Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 427190
Title Temporal changes in plankton of the North Sea: community shfits and environmental drivers
Author(s) Alvarez-Fernandez, S.; Lindeboom, H.J.; Meesters, H.W.G.
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series 462 (2012). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 21 - 38.
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
IMARES Ecosystemen
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) long-term changes - regime shifts - phytoplankton biomass - temperature-changes - calanoid copepods - clupea-harengus - atlantic - climate - variability - ecology
Abstract This paper analyses long-term and seasonal changes in the North Sea plankton community during the period 1970 to 2008. Based on Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) data covering 38 yr, major changes in both phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance and community structure were identified. Regime changes were detected around 1978, 1989 and 1998. The first 2 changes have been discussed in the literature and are defined as a cold episodic event (1978) and a regime shift towards a warm dynamic regime (1989). The effect of these 2 regime changes on plankton indicators was assessed and checked against previous studies. The 1998 change represents a shift in the abundance and seasonal patterns of dinoflagellates and the dominant zooplankton group, the neritic copepods. Furthermore, environmental factors such as air temperature, wind speed and the North Atlantic water inflow were identified as potential drivers of change in seasonal patterns, and the most-likely environmental causes for detected changes were assessed. We suggest that a change in the balance of dissolved nutrients driven by these environmental factors was the cause of the latest change in plankton community structure, which in turn could have affected the North Sea fish community
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