Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2017

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E5

The linkages between environmental factors, zooplankton and pelagic fish in the Norwegian Sea

Höfundar / Authors: Lísa Anne Libungan (1), Hildur Pétursdóttir (1), Guðmundur J. Óskarsson (1), Ástþór Gíslason (1)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. Hafrannsóknastofnun (Marine and Freshwater Research Institute)

Kynnir / Presenter: Lísa Anne Libungan

Various abiotic and biotic factors affect animal abundance and spatial- and temporal distribution. The ability to predict how animals will react in a changing ocean, for example due to climate change, relies on our understanding of the interaction of fundamental players in the ecosystem and their physical adaptations to environmental factors. The oceanic ecosystem east of Iceland is characterized by dramatic conditions, where cold and low saline polar currents from the north meet warm and saline currents from the south. The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Iceland has monitored the oceanic region east of Iceland in detail for the past decades with regards to hydrography, zooplankton and pelagic fish. Here, we focus on two oceanic sub-regions east of Iceland (66-67.5°N, 9-12°W and 63.5-65°N, 9-12°W) over a 22 year period (1995-2017) where the sea temperature was higher during the latter half of the period. We attempt to answer the following questions: (1) Has the species composition, abundance and development of zooplankton changed over the past 22 years (1995-2017)? (2) Are there interactions between environmental factors, development and abundance of zooplankton and the abundance and migration pattern of herring? (3) Does the composition and abundance of zooplankton in the ocean reflect the food items which herring prey on? The results of this study will provide a novel understanding on the linkages between the migration behavior and feeding ecology of herring and the zooplankton community structure. Increased knowledge on zooplankton, which play a vital role in marine food webs and their interactions with the environment and inhabiting pelagic fish stocks, is fundamental to predict changes in the marine ecosystem by using ecosystem models.