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Multigenerational exposure to warming and fishing causes recruitment collapse, but size diversity and periodic cooling can aid recovery


Wootton, HF and Audzijonyte, A and Morrongiello, J, Multigenerational exposure to warming and fishing causes recruitment collapse, but size diversity and periodic cooling can aid recovery, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 118, (18) Article e2100300118. ISSN 0027-8424 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 National Academy of Sciences

DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.2100300118


Global warming and fisheries harvest are significantly impacting wild fish stocks, yet their interactive influence on population resilience to stress remains unclear. We explored these interactive effects on early-life development and survival by experimentally manipulating the thermal and harvest regimes in 18 zebrafish (Danio rerio) populations over six consecutive generations. Warming advanced development rates across generations, but after three generations, it caused a sudden and large (3050%) decline in recruitment. This warming impact was most severe in populations where size-selective harvesting reduced the average size of spawners. We then explored whether our observed recruitment decline could be explained by changes in egg size, early egg and larval survival, population sex ratio, and developmental costs. We found that it was most likely driven by temperature-induced shifts in embryonic development rate and fishing-induced male-biased sex ratios. Importantly, once harvest and warming were relaxed, recruitment rates rapidly recovered. Our study suggests that the effects of warming and fishing could have strong impacts on wild stock recruitment, but this may take several generations to manifest. However, resilience of wild populations may be higher if fishing preserves sufficient body size diversity, and windows of suitable temperature periodically occur.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fisheries, climate change, recruitment, long-term effects, selective fishing, size diveristy
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Audzijonyte, A (Dr Asta Audzijonyte)
ID Code:144202
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP190101627)
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-04-27
Last Modified:2021-10-13

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