Productivity responses of a widespread marine piscivore, Gadus morhua, to oceanic thermal extremes and trends

Irene Mantzouni, Brian MacKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Climate change will have major consequences for population dynamics and life histories of marine biota as it progresses in the twenty-first century. These impacts will differ in magnitude and direction for populations within individual marine species whose geographical ranges span large gradients in latitude and temperature. Here we use meta-analytical methods to investigate how recruitment (i.e. the number of new fish produced by spawners in a given year which subsequently grow and survive to become vulnerable to fishing gear) has reacted to temperature fluctuations, and in particular to extremes of temperature, in cod populations throughout the north Atlantic. Temperature has geographically explicit effects on cod recruitment. Impacts differ depending on whether populations are located in the upper (negative effects) or in the lower (positive effects) thermal range. The probabilities of successful year-classes in populations living in warm areas is on average 34 per cent higher in cold compared with warm seasons, whereas opposite patterns exist for populations living in cold areas. These results have implications for cod dynamics, distributions and phenologies under the influence of ocean warming, particularly related to not only changes in the mean temperature, but also its variability (e.g. frequency of exceptionally cold or warm seasons).
Original languageEnglish
JournalRoyal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Issue number1689
Pages (from-to)1867-1874
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • meta-analysis
  • cod
  • recruitment probability
  • extreme events
  • climate change
  • temperature


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