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Atlantic cod in for even more stress?
Date:4/22/2013

CID fish consortium headed by AWI biologist Dr. Felix Mark. In this research project marine biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, the GEOMAR, and the Universities of Bremen, Dsseldorf and Mnster together with partners from Norway and Sweden investigate how sensitive the two commercial fish species, Atlantic cod and Arctic cod, are to the increasing warming and acidification of the sea water. In nine closely linked sub-projects they study all life stages of the fish and their genetic patterns: from spawn and the development of the larvae, through the juvenile fish and their favourite food, the copepod, to the mature parent fish.

"As for all other organisms, the Atlantic cod and Arctic cod feel the most comfortable in a specific temperature range. During the spawning season, for example, the Atlantic cod prefers temperatures of between three and seven degrees Celsius. By contrast, the Arctic cod breeds at temperatures of between zero to four degrees Celsius. If the temperature of the sea now increases due to climate change, the animals become stressed, a condition which is greatly exacerbated by the increasing ocean acidification. We suspect that these new environmental conditions will lead to the comfort ranges of both species becoming smaller and that the habitat of the fish will increasingly overlap. This means that the Atlantic cod can be expected to seriously compete with the Arctic cod ", says Dr. Daniela Storch, biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

Just which fish species has the best chances of survival will be investigated by the project members in complex behavioural experiments and during a four-week expedition. "From mid August to mid September this year we will be fishing the fjords of the north, west and south coasts of Spitsbergen on the research vessel Heincke. We firstly wish to document where we find which species at this time of year. Secondly, we are interested in catching a great deal of fish which we will brin
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Contact: Sina Loeschke
medien@awi.de
49-471-483-12008
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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