Expansion of oxygen minimum zones may reduce available habitat for tropical pelagic fishes.

Stramma, Lothar , Prince, Eric D., Schmidtko, Sunke , Luo, Jiangang, Hoolihan, John P., Visbeck, Martin , Wallace, Douglas W.R., Brandt, Peter and Körtzinger, Arne (2012) Expansion of oxygen minimum zones may reduce available habitat for tropical pelagic fishes. Nature Climate Change, 2 (1). pp. 33-37. DOI 10.1038/NCLIMATE1304.

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Supplementary data:


Climate model predictions1, 2 and observations3, 4 reveal regional declines in oceanic dissolved oxygen, which are probably influenced by global warming5. Studies indicate ongoing dissolved oxygen depletion and vertical expansion of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) in the tropical northeast Atlantic Ocean6, 7. OMZ shoaling may restrict the usable habitat of billfishes and tunas to a narrow surface layer8, 9. We report a decrease in the upper ocean layer exceeding 3.5 ml l−1 dissolved oxygen at a rate of ≤1 m yr−1 in the tropical northeast Atlantic (0–25° N, 12–30° W), amounting to an annual habitat loss of ~5.95×1013 m3, or 15% for the period 1960–2010. Habitat compression and associated potential habitat loss was validated using electronic tagging data from 47 blue marlin. This phenomenon increases vulnerability to surface fishing gear for billfishes and tunas8, 9, and may be associated with a 10–50% worldwide decline of pelagic predator diversity10. Further expansion of the Atlantic OMZ along with overfishing may threaten the sustainability of these valuable pelagic fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Physical Oceanography; Marine chemistry; oxygen minimum zones, habitat reduction, blue marlin; oceanography; behaviour; biodiversity; ecosystems
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754 > A3
OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A5
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A4
Kiel University
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1304
ISSN: 1758-678X
Projects: CVOO, SFB754, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2011 11:05
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:54
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/13127

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