Spawning phenology work presented this week @ PICES, Brazil

We will be presenting our recently published work explaining fish spawning phenology, along with more recent explorations on the implications of spawning time for population production at the PICES 3rd Climate Change Symposium in Santos City, Brazil.

Co-author Dr. Mark Payne will be leading the presentation in Session 6 (Rooms Diamante 5-6) from 17:20-17:40 on Mon. 23 March:

The roles of plasticity and adaptation in spawning time of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua): explaining phenology and making predictions in a changing climate.  

Anna B. Neuheimer, Mark R. Payne and Brian R. MacKenzie

Spawning time is thought to evolve to allow offspring to overlap in time and space with beneficial conditions for growth, development and survival. Mismatch between larval timing and e.g. food may result in high larval mortality and reduced productivity.  The degree of mismatch will depend on the differing climate responses of predator and prey species, including potential mitigative mechanisms such as adaptation or distribution shifts. Thus, a species’ production will depend on its capacity to tolerate and/or adapt to environmental conditions relative to other species in the environment.  Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) populations exhibit remarkably similar life histories despite spanning wide ranges in latitude (40 to 80°N) and climate (e.g. -1 to 20°C).  In previous work, we demonstrated that temperature-standardized spawning time (i.e. the thermal constant of spawning) shows systematic and parallel declines with increasing latitude for populations on both sides of the Atlantic (Neuheimer & MacKenzie, 2014, Ecology). Here we explore these patterns as evidence of adaptation (i.e. countergradient variation) to growing season timing by comparing estimates of first-feeder- and prey-timing proxies for populations across the species’ range. We discuss the implications of our results for trends in spawning time, match-mismatch and resulting production both in the past and future.

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Posted on March 22, 2015 .