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Combined effects of global climate change and regional ecosystem drivers on an exploited marine food web
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Olso, Norway.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
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2013 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 19, no 11, 3327-3342 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 multi-model 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, while low cod fishing in combination with low nutrient loads resulted in a cod-dominated ecosystem with eutrophication levels close to present. Also, non-linearities 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 19, no 11, 3327-3342 p.
Keyword [en]
Baltic Sea, climate change, food web, fishing, eutrophication, nutrient loads, Ecopath with Ecosim
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92833DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12309ISI: 000325567100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92833DiVA: diva2:642186
Note

AuthorCount: 9;

Available from: 2013-08-20 Created: 2013-08-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Multiple forces drive the Baltic Sea food web dynamics and its response to environmental change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multiple forces drive the Baltic Sea food web dynamics and its response to environmental change
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the interaction of multiple drivers and their compounded effects on ecosystem dynamics is a key challenge for marine resource management. The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s seas most strongly impacted by effects from both human activities and climate. In the late 1980’s changes in climate in combination with intensive fishing initiated a reorganization of the Central Baltic Sea (CBS) food web resulting in the current sprat-dominated state. In the future, climate change is projected to cause drastic changes in hydrodynamic conditions of the world oceans in general, and the Baltic Sea in particular.  

In this thesis, CBS food web responses to the combined effects of fishing, nutrient loads and climate were tested for the past (1974-2006) and projected into the future (2010-2098). A new food web model for the CBS (BaltProWeb) was developed using extensive monitoring data across trophic levels. This model described the past food web dynamics well, and was hence also used for future (2010-2098) projections. Different ensemble modeling approaches were employed when testing the food web response to future scenarios.

The results show that regardless the climate change, the management of nutrient loads and cod fishing are likely to determine the food web dynamics and trophic control mechanisms in the future Baltic Sea. Consequently, the variation in the food web projections was large, ranging from a strongly eutrophied and sprat-dominated to a cod-dominated CBS with eutrophication levels close to today’s values. The results also suggest a potential risk of abrupt ecosystem changes in the future CBS, particularly if the nutrient loads are not reduced. Finally, the studies illustrate the usefulness of the ensemble modeling approach, both from the perspective of ecosystem-based management as well as for studying the importance of different mechanisms in the ecosystem response.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2013. 28 p.
Keyword
Baltic Sea, climate change, Ecopath with Ecosim, food web interactions, multiple drivers, regime shift, trophic control
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Marine Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92541 (URN)978-91-7447-744-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-04, Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: In press. Paper 5: Submitted.

Available from: 2013-09-12 Created: 2013-08-08 Last updated: 2013-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Niiranen, SusaYletyinen, JohannaTomczak, Maciej T.Blenckner, ThorstenHjerne, OlleMüller-Karulis, BärbelMeier, H. E. Markus
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Stockholm Resilience CentreDepartment of Ecology, Environment and Plant SciencesBaltic Nest InstituteDepartment of Meteorology
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