As climate changes, Alaska fisheries may depend on winter survival of plankton, oceanographer suggests

This item was filled under Climate
As the climate warms, the productivity of Alaska fisheries will be increasingly dependent on the survival rate of plankton through the winter months, new research by a large team of scientists suggests. And warming temperatures may make it difficult for them to survive the season. The health of the Bering Sea fisheries off the coast of Alaska depend largely on the plankton blooms that occur as the sea ice retreats in spring. Sunlight causes phytoplankton to bloom, which provides food to copepods and other zooplankton that are fed upon by fish, crabs and other commercial species. Changes in the timing of the melting of sea ice in spring is expected to have far-reaching effects on the health of the ecosystem, but the importance of winter plankton survival is an unexpected finding from this study....
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