|Title||Synchronous response of marine plankton ecosystems to climate in the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Goberville, E, Beaugrand, G, Edwards, M|
|Journal||Journal of Marine Systems|
|Keywords||Climate Change, Large-scale hydro-climatic indices, Long-term changes, North Atlantic, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton|
Over the last few decades, global warming has accelerated both the rate and magnitude of changes observed in many functional units of the Earth System. In this context, plankton are sentinel organisms because they are sensitive to subtle levels of changes in temperature and might help in identifying the current effects of climate change on pelagic ecosystems. In this paper, we performed a comparative approach in two regions of the North Atlantic (i.e. the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea) to explore the relationships between changes in marine plankton, the regional physico-chemical environment and large-scale hydro-climatic forcing using four key indices: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the East Atlantic (EA) pattern and Northern Hemisphere Temperature (NHT) anomalies. Our analyses suggest that long-term changes in the states of the two ecosystems were synchronous and correlated to the same large-scale hydro-climatic variables: NHT anomalies, the AMO and to a lesser extent the EA pattern. No significant correlation was found between long-term ecosystem modifications and the state of the NAO. Our results suggest that the effect of climate on these ecosystems has mainly occurred in both regions through the modulation of the thermal regime. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.