Theme session D

Ecosystem changes and impacts on diadromous and marine species productivity

Wednesday 21 September 12:00—13:30 in Omega 2
Thursday 22 September 10:00—18:30 in Omega 2

Timothy Sheehan (USA) 
Katherine Mills (USA)
Mark Payne (Denmark)​

Contact conveners​​​​​

Climate-driven increases in ocean temperatures and other physical factors have been associated with marine ecosystem changes throughout the North Atlantic. Such changes include altered phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish population characteristics.

For example, declines in marine productivity and survival of Atlantic salmon on both sides of the Atlantic basin have been linked to changes in plankton and prey fish that have in turn been associated with increasing ocean temperatures. Diadromous species may be particularly sensitive to these ecosystem changes since they rely on multiple marine and freshwater habitats. These changes also likely affect a variety of marine species throughout the North Atlantic basin, including fish, seabirds, and mammals, although these relationships have yet to be fully explored. Accounting for the impacts of these ecosystem influences on species productivity will increase the likelihood of successful marine resource management in a changing climate.

This session will provide an opportunity to: 

  • describe ecosystem processes and connections that govern the productivity of diadromous and marine species

  • explore how changes in these drivers and their interactions have impacted species dynamics

  • compare how species are responding to climate-associated ecosystem change in the North Atlantic

Contributions on the following topics, with specific focus on diadromous species, would be particularly relevant to the session:

  • Linkages between important biological processes across one or more trophic levels that influence species productivity

  • Key climate and physical drivers that structure these processes in the North Atlantic ecosystem

  • Ecosystem impacts and resulting species responses to climate and physical changes within the North Atlantic

  • Evaluation of potential mechanisms driving the observed species' responses

  • Projections of population dynamics and ecosystem processes under future climate scenarios

  • Examples of species management that accounts for changing climate and ecosystem conditions

The session will improve our understanding of common drivers and trends that affect ecosystem processes, lower trophic levels, and diadromous and marine fish stocks on both sides of the Atlantic. The information shared will help foster collaborations among North American and European scientists with the goal of expanding research into how climate-driven ecosystem changes will impact the management of diadromous and other species in the North Atlantic.  


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Theme session D

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