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The role of climate and fisheries on the temporal changes in the Bothnian Bay foodweb
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden .
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Number of Authors: 6
2016 (English)In: ICES Journal of Marine Science, ISSN 1054-3139, E-ISSN 1095-9289, Vol. 73, no 7, 1739-1749 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change, eutrophication, and fishing are main pressures associated with changes in the abiotic and biotic environment in several sub-basins of the Baltic Sea. Identifying the nature of such changes is of relative importance for fisheries and environmental management. The Bothnian Bay is the northernmost sub-basin in the Baltic Sea and the responses of the foodweb to long-term changes in combined pressures have not been investigated. In this study, we explore long-term changes in the Bothnian Bay foodweb, represented by key species across all trophic levels over the past 34 years, and identify potential environmental and anthropogenic drivers. The results indicate that salinity is the most important driver to explain changes in the composition of the offshore biota in the Bothnian Bay. These changes are probably driven by indirect effects of salinity rather than bottom-up effects. A decline in the herring spawning-stock biomass was most plausibly attributed to an increased competition for food due to a parallel increase in vendace, which uses the same food resources (zooplankton and zoobenthos) and may benefit from declining salinity due to its limnic origin. A strong increase in the abundance of grey seal and ringed seal populations was seen in the late 2000s but was not related to any of the pressure variables analysed. Temperature and nutrients were not identified as important drivers of changes in the overall biota. Our study explores correlative relationships between variables and identifies potential interactions in the foodweb to generate hypotheses for further studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 73, no 7, 1739-1749 p.
Keyword [en]
climate, fisheries, grey seal, herring spawning-stock biomass, ringed seal, salinity
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133226DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsw032ISI: 000380140100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-133226DiVA: diva2:969017
Available from: 2016-09-13 Created: 2016-09-05 Last updated: 2016-09-13Bibliographically approved

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