Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass are expected to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively by the end of century due to climate change

Date:
May 7, 2014
Source:
Basque Research
Summary:
It is estimated that ocean temperature warming will cause phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively by the end of the century. A lower amount of these two main elements in the marine food web could reduce fish biomass in certain regions.

It is estimated that ocean temperature warming will cause phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively by the end of the century. A lower amount of these two main elements in the marine food web could reduce fish biomass in certain regions. These are some of the main conclusions drawn by research led by Azti-Tecnalia within the European MEECE project and recently published in the Global Change Biology Journal.

Sea surface temperature is expected to increase 2 ΊC on average globally by 2080-2100. Some of the consequences of this increase include changes in ocean circulation and higher water column stratification, thus affecting the nutrient availability for the growth of marine phytoplankton.

The research team led by Azti-Tecnalia points out the effects to primary production (phytoplankton mass produced annually by photosynthetic single-celled organisms that are suspended in the ocean), and to secondary production (zooplankton biomass, made up of small animal organisms that feed mainly on phytoplankton and which fish feed on).

Globally, it is estimated that the sea temperature rise will cause phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively. This suggests that there will be a negative amplification of climate change, which will spread through the marine food web, i.e. zooplankton biomass will decrease more than phytoplankton. This process will take place mainly in tropical oceans, which cover 47% of the global ocean surface.

Differences by region

Phytoplankton and zooplankton reduction, however, will affect different regions in different ways. In the seas in Central and Southern Europe (North Sea and temperate Northeast Atlantic), higher thermal stratification of the ocean water layers and, consequently, a lower presence of nutrients for phytoplankton to grow, will reduce primary production; and in the Baltic, Barents and Black Sea phytoplankton production is expected to increase.

Azti-Tecnalia researcher Guillem Chust, leader of the scientific work and main author of the paper, says that "in the ocean regions that lose more phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass, that is, with a negative amplification, fish biomass may also decrease dramatically, especially pelagic species (i.e. those living the water column, excluding the seabed)."

"Climate regulation will also be affected negatively by the primary and secondary production decrease globally," Chust explains, "because, as there will be less phytoplankton, absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by the oceans will be lower, as plankton is responsible for half of the planet's photosynthetic activity. This in turn will reduce the ocean's capacity to regulate the climate."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Basque Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Guillem Chust, J. Icarus Allen, Laurent Bopp, Corinna Schrum, Jason Holt, Kostas Tsiaras, Marco Zavatarelli, Marina Chifflet, Heather Cannaby, Isabelle Dadou, Ute Daewel, Sarah L. Wakelin, Eric Machu, Dhanya Pushpadas, Momme Butenschon, Yuri Artioli, George Petihakis, Chris Smith, Veronique Garηon, Katerina Goubanova, Briac Le Vu, Bettina A. Fach, Baris Salihoglu, Emanuela Clementi, Xabier Irigoien. Biomass changes and trophic amplification of plankton in a warmer ocean. Global Change Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12562

Cite This Page:

Basque Research. "Phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass are expected to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively by the end of century due to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140507104943.htm>.
Basque Research. (2014, May 7). Phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass are expected to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively by the end of century due to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140507104943.htm
Basque Research. "Phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass are expected to decrease by 6% and 11% respectively by the end of century due to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140507104943.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins