Climate-driven zooplankton shifts cause large-scale declines in food quality for fish
Climate change-driven changes in the make-up of phytoplankton populations will drive a shift in the zooplankton that feed on them — away from omnivorous krill and copepods towards more gelatinous and carnivorous zooplankton such as jellyfish and marine worms.
in the marine food web, zooplankton are a vital link between microscopic photosynthesising phytoplankton and fish. But they are often neglected as a component of ecosystem models, particularly those examining the effects of climate change on marine life.
Now, a team led by researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia has used ecosystem modelling to examine the effect of climate change on zooplankton.
The team’s results suggest that warming oceans will result in fewer krill and filter-feeders such as sea-squirts. This will reduce the dietary carbon content of fish that feed on zooplankton.
- Nature Climate Change 13, 470–477 (2023). doi: 10.1038/s41558-023-01630-7
|The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia||0.37|
|Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia||0.20|
|University of Tasmania (UTAS), Australia||0.20|
|CSIRO Environment, Australia||0.17|
|University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Australia||0.07|