Climate change-related changes in cephalopod biodiversity on the North East Atlantic Shelf

Daniel Oesterwind*, Christopher J. Barrett, Anne F. Sell, Ismael Núñez-Riboni, Matthias Kloppmann, Uwe Piatkowski, Kai Wieland, Vladimir Laptikhovsky

*Corresponding author for this work

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Global studies imply that cephalopods have benefited from climate change. However, in most areas, species-specific long-term cephalopod data sets do not exist to support this implication and to analyse the response of cephalopods to environmental changes. Our results illustrate that historical studies, in combination with recent data sets, can fill this gap, enabling descriptions of ecological changes over a long time. We show substantial changes in the cephalopod biodiversity of the North Sea at species level over the past 100 years. Some species, which seemed to migrate into the North Sea only for spawning or foraging in the nineteenth century, occur permanently in the North Sea nowadays. This applies, for example, to the loliginids Loligo forbesii and Alloteuthis subulata. The ommastrephids Todaropsis eblanae and Illex coindetii, now constantly present as well, had been described only as accidental migrants 100 years ago.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Pages (from-to)1491-1518
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cephalopod community
  • Biodiversity
  • Distribution
  • Environmental changes
  • Expansion
  • Life cycle


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