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Quantifying heterogeneous responses of fish community size structure using novel combined statistical techniques

Citation

Marshall, AM and Bigg, GR and van Leeuwen, SM and Pinnegar, JK and Wei, H-L and Webb, TJ and Blanchard, JL, Quantifying heterogeneous responses of fish community size structure using novel combined statistical techniques, Global Change Biology, 22, (5) pp. 1755-1768. ISSN 1354-1013 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1111/gcb.13190

Abstract

To understand changes in ecosystems the appropriate scale at which to study them must be determined. Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) cover thousands of square kilometres and are a useful classification scheme for ecosystem monitoring and assessment. However, averaging across LMEs may obscure intricate dynamics within. The purpose of this paper is to mathematically determine local and regional patterns of ecological change within an LME using Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOFs). After using EOFs to define regions with distinct patterns of change a statistical model originating from control theory is applied (Non-linear AutoRegressive Moving Average with eXogenous input NARMAX) to assess potential drivers of change within these regions. We have selected spatial datasets (0.5 latitude x 1 longitude) of fish abundance from North Sea fisheries research surveys (spanning 1980 2008) as well as of temperature, oxygen, net primary production, and a fishing pressure proxy, to which we apply the EOF and NARMAX methods. Two regions showed significant changes since 1980: the central North Sea displayed a decrease in community size structure which the NARMAX model suggested was linked to changes in fishing; and the Norwegian Trench region displayed an increase in community size structure which, as indicated by NARMAX results, was primarily linked to changes in sea bottom temperature. These regions were compared to an area of no change along the eastern Scottish coast where the model determined net primary production was most strongly associated to the community size structure. This study highlights the multifaceted effects of environmental change and fishing pressures in different regions of the North Sea. Furthermore, by highlighting this spatial heterogeneity in community size structure change, important local spatial dynamics are often overlooked when the North Sea is considered as a broad scale, homogeneous ecosystem (as normally is the case within the political Marine Strategy Framework Directive).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fish community size structure, statistical technique, EOF, NarMAx
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:Blanchard, JL (Dr Julia Blanchard)
ID Code:106280
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2016-02-04
Last Modified:2016-12-01
Downloads:55 View Download Statistics

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