External Organisations

  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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This project investigated large scale patterns and variations of life in the ocean, focussing primarily on fishes. The theme used fishes to investigate how processes associated with climate change and human impacts (e. g., fishing and eutrophication) influence fish life histories, biodiversity and the dynamics of populations and species over large time and space scales. Studies have focussed on key processes affecting life histories and distribution of populations and species, including reproduction, mortality, and migration.

The project had one full-time PhD student, and 5 postdoctoral scientists. The relatively high number of postdocs in a short period was due to their success at finding permanent jobs as tenure-track assistant professors, or as research scientists or managers in either industry or academia.

Key results by DTU Aqua colleagues in the project include the following:
- A pan-Atlantic analysis and discovery of how temperature affects reproductive timing in cod, with evidence for local adaptation of cod thermal physiology and counter-gradient evolution. Our ongoing work is now investigating the consequences of this adaptation for match-mismatch of cod larval production with the timing of the peak production of major zooplankton prey species (e. g. Calanus finmarchicus, Pseudocalanus sp.)
- New estimates of the numbers, locations and volumes of the mesopelagic provinces of the world’s oceans, and based for the first time on the dynamics of ocean primary productivity, C sedimentation and photic zones. These new habitat descriptors of the mesopelagic ocean will provide new contexts for studies of ocean biodiversity, and the distribution and productivity of mesopelagic fishes and other biota.
-New models of fish lifetime reproductive output which demonstrated that a fish’s annual reproductive output was strongly related to maximum body size. Moreover, indeterminate spawners had ca. 10-fold higher reproductive output per unit weight than determinate spawners suggesting possible differences in survival rates among the early life history stages between these two groups of fishes.
-Estimates of how climate change will affect the spawning locations and timing for herring in the North Sea, based on climate change scenarios, lab studies of temperature effects on egg survival rate and substrate requirements for herring egg deposition
-Global patterns in taxonomic and functional descriptors of fish biodiversity and how these are inter-related and affected by ocean conditions (e. g., primary production, ecosystem size). Ongoing work is relating these patterns to biodiversity protection (e. g., MPA coverage).

The project was coordinated by University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The prject was funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.



  • Research areas: Oceanography & Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
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ID: 2289740