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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 514:279-280 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11056

COMMENT
The North Sea plankton regime shift in the late 1990s: Comment on Beaugrand et al. (2014)

Santiago Alvarez-Fernandez1,2,*

1Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies (IMARES), Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 167,
1797 SZ ‘t Horntje, The Netherlands
2Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management (AEW), Wageningen University and Research Centre,
6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Beaugrand et al. (2014; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 502:85-104) reported a regime shift in the North Sea plankton community between 1996 and 2003 as a novel observation. Although they used novel methodology, a shift in the plankton community around 1998 had previously been described by Alvarez-Fernandez et al. (2012; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 462:21–38). Both studies have similar results, but their interpretation differs: Beaugrand et al. (2014) conclude that temperature is the driving force, whereas Alvarez-Fernandez et al. (2012) attribute the regime shift to changes in nutrient dynamics.


KEY WORDS: Seasonal patterns · Regime shift · North Sea · Dinoflagellates · Zooplankton · Nutrients


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Cite this article as: Alvarez-Fernandez S (2014) The North Sea plankton regime shift in the late 1990s: Comment on Beaugrand et al. (2014). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 514:279-280. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11056

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