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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 6;111(18):E1880-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319089111. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Climate change, pink salmon, and the nexus between bottom-up and top-down forcing in the subarctic Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea.

Author information

1
Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775.

Abstract

Climate change in the last century was associated with spectacular growth of many wild Pacific salmon stocks in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, apparently through bottom-up forcing linking meteorology to ocean physics, water temperature, and plankton production. One species in particular, pink salmon, became so numerous by the 1990s that they began to dominate other species of salmon for prey resources and to exert top-down control in the open ocean ecosystem. Information from long-term monitoring of seabirds in the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea reveals that the sphere of influence of pink salmon is much larger than previously known. Seabirds, pink salmon, other species of salmon, and by extension other higher-order predators, are tightly linked ecologically and must be included in international management and conservation policies for sustaining all species that compete for common, finite resource pools. These data further emphasize that the unique 2-y cycle in abundance of pink salmon drives interannual shifts between two alternate states of a complex marine ecosystem.

KEYWORDS:

carrying capacity; consumer front; exploitative competition; interaction strength; ocean ecology

Comment in

PMID:
24706809
PMCID:
PMC4020041
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1319089111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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