human well-being. To better understand the impacts of climate change on forest-based ecosystem services, we applied a data envelopment analysis method to assess plot-level efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services in Florida natural loblolly pine ( Pinus taeda L.) forests. Using field data for n = 16 loblolly pine forest plots, including inputs such as site index, tree density, age, precipitation, and temperatures for each forest plot, we assessed the relative plot-level production of three ecosystem services: timber, carbon sequestered, and species richness. The results suggested that loblolly pine forests in Florida were largely inefficient in the provision of these ecosystem services under current climatic conditions. Climate change had a small negative impact on the loblolly pine forests efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, we discussed the reduction of tree density that may not improve ecosystem services production.

  17. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Ge; Duan, Kai; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter; Cohen, Erika; McNulty, Steven; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This modeling study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in forest productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m-2 yr-1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr-1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 ℃) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr-1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  18. Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change.

    PubMed

    Ernakovich, Jessica G; Hopping, Kelly A; Berdanier, Aaron B; Simpson, Rodney T; Kachergis, Emily J; Steltzer, Heidi; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Global climate change is already having significant impacts on arctic and alpine ecosystems, and ongoing increases in temperature and altered precipitation patterns will affect the strong seasonal patterns that characterize these temperature-limited systems. The length of the potential growing season in these tundra environments is increasing due to warmer temperatures and earlier spring snow melt. Here, we compare current and projected climate and ecological data from 20 Northern Hemisphere sites to identify how seasonal changes in the physical environment due to climate change will alter the seasonality of arctic and alpine ecosystems. We find that although arctic and alpine ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, climate change will lead to divergent responses, particularly in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. As seasonality changes in the Arctic, plants will advance the timing of spring phenological events, which could increase plant nutrient uptake, production, and ecosystem carbon (C) gain. In alpine regions, photoperiod will constrain spring plant phenology, limiting the extent to which the growing season can lengthen, especially if decreased water availability from earlier snow melt and warmer summer temperatures lead to earlier senescence. The result could be a shorter growing season with decreased production and increased nutrient loss. These contrasting alpine and arctic ecosystem responses will have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting community structure, biotic interactions, and biogeochemistry.

  19. Reserve Design under Climate Change: From Land Facets Back to Ecosystem Representation.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Richard R; Bayne, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem distributions are expected to shift as a result of global warming, raising concerns about the long-term utility of reserve systems based on coarse-filter ecosystem representation. We tested the extent to which proportional ecosystem representation targets would be maintained under a changing climate by projecting the distribution of the major ecosystems of Alberta, Canada, into the future using bioclimatic envelope models and then calculating the composition of reserves in successive periods. We used the Marxan conservation planning software to generate the suite of reserve systems for our test, varying the representation target and degree of reserve clumping. Our climate envelope projections for the 2080s indicate that virtually all reserves will, in time, be comprised of different ecosystem types than today. Nevertheless, our proportional targets for ecosystem representation were maintained across all time periods, with only minor exceptions. We hypothesize that this stability in representation arises because ecosystems may be serving as proxies for land facets, the stable abiotic landscape features that delineate major arenas of biological activity. The implication is that accommodating climate change may not require abandoning the conventional ecosystem-based approach to reserve design in favour of a strictly abiotic approach, since the two approaches may be largely synonymous.

  20. Reserve Design under Climate Change: From Land Facets Back to Ecosystem Representation

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Richard R.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem distributions are expected to shift as a result of global warming, raising concerns about the long-term utility of reserve systems based on coarse-filter ecosystem representation. We tested the extent to which proportional ecosystem representation targets would be maintained under a changing climate by projecting the distribution of the major ecosystems of Alberta, Canada, into the future using bioclimatic envelope models and then calculating the composition of reserves in successive periods. We used the Marxan conservation planning software to generate the suite of reserve systems for our test, varying the representation target and degree of reserve clumping. Our climate envelope projections for the 2080s indicate that virtually all reserves will, in time, be comprised of different ecosystem types than today. Nevertheless, our proportional targets for ecosystem representation were maintained across all time periods, with only minor exceptions. We hypothesize that this stability in representation arises because ecosystems may be serving as proxies for land facets, the stable abiotic landscape features that delineate major arenas of biological activity. The implication is that accommodating climate change may not require abandoning the conventional ecosystem-based approach to reserve design in favour of a strictly abiotic approach, since the two approaches may be largely synonymous. PMID:25978759

  1. Climate impacts on arctic freshwater ecosystems and fisheries: background, rationale and approach of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

    PubMed

    Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Reist, James D; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    Changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation levels in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and can propagate through the ecosystem in ways that are difficult to project. This is partly due to a poor understanding of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, and partly due to a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. The papers in this special issue are an abstraction of the analyses performed by 25 international experts and their associated networks on Arctic freshwater hydrology and related aquatic ecosystems that was initially published by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in 2005 as "Chapter 8--Freshwater Ecosystems and Fisheries". The papers provide a broad overview of the general hydrological and ecological features of the various freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic, including descriptions of each ACIA region, followed by a review of historical changes in freshwater systems during the Holocene. This is followed by an assessment of the effects of climate change on broad-scale hydro-ecology; aquatic biota and ecosystem structure and function; and arctic fish and fisheries. Potential synergistic and cumulative effects are also discussed, as are the roles of ultraviolet radiation and contaminants. The nature and complexity of many of the effects are illustrated using case studies from around the circumpolar north, together with a discussion of important threshold responses (i.e., those that produce stepwise and/or nonlinear effects). The issue concludes with summary the key findings, a list of gaps in

  2. Rapid assessment of risks to a mobile marine mammal in an ecosystem-scale marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Grech, A; Marsh, H

    2008-06-01

    Ecosystem-scale networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) are important conservation tools, but their effectiveness is difficult to quantify in a time frame appropriate to species conservation because of uncertainties in the data available. The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a mobile marine species that occurs in shallow inshore waters of an ecosystem-scale network of MPAs (the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area [GBRWHA]). We developed a rapid approach to assess risk to dugongs in the region and evaluate options to ameliorate that risk. We used expert opinion and a Delphi technique to identify and rank 5 human factors with the potential to adversely affect dugongs and their sea grass habitats: netting, indigenous hunting, trawling, vessel traffic, and poor-quality terrestrial runoff. We then quantified and compared the distribution of these factors with a spatially explicit model of dugong distribution. We estimated that approximately 96% of habitat of high conservation value for dugongs in the GBRWHA is at low risk from human activities. Using a sensitivity analysis, we found that to decrease risk, commercial netting or indigenous hunting had to be reduced in remote areas and the effects of vessel traffic, terrestrial runoff, and commercial netting had to be reduced in urban areas. This approach enabled us to compare and rank risks so as to identify the most severe risks and locate specific sites that require further management attention.

  3. The Sea Around Us Project: documenting and communicating global fisheries impacts on marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Daniel

    2007-06-01

    The Sea Around Us Project, initiated by the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia, PA, and located at the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, started in mid 1999. Its goal was (and still is) to investigate the impact of fisheries on marine ecosystems and to propose policies to mitigate these impacts. Although conceived as a global activity, the project first emphasized the data-rich North Atlantic as a test bed for developing its approaches, which rely on mapping of catch data and indicators of ecosystem health derived from the analysis of long catch time series data. Initial achievements included mapping the decline, throughout the North Atlantic basin, of high-trophic level fishes from 1900 to the present and the presentation of compelling evidence of change in the functioning of the North Atlantic ecosystems, summarized in a 2003 book. The Central and South Atlantic were the next basins to be tackled, with emphasis on the distant-water fleet off West Africa, culminating in a major conference in Dakar, Senegal, in 2002. The project then emphasized the North Pacific, Antarctica, and marine mammals and the multiplicity of tropical Indo-Pacific fisheries before it turned completely global, with all our major analyses and reports (e.g., on the interactions between marine mammals and fisheries, on fuel consumption by fleets, on the catches of small-scale fisheries, on subsidies to fisheries) being based on global studies. Broadly, the work of the project is aimed at a reappraisal of fisheries, from the benign activity that many interested people still perceive them to be, to a realization that they have become the driver for massive loss of biodiversity in the ocean. Moreover, the emphasis on global estimates (rather than local estimates of dubious generality) has allowed the project to contribute to various global initiatives (e.g., developing the Marine Trophic Index for the Convention on Biological Diversity, quantifying marine

  4. Projecting supply and demand of hydrologic ecosystem services under future climate conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Li-Chi; Huang, Tao; Lee, Tsung-Yu

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystems provide essential goods and services, such as food, clean water, water purification, soil conservation and cultural services for human being. In a watershed, these water-related ecosystem goods and services can directly or indirectly benefit both local people and downstream beneficiaries through a reservoir. Water quality and quantity in a reservoir are of importance for agricultural, industrial and domestic uses. Under the impacts of climate and land use changes, both ecosystem service supply and demand will be affected by changes in precipitation patterns, temperature, urbanization and agricultural activities. However, the linkage between ecosystem service provisioning (ESP) and ecosystem service beneficiary (ESB), and scales of supply and demand of ecosystem services are not clear yet. Therefore, to investigate water-related ecosystem service supply under climate and land use change, we took the Xindian river watershed (303 km2) as a case study, where the Feitsui Reservoir provides hydro-power and daily domestic water use of 3,450,000 m3 for 3.46 million people in Taipei, Taiwan. We integrated a hydrological model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool, SWAT) and a land use change model (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects, CLUE-s) with future climate change scenarios derived from General Circulation Models (GCMs), to assess the changes in ecosystem service supply and demand at different hydrologic scales. The results will provide useful information for decision-making on future land use management and climate change adaptation strategies in the watersheds. Keywords: climate change, land use change, ecosystem service, watershed, scale

  5. Recent Rapid Climate Changes in Antarctic and Their Influence on Low Diversity Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chwedorzewska, Katarzyna

    2010-01-01

    The geographic position, astronomic factors (e.g. the Earth's maximum distance from the Sun during winter), ice cover and altitude are the main factors affecting the climate of the Antarctic, which is the coldest place on Earth. Parts of Antarctica are facing the most rapid rates of anthropogenic climate change currently seen on the planet. Climate changes are occurring throughout Antarctica, affecting three major groups of environmental variables of considerable biological significance: temperature, water, UV-B radiation. Low diversity ecosystems are expected to be more vulnerable to global changes than high diversity ecosystems.

  6. Recent Rapid Climate Changes in Antarctic and their Influence on Low Diversity Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chwedorzewska, Katarzyna J.

    2010-01-01

    The geographic position, astronomic factors (e.g. the Earth's maximum distance from the Sun during winter), ice cover and altitude are the main factors affecting the climate of the Antarctic, which is the coldest place on Earth. Parts of Antarctica are facing the most rapid rates of anthropogenic climate change currently seen on the planet. Climate changes are occurring throughout Antarctica, affecting three major groups of environmental variables of considerable biological significance: temperature, water, UV-B radiation. Low diversity ecosystems are expected to be more vulnerable to global changes than high diversity ecosystems

  7. Potential Effects of Climate Change on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covich, A. P.; Fritz, S. C.; Lamb, P. J.; Marzolf, R. D.; Matthews, W. J.; Poiani, K. A.; Prepas, E. E.; Richman, M. B.; Winter, T. C.

    1997-06-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research.

  8. Potential effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Covich, A.P.; Fritz, S.C.; Lamb, P.J.; Marzolf, R.D.; Matthews, W.J.; Poiani, K.A.; Prepas, E.E.; Richman, M.B.; Winter, T.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Ecosystem Diversity and Heterogeneity Determine the Resilience of the Amazon to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moorcroft, P. R.; Levine, N. M.; Longo, M.; Powell, T.; Zhang, K.

    2015-12-01

    Amazon Forests, which play a vital role in global water, energy and carbon cycling, are predicted to experience both longer and more intensive dry seasons by the end of the 21st century. However, the climate sensitivity of this ecosystem remains uncertain: several studies have predicted large-scale die-back of the Amazon, while several more recent studies predict that the biome will remain largely intact. In this study we use an individual-based terrestrial ecosystem model to explore the sensitivity and ecological resilience of these forests to changes in climate. Our results show that water stress operating at the scale of individual plants, combined with spatial variation in soil texture, strongly influence the ecosystem's resilience to changes in dry season length. Further analysis shows that two key traits influencing the climatic sensitivity of individuals within the plant canopy are their phenology and hydraulic architecture. In contrast to existing predictions of either stability or catastrophic biomass loss, our analyses indicate that, as a result of these effects of ecosystem diversity and heterogeneity, the Amazon forest's response to a drying regional climate is likely to be an immediate, graded, heterogeneous transition from high biomass moist forests to transitional dry forests and woody savannah ecosystems. While fire, logging and other anthropogenic disturbances may exacerbate the impacts of climate-induced changes, our analysis indicates considerable spatial variation in the vulnerability of Amazon forests to human induced climate change.

  10. Evaluating Threats in Multinational Marine Ecosystems: A Coast Salish Fi