|Effects of lower trophic level biomass and water temperature on fish communities: A modelling study |
Auteur(s): Guiet Jérôme, Aumont Olivier, Poggiale J.-C., Maury Olivier
(Article) Publié: Progress In Oceanography, vol. 146 p.22-37 (2016)
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Physical and biogeochemical changes of the oceans have complex inflences on fish communities. Variations of resource and temperature affect metabolic rates at the individual level, biomass fluxes at the species level, and trophic structure as well as diversity at the community level. We use a Dynamic Energy Budget-, trait-based model of the consumers' community size-spectrum to assess the effects of lower trophic level biomass and water temperature on communities at steady state. First, we look at the stressors separately in idealized simulations, varying one while the second remains constant. A multi-domain response is observed. Linked to the number of trophic levels sustained in the consumers' community, the regimes highlighted present similar properties when lower trophic level biomass is increased or temperature decreased. These trophic-lengthdomains correspond to different efficiencies of the transfer of biomass from small to large individuals. They are characterized by different sensitivities of fish communities to environmental changes. Moreover, differences in the scaling of individuals' metabolism and prey assimilation with temperature lead to a shrinking of fish communities with warming. In a second step, we look at the impact of simultaneous variations of stressors along a mean latitudinal gradient of lower trophic level biomass and temperature. The model explains known observed features of global marine ecosystems such as the fact that larger species compose fish communities when latitude increases. The structure, diversity and metabolic properties of fish communities obtained with the model at different latitudes are interpreted in light of the different trophic-length domains characterized inthe idealized experiments. From the equator to the poles, the structure of consumers' communities is predicted to be heterogeneous, with variable sensitivities to environmental changes.