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Long-term Bering Sea environmental variability revealed by a centennial-length biochronology of Pacific ocean perch Sebastes alutus


van der Sleen, P and Dzaugis, MP and Gentry, C and Hall, WP and Hamilton, V and Helser, TE and Matta, ME and Underwood, CA and Zuercher, R and Black, BA, Long-term Bering Sea environmental variability revealed by a centennial-length biochronology of Pacific ocean perch Sebastes alutus, Climate Research, 71, (1) pp. 33-45. ISSN 0936-577X (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Inter-Research

DOI: doi:10.3354/cr01425


The productivity and functioning of Bering Sea marine ecosystems are tightly coupled to decadal-scale environmental variability, as exemplified by the profound changes in community composition that followed the 1976-1977 shift from a cool to a warm climate regime. Longer-term ecosystem dynamics, including the extent to which this regime shift was exceptional in the context of the past century, remain poorly described due to a lack of multi-decadal biological time series. To explore the impact of decadal regime shifts on higher trophic levels, we applied dendrochronology (tree-ring science) techniques to the otolith growth-increment widths of Pacific ocean perch Sebastes alutus (POP) collected from the continental slope of the eastern Bering Sea. After crossdating, 2 chronology development techniques were applied: (1) a regional curve standardization (RCS) approach designed to retain as much low-frequency variability as possible, and (2) an individual-detrending approach that maximized interannual synchrony among samples. Both chronologies spanned the years 1919-2006 and were significantly (p < 0.001) and positively correlated with sea surface temperature (March-December). The RCS chronology showed a transition from relatively slow to fast growth after 1976-1977. In both chronologies, the highest observed growth values immediately followed the regime shift, suggesting that this event had a critical and lasting impact on growth of POP. This growth pulse was, however, not shared by a previously published yellowfin sole Limanda aspera chronology (1969-2006) from the eastern Bering Sea shelf, indicating species- or site-specific responses. Ultimately, these chronologies provide a long-term perspective and underscore the susceptibility of fish growth to extreme low-frequency events.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:otolith, chronology, growth increment, Bering Sea, climate, Pacific Ocean perch, Sebastes alutus
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Hamilton, V (Mrs Vicki Hamilton)
ID Code:116487
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2017-05-10
Last Modified:2022-06-17
Downloads:14 View Download Statistics

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