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Climate Change and the Oceans Impacts of Climate Change on Marine Ecosystems

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Chapter Summary

The superimposition of climate change on over-exploitation of resources is increasingly leading to unanticipated changes in marine ecosystems. Exploited fish species exhibit higher temporal variability than unexploited species. There has been increasing appreciation of the fact that ecosystem management requires a more holistic approach, a solid understanding of interdependent effects and an ecosystem-based approach that integrates populations, food webs and fish habitats at different scales. This chapter begins with a discussion on physical influences on marine ecosystems, and then discusses fish recruitment and meso-scale events. Subsequently, it also explains the control of food webs. In coupling of the effects of the environment with fish dynamics and evolution, three levels of organization have to be considered: population, food-web and ecosystem. For example, in analysing the heavily fluctuating number of young herring and cod in the northern Atlantic, control was thought to be operated by planktonic food abundance (hence bottom-up controlled).

Keywords:climate change; fisheries management; food-web; marine ecosystems



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