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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-24
    Description: Northeast Atlantic marine ecosystems such as the Bay of Biscay, Celtic Sea, English Channel, Subpolar Gyre region, Icelandic waters and North Sea as well as the Mediterranean Sea show concomitant ‘regime shift’-like changes around the mid-1990s, which involved all biota of the pelagial: phytoplankton, zooplankton, pelagic fish assemblages, demersal fish assemblages and top predators. These shifts were caused by complex ocean-atmosphere interactions initiating large-scale changes in the strength and direction of the current systems, that move water masses around the North Atlantic, and involved the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and the subpolar gyre (SPG). The contractions and expansions of the SPG and fluctuations of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) play a key role in these complex processes. Small pelagic fish population trends were the sentinels of these changes in the mid-1990s in the ecosystems under investigation.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-11-20
    Description: Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is an important recreational and commercial fisheries target species in the Northern hemisphere. Release rates are high in the recreational fishery due to regulatory and voluntary catch-and-release practice. Although post-release mortality of cod is relatively low, there is potential for further reductions. The most effective way to reduce post-release mortality is to minimize the catch of sublegal fish or non-target species and to reduce hooking injuries by using more selective fishing methods. This study investigated the influence of the lure/bait type on: (1) size of fish, (2) catch and harvest, (3) proportion of bycatch, (4) hooking location, and (5) injury (bleeding) in the western Baltic Sea recreational cod fishery. Data were collected via random onboard sampling of 35 charter vessel angling trips (778 anglers) and during two supplementary studies in the western Baltic Sea. Overall, the median total length was significantly higher for cod caught on artificial lures (39 cm) than for cod caught on natural bait (28 cm), leading to a 43% higher proportion of sublegal (〈38 cm) cod for bait than for lure. Median catch-per-unit-efforts (number of captured cod per angling hour) did not differ significantly between lure and bait angling (both: 0.49 cod per hour), whereas the median harvest-per-unit-effort (number of captured cod ≥ minimum landing size (38 cm) per angling hour) was significantly higher for lure (0.24 cod ≥38 cm per hour) than for bait angling (0.06 cod ≥38 cm per hour). The incidence of deep hooking and severe bleeding was significantly higher for bait angling. Furthermore, bait angling significantly increased bycatch of other species dominated by whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and European flounder (Platichthys flesus). Cod anglers can reduce the catch of sublegal cod and non-target species and minimize hooking injuries of released fish by using lures instead of bait in the western Baltic Sea. Thus, voluntary terminal gear recommendations may be an effective tool for anglers and managers to increase selectivity in recreational cod fisheries.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-06-22
    Description: Climate forcing in complex ecosystems can have profound implications for ecosystem sustainability and may thus challenge a precautionary ecosystem management. Climatic influences documented to affect various ecological functions on a global scale, may themselves be observed on quantitative or qualitative scales including regime shifts in complex marine ecosystems. This study investigates the potential climatic impact on the reproduction success of spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus) in the Western Baltic Sea (WBSS herring). To test for climate effects on reproduction success, the regionally determined and scientifically well-documented spawning grounds of WBSS herring represent an ideal model system. Climate effects on herring reproduction were investigated using two global indices of atmospheric variability and sea surface temperature, represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), respectively, and the Baltic Sea Index (BSI) which is a regional-scale atmospheric index for the Baltic Sea. Moreover, we combined a traditional approach with modern time series analysis based on a recruitment model connecting parental population components with reproduction success. Generalized transfer functions (ARIMAX models) allowed evaluating the dynamic nature of exogenous climate processes interacting with the endogenous recruitment process. Using different model selection criteria our results reveal that in contrast to NAO and AMO, the BSI shows a significant positive but delayed signal on the annual dynamics of herring recruitment. The westward influence of the Siberian high is considered strongly suppressing the influence of the NAO in this area leading to a higher explanatory power of the BSI reflecting the atmospheric pressure regime on a North-South transect between Oslo, Norway and Szczecin, Poland. We suggest incorporating climate-induced effects into stock and risk assessments and management strategies as part of the EU ecosystem approach to support sustainable herring fisheries in the Western Baltic Sea.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-02-24
    Description: Although ocean warming and acidification are recognized as two major anthropogenic perturbations of today’s oceans we know very little about how marine phytoplankton may respond via evolutionary change. We tested for adaptation to ocean warming in combination with ocean acidification in the globally important phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi. Temperature adaptation occurred independently of ocean acidification levels. Growth rates were up to 16% higher in populations adapted for one year to warming when assayed at their upper thermal tolerance limit. Particulate inorganic (PIC) and organic (POC) carbon production was restored to values under present-day ocean conditions, owing to adaptive evolution, and were 101% and 55% higher under combined warming and acidification, respectively, than in non-adapted controls. Cells also evolved to a smaller size while they recovered their initial PIC:POC ratio even under elevated CO2. The observed changes in coccolithophore growth, calcite and biomass production, cell size and elemental composition demonstrate the importance of evolutionary processes for phytoplankton performance in a future ocean.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Schlüter, Lothar; Lohbeck, Kai T; Gröger, Joachim P; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B H (2016): Long-term dynamics of adaptive evolution in a globally important phytoplankton species to ocean acidification. Science Advances, 2(7), e1501660-e1501660, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1501660
    Publication Date: 2019-04-30
    Description: Recent evolution experiments have revealed that marine phytoplankton may adapt to global change, for example to ocean warming or acidification. Long-term adaptation to novel environments is a dynamic process and phenotypic change can take place thousands of generations after exposure to novel conditions. Using the longest evolution experiment performed in any marine species to date (4 yrs, = 2100 generations), we show that in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, long-term adaptation to ocean acidification is complex and initial phenotypic responses may revert for important traits. While fitness increased continuously, calcification was restored within the first 500 generations but later reduced in response to selection, enhancing physiological declines of calcification in response to ocean acidification. Interestingly, calcification was not constitutively reduced but revealed rates similar to control treatments when transferred back to present-day CO2 conditions. Growth rate increased with time in controls and adaptation treatments, although the effect size of adaptation assessed through reciprocal assay experiments varied. Several trait changes were associated with selection for higher cell division rates under laboratory conditions, such as reduced cell size and lower particulate organic carbon content per cell. Our results show that phytoplankton may evolve phenotypic plasticity that can affect biogeochemically important traits, such as calcification, in an unforeseen way under future ocean conditions.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 3 datasets
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-01-24
    Description: The synchrony of pelagic fish population dynamics with climate variability may impose significant alterations in their distribution and biomass, as well as catch composition, with potential effects on ecosystems and fisheries. This work examines the effect of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) signals across the Mediterranean Sea sub-regions (western, central and eastern), with respect to small (European sardine Sardina pilchardus, European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, round sardinella Sardinella aurita and European sprat Sprattus sprattus) and medium (Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus, Atlantic chub mackerel Scomber japonicus, Atlantic horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus, Mediterranean horse mackerel Trachurus mediterraneus) pelagic fishes using various catch ratios and the mean temperature of the pelagic catch (MTpC) method for the period 1970–2014. The time until the pelagic fish communities react to the signals of the AMO and NAO, as revealed by the MTpC and catch ratios, varied among the Mediterranean sub-regions. The pelagic fishes of the central and eastern Mediterranean are those that responded most strongly to AMO variability, whereas those of the central and western Mediterranean also responded to the NAO. The effect of the NAO on pelagic fishes of the eastern Mediterranean was not significant.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Marine phytoplankton may adapt to ocean change, such as acidification or warming, because of their large population sizes and short generation times. Long-term adaptation to novel environments is a dynamic process, and phenotypic change can take place thousands of generations after exposure to novel conditions. We conducted a long-term evolution experiment (4 years = 2100 generations), starting with a single clone of the abundant and widespread coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi exposed to three different CO2 levels simulating ocean acidification (OA). Growth rates as a proxy for Darwinian fitness increased only moderately under both levels of OA [+3.4% and +4.8%, respectively, at 1100 and 2200 μatm partial pressure of CO2 (Pco2)] relative to control treatments (ambient CO2, 400 μatm). Long-term adaptation to OA was complex, and initial phenotypic responses of ecologically important traits were later reverted. The biogeochemically important trait of calcification, in particular, that had initially been restored within the first year of evolution was later reduced to levels lower than the performance of nonadapted populations under OA. Calcification was not constitutively lost but returned to control treatment levels when high CO2–adapted isolates were transferred back to present-day control CO2 conditions. Selection under elevated CO2 exacerbated a general decrease of cell sizes under long-term laboratory evolution. Our results show that phytoplankton may evolve complex phenotypic plasticity that can affect biogeochemically important traits, such as calcification. Adaptive evolution may play out over longer time scales (〉1 year) in an unforeseen way under future ocean conditions that cannot be predicted from initial adaptation responses.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-06-19
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-04-16
    Description: Environmental enrichment aims for a deliberate increase in structural complexity in otherwise plain rearing units, helping to reduce aberrant traits and promote welfare of fish kept in captivity. Before putting enrichment protocols into practice, however, practitioners like hatchery managers need clear guidelines on enrichment measures and on the substrates used. In the present study, we used rainbow trout as a model species for salmonid rearing and investigated the use of a single layer of three different gravel types, i.e., small (4–8 mm), medium (8–16 mm) and large (16–32 mm), for environmental enrichment during egg incubation, endogenous and first feeding of rainbow trout and compared this to a barren control. From the egg stage onwards, we determined mortality, fungal prevalence as well as growth of larvae and fingerlings. We found that gravel size significantly affected mortality and fungal prevalence with the smallest gravel size and the control showing the lowest incidents. Growth of larvae and fingerlings was not affected by gravel, both when compared between gravel types and to the barren control. When using gravel for environmental enrichment in salmonid hatcheries, a small gravel size should be used. Small gravel provides the fish with a more natural environment without compromising practical feasibility of enrichment in hatcheries, still allowing for easy visual inspection and manual control of the reared fish.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Schlüter, Lothar; Lohbeck, Kai T; Gutowska, Magdalena A; Gröger, Joachim P; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B H (2014): Adaptation of a globally important coccolithophore to ocean warming and acidification. Nature Climate Change, https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2379
    Publication Date: 2019-04-30
    Description: Although oceanwarming and acidification are recognized as two major anthropogenic perturbations of today's oceanswe know very little about how marine phytoplankton may respond via evolutionary change.We tested for adaptation to ocean warming in combination with ocean acidification in the globally important phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi. Temperature adaptation occurred independently of ocean acidifcation levels. Exponential growth rates were were up to 16% higher in populations adapted for one year to warming when assayed at their upper thermal tolerance limit. Particulate inorganic (PIC) and organic (POC) carbon production was restored to values under present-day ocean conditions, owing to adaptive evolution, and were 101% and 55% higher under combined warming and acidification, respectively, than in non-adapted controls. Cells also evolved to a smaller size while they recovered their initial PIC:POC ratio even under elevated CO2. The observed changes in coccolithophore growth, calcite and biomass production, cell size and elemental composition demonstrate the importance of evolutionary processes for phytoplankton performance in a future ocean. At the end of a 1-yr temperature selection phase, we conducted a reciprocal assay experiment in which temperature-adapted asexual populations were compared to the respective non-adapted control populations under high temperature, and vice versa (1. Assay Data, Dataset #835336). Mean exponential growth rates m in treatments subjected to high temperature increased rapidly under all high temperature-CO2 treatment combinations during the temperature selection phase (2. time series, Dataset #835339).
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 2 datasets
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