Marine Ecosystems and Climate Variation. The North Atlantic. A Comparative Perspective
by Nils Chr. Stenseth, Geir Ottersen, James W. Hurrell and Andrea Belgrano
publisher: Oxford University Press
This research level text focuses on the influence of climate variability on the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic. The ecological impact of climate variability on population dynamics is addressed at the full range of trophic levels, from phytoplankton through zooplankton and fish to marine birds. Climate effects on biodiversity and community structure are also examined. 40 scientists from around the world synthesise what is currently known about how climate affects the ecological systems of the North Atlantic and then place these insights within a broader ecological perspective. Many of the general features of the North Atlantic region are also seen in other marine ecosystems as well as terrestrial and freshwater systems. The final section of the book makes these generalities more explicit, so as to stimulate communication and promote co-operation amongst researchers who may previously have worked in semi-isolation.
The book comprises 5 main sections: background (general introduction, atmospheric and ocean climate of the North Atlantic, and modelling methodology), plankton populations (phytoplankton and zooplankton), fish and seabird populations, community ecology (phytoplankton, benthos and fish), and the final section consisting of six commentaries from scientists working in areas outside the North Atlantic marine sector. In order to enhance integration, a series of introductions link chapters and sections. Throughout the book, numerous examples highlight different aspects of ecology-climate interactions. They document recent progress and illustrate the challenges of trying to understand ecological processes and patterns in the light of climate variations.