Broad-Scale Climate Influences on Spring-Spawning Herring (Clupea harengus, L.) Recruitment in the Western Baltic Sea.

Gröger, Joachim P., Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald and Polte, Patrick (2014) Broad-Scale Climate Influences on Spring-Spawning Herring (Clupea harengus, L.) Recruitment in the Western Baltic Sea. Open Access PLoS ONE, 9 (2). e87525. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0087525.

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Climate forcing in complex ecosystems can have profound implications for ecosystem sustainability and may thus challenge a precautionary ecosystem management. Climatic influences documented to affect various ecological functions on a global scale, may themselves be observed on quantitative or qualitative scales including regime shifts in complex marine ecosystems. This study investigates the potential climatic impact on the reproduction success of spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus) in the Western Baltic Sea (WBSS herring). To test for climate effects on reproduction success, the regionally determined and scientifically well-documented spawning grounds of WBSS herring represent an ideal model system. Climate effects on herring reproduction were investigated using two global indices of atmospheric variability and sea surface temperature, represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), respectively, and the Baltic Sea Index (BSI) which is a regional-scale atmospheric index for the Baltic Sea. Moreover, we combined a traditional approach with modern time series analysis based on a recruitment model connecting parental population components with reproduction success. Generalized transfer functions (ARIMAX models) allowed evaluating the dynamic nature of exogenous climate processes interacting with the endogenous recruitment process. Using different model selection criteria our results reveal that in contrast to NAO and AMO, the BSI shows a significant positive but delayed signal on the annual dynamics of herring recruitment. The westward influence of the Siberian high is considered strongly suppressing the influence of the NAO in this area leading to a higher explanatory power of the BSI reflecting the atmospheric pressure regime on a North-South transect between Oslo, Norway and Szczecin, Poland. We suggest incorporating climate-induced effects into stock and risk assessments and management strategies as part of the EU ecosystem approach to support sustainable herring fisheries in the Western Baltic Sea.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/266445
Additional Information: WOS:000332385900007
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087525
ISSN: 1932-6203
Projects: VECTORS
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2014 08:00
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 07:26

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