Navigation Links
Ocean temperature predicts spread of marine species

Scientists can predict how the distance marine larvae travel varies with ocean temperature ?a key component in conservation and management of fish, shellfish and other marine species ?according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Most marine life, including commercially important species, reproduces via larvae that drift far along ocean currents before returning to join adult populations. The distance larvae travel before maturing, called dispersal, is directly linked to ocean temperature, the researchers found. For example, larvae from the same species travel far less in warmer waters than in colder waters, said lead author Mary O'Connor, a graduate student in marine ecology in UNC's curriculum in ecology and the department of marine sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Temperature can alter the number and diversity of adult species in a certain area by changing where larvae end up," O'Connor said. "It is important to understand how a fish population is replenished if we want to attempt to manage or conserve it."

Using data from 72 marine species, including cod, herring, American lobster, horseshoe crabs and clams, O'Connor and her colleagues developed a model that predicts how far larvae travel at a certain temperature. The predictions appear to hold for virtually all marine animals with a larval life cycle.

"We can apply this rule to animals without having to go out and measure every species," O'Connor said. "Our general model gives us a powerful new way to study larval movement with knowledge about ocean temperature, which is much easier to come by. With models such as this, we can see what large-scale changes in ocean temperature may mean for adult populations."

The study appeared online the week of Dec. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

Knowing dispersal distance is a critical component for managing commercially important or invasive species, O'Connor said. "For many animals, the larval phase is the only chance for babies to get away from parents. Dispersal prevents inbreeding; for some species, this is a time to move from breeding ground to habitat where they'll mature," she said.

But less than 1 percent of larvae survive dispersal. They are consumed by predators, encounter harsh environments or never reach their destination and starve. For endangered species, survival of some animals may depend on whether offspring from parents in one protected area can get to another area where they are safe from harvest. "In warmer waters, marine protected areas may need to be closer together than in colder water, since in warmer water dispersal distances tend to be shorter," O'Connor said.

While a one degree increase in temperature at the ocean surface means larvae will travel a shorter distance in warm seas, the effect is more severe when temperatures are below about 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), O'Connor said. Along California's coast, sea surface temperature may warm from 53 degrees to 59 degrees Fahrenheit during an El Nino year, when a warm ocean current appears in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Larvae that travel 62 miles at 53 degrees Fahrenheit would disperse only 46 miles at 59 degrees.

"On the up side, shorter dispersal can mean greater survival because the larvae spend less time in the water, where they are at a high risk of death. On the down side, it could mean they won't travel as far and may not make it to their juvenile habitat," O'Connor said.

The researchers suspect temperature plays an important role in larval dispersal because metabolic processes in larvae are sensitive to temperature and similar among species. Consequently, larvae in cold waters develop more slowly and drift further before beginning their next development stage because colder temperatures cause sluggish metabolisms.
'"/>

Source:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Related biology news :

1. Oceans more vulnerable to agricultural runoff than previously thought, study finds
2. Breakthrough System for Understanding Ocean Plant Life Announced
3. Ocean climate predicts elk population in Canadian Rockies
4. New Scripps Oceanography project to study sediments and ecosystem restoration in Venice lagoon
5. Oceans turning to acid from rise in CO2
6. The Antarctic Ocean floor
7. Ocean dead zones trigger sex changes in fish, posing extinction threat
8. Oceans are 70 percent shark free
9. Ocean virus identified in human blood samples
10. MIT: Oceans are a major gene swap-meet for plankton
11. Ocean acidification threatens cold-water coral ecosystems

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. ... global voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of ... the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global voice ... report considers the revenue generated from the sales of voice recognition ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... PUNE, India , January 19, 2017 ... Sensor Market, Opportunities and Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global biometric sensor ... of 9.6% from 2016 to 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific ... for both public and private sectors. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Sensory ... experience and security for consumer electronics, and ... processing systems and cybersecurity solutions, today announced a ... and financial institutions worldwide to bolster security of ... end-to-end secure user authentication platforms they offer, innerCore ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of the ... 2025" report to their offering. Report ... provides a detailed analysis on current and future market trends to identify ... market values as the base numbers Key market trends ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 AquaBounty Technologies, ... on enhancing productivity in aquaculture and a majority-owned subsidiary ... that it has completed the listing of its common ... equity subscription from Intrexon. "AquaBounty,s listing on ... will broaden our exposure to the U.S. markets as ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 The global biotechnology services outsourcing ... by 2025, according to a new report by ... adaptive of the function of outsourcing certain clinical ... the services outsourced, clinical trial management and contract ... Johnson was the first pharmaceutical company to outsource ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... According to a new market research report "In situ Hybridization Market by ... (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global Forecast to 2021" published ... from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 5.8%. ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: