4 years ago

Pilot study on potential impacts of fisheries-induced changes in zooplankton mortality on marine biogeochemistry

Julia Getzlaff, Andreas Oschlies
In this pilot study we link the yield of industrial fisheries to changes in the zooplankton mortality in an idealised way accounting for different target species (planktivorous fish - decreased zooplankton mortality; large predators - increased zooplankton mortality). This indirect approach is used in a global coupled biogeochemistry-circulation model to estimate the range of the potential impact of industrial fisheries on marine biogeochemistry. The simulated globally integrated response on phytoplankton and primary production is in line with expectations - a high (low) zooplankton mortality results in a decrease (increase) of zooplankton and an increase (decrease) of phytoplankton. In contrast, the local response of zooplankton and phytoplankton depends on the region under consideration: In nutrient-limited regions, an increase (decrease) in zooplankton mortality leads to a decrease (increase) in both zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass. In contrast, in nutrient-replete regions, such as upwelling regions, we find an opposing response: an increase (decrease) of the zooplankton mortality leads to an increase (decrease) in both zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass. The results are further evaluated by relating the potential fisheries-induced changes in zooplankton mortality to those driven by CO2 emissions in a business-as-usual 21st century emission scenario. In our idealised case, the potential fisheries-induced impact can be of similar size as warming-induced changes in marine biogeochemistry.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005721

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