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Prodigal plankton species makes first known migration from Pacific to Atlantic via Pole
Date:6/25/2011

ndinavia. Many dinoflagellates are harmful because their bloom and death absorbs dissolved oxygen in the water, which affects other marine creatures. Some also produce toxic compounds that make shellfish flesh poisonous to humans and other organisms. Researchers believe the marine conditions forecast due to climate change favour their growth.

  • Jellyfish are increasing in the northeast Atlantic, often forming massive blooms. A venomous warm-water species, Pelagia noctiluca, dominates in many areas and outbreaks have become an annual event, forcing the closing of beaches. This form of jellyfish is a gluttonous predator of juvenile fish, so researchers consider its spread a harmful trend. Recently, the highly venomous Portuguese Man-of-War (Physalia physalis), a jellyfish-like subtropical creature, were found more regularly in northern Atlantic waters.

  • Changes in temperature and other conditions mean some prey species are no longer available when their predators need them. Off Northwest Europe, the warming trend has led to earlier spawning of cod, while phytoplankton have kept their traditional biological schedule. The result is a timing mismatch between the cod's larval production and its food supply.

    Says the Marine Board of the European Science Foundation: "In the North Sea, seasonal changes in the timing of biological events for plankton as a response to warming are leading to a mismatch between phytoplankton and zooplankton, between zooplankton and fish, between bivalve larvae and shrimp, and between fish and seabirds."

  • The cod population has plummeted throughout the North Atlantic, largely, so far, due to over-fishing. But a team led by researchers with Norway's Institute of Marine Research warn that cod can't tolerate higher temperatures, and "if warming continues at the rate projected by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it will considerably limit larval cod survival and
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  • Contact: Terry Collins
    tc@tca.tc
    416-538-8712
    Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
    Source:Eurekalert

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