Influence of projected ocean warming on population growth potential in two North Atlantic copepod species Academic Article uri icon


  • Copepods of the genera Pseudocalanus and Centropages play an important role in the North Atlantic ecosystems and have distinctive spatial and temporal patterns depending on physiological adaptation to different environmental conditions. To examine the possible impact of climate change on these biogeographic patterns, potential population growth rate was computed for each species using IPCC projections of sea surface temperature together with chlorophyll distributions from SeaWiFS climatology and published laboratory data on temperature and food-dependent life-history parameters. The results indicate that the predicted temperature increase throughout the North Atlantic will cause temporal and spatial shifts in copepod species population growth potential. The Centropages population is projected to increase in mid-latitudinal shelf areas, e.g. the Gulf of Maine and the North Sea, due to shorter generation times and a longer growing season, while Pseudocalanus is predicted to be less abundant in these regions after 2050. These shifts potentially have a significant impact on the future demographics of pelagic fish species for which the copepods are the major food source. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • October 2010