Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Increased temperature may prevent winter flounder from rebounding in east coast estuaries

18.02.2004


Increased levels of water temperature can have critical effects on predator-prey interactions in the marine environment. Increased water temperature, for example, could be beneficial to a predator if the primary effect were to accelerate its level of metabolism, and thus enhance foraging activity. On the other hand, warm temperatures could also enhance the metabolism of the prey, increasing its activity, mobility, and ability to escape from predators.



In a recent issue of the Marine Ecology Progress Series, an article by URI Graduate School of Oceanography fisheries biologists David L. Taylor and Jeremy S. Collie describes the effect of temperature on the feeding behavior of sand shrimp preying on juvenile winter flounder. The study was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Marine Education and Research program.

Predation by the sand shrimp has been implicated as one of the most significant sources of mortality for recently hatched metamorphosed winter flounder. Experiments conducted by Taylor and Collie found that shrimp consumption rates on post-settlement flounder significantly increased with increasing flounder density, irrespective of water temperature. At low flounder densities, however, significantly more flounder were consumed at warm temperatures than at cold temperatures (16 °C and 10 °C, respectively, or 61 °F and 50 °F). Model estimates and visual observations of shrimp foraging behavior suggest that the variable feeding rates at different temperatures are the result of cold temperatures decreasing predator activity at low flounder densities, and conversely, shrimp maintaining high predation rates at low flounder densities when exposed to warm temperatures. These findings indicate that shrimp are capable of driving flounder populations to local extinction during warm water conditions.


The population abundance of winter flounder has declined significantly in parts of its geographic range since 1979, and has yet to rebound from the last 24-year decline. The demise of winter flounder has been paralleled by a significant warming trend in many northwest Atlantic estuaries that are used by juvenile flounder as important nursery habitats.

"We believe the increase in water temperature to be a critical factor in determining the survival of juvenile winter flounder in northern-temperate estuaries," said Taylor. "However, the temperature itself is not a direct cause of mortality, but rather it is indirectly affecting mortality by altering the predation pressure in the early life stages of winter flounder."

Water temperature is a key factor that changes the dynamics of the predator-prey relationship. Results from this study suggest that increases in water temperature increase the predator-induced mortality of juvenile flounder and cause the destabilization of the predator-prey interaction with the sand shrimp. Thus, the recent warming trend experienced in northwest Atlantic estuaries may explain the failure of the winter flounder stocks to recover in these areas.


###
The URI Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the country’s largest marine science education programs, and one of the world’s foremost marine research institutions. Founded in 1961 in Narragansett, RI, GSO serves a community of scientists who are researching the causes of and solutions to such problems as acid rain, harmful algal blooms, global warming, air and water pollution, oil spills, overfishing, and coastal erosion. GSO is home to the Coastal Institute, the Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography, and the National Sea Grant Library.

Lisa Cugini | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>