Impacts of fisheries on plankton community structure
Reid, P.C. and Battle, E.J.V. and Batten, S.D. and Brander, K.M. (2000) Impacts of fisheries on plankton community structure. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57 (3). pp. 495-502. ISSN 1054-3139
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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/10543139
There has been much debate on the extent to which resource availability (bottom-up) versus predation pressure from fish (top-down) modulates the dynamics of plankton in marine systems. Physico/chemical bottom-up forcing has been considered to be the main mechanism structuring marine ecosystems, although some field observations and empirical correlations support top-down modulation. Models have indicated possible feedback loops to the plankton and other studies have interpreted a grazing impact from long-term changes in fish stocks. In freshwater systems, evidence for top-down forcing by fish and trophic cascading is well documented. First, evidence for equivalent top-down effects in the marine environment is presented, with an overview of relevant publications. In the second part, time series, averaged for the North Sea (when possible from 1948 to 1997), of fish catch, recruitment, and spawning stock biomass are related to the abundance of species or larger groupings of zooplankton and phytoplankton from the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey and selected environmental parameters. Preliminary analysis suggests that there is strong interaction between different fish species and the plankton and that the fishery, through top-down control, may at times be an important contributor to changes in the North Sea ecosystem.
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