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 Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>