alexa Climate Influence on Deep Sea Populations
Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science

Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

Author(s): Joan B Company, Pere Puig, Francesc Sard, Albert Palanques, Mikel Latasa

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Dynamics of biological processes on the deep-sea floor are traditionally thought to be controlled by vertical sinking of particles from the euphotic zone at a seasonal scale. However, little is known about the influence of lateral particle transport from continental margins to deep-sea ecosystems. To address this question, we report here how the formation of dense shelf waters and their subsequent downslope cascade, a climate induced phenomenon, affects the population of the deep-sea shrimp Aristeus antennatus. We found evidence that strong currents associated with intense cascading events correlates with the disappearance of this species from its fishing grounds, producing a temporary fishery collapse. Despite this initial negative effect, landings increase between 3 and 5 years after these major events, preceded by an increase of juveniles. The transport of particulate organic matter associated with cascading appears to enhance the recruitment of this deep-sea living resource, apparently mitigating the general trend of overexploitation. Because cascade of dense water from continental shelves is a global phenomenon, we anticipate that its influence on deep-sea ecosystems and fisheries worldwide should be larger than previously thought.

This article was published in PLOS ONE and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

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