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Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota


Constable, AJ and Melbourne-Thomas, J and Corney, SP and Arrigo, KR and Barbraud, C and Barnes, DKA and Bindoff, NL and Boyd, PW and Brandt, A and Costa, DP and Davidson, A and Ducklow, HW and Emmerson, L and Fukuchi, M and Gutt, J and Hindell, MA and Hofmann, EE and Hosie, GW and Iida, T and Jacob, S and Johnston, NM and Kawaguchi, S and Kokubun, N and Koubbi, P and Lea, M-A and Makhado, A and Massom, RA and Meiners, K and Meredith, MP and Murphy, EJ and Nicol, S and Reid, K and Richerson, K and Riddle, MJ and Rintoul, SR and Smith Jr, WO and Southwell, CJ and Stark, JS and Sumner, M and Swadling, KM and Takahashi, KT and Trathan, PN and Welsford, DC and Weimerskirch, H and Westwood, KJ and Wienecke, BC and Wolf-Gladrow, D and Wright, SW and Xavier, JC and Ziegler, P, Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota, Global Change Biology, 20, (10) pp. 3004-3025. ISSN 1354-1013 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/gcb.12623


Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, benthos, climate change, krill, marine ecosystems, marine mammals, ocean acidification, penguins, plankton, sea ice
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Constable, AJ (Dr Andrew Constable)
UTAS Author:Melbourne-Thomas, J (Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas)
UTAS Author:Corney, SP (Dr Stuart Corney)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, NL (Professor Nathan Bindoff)
UTAS Author:Boyd, PW (Professor Philip Boyd)
UTAS Author:Davidson, A (Dr Andrew Davidson)
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
UTAS Author:Kawaguchi, S (Dr So Kawaguchi)
UTAS Author:Lea, M-A (Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
UTAS Author:Massom, RA (Dr Robert Massom)
UTAS Author:Meiners, K (Dr Klaus Meiners)
UTAS Author:Nicol, S (Dr Stephen Nicol)
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
UTAS Author:Swadling, KM (Associate Professor Kerrie Swadling)
UTAS Author:Westwood, KJ (Dr Karen Westwood)
UTAS Author:Wright, SW (Dr Simon Wright)
ID Code:93253
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:330
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-07-22
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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