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MEPS - Vol. 608 - FEATURE ARTICLE
Individuals of a benthic community in the Arctic Barents Sea that are easily damaged by a bottom trawl. Photo: Mareano, IMR

Jørgensen LL, Primicerio R, Ingvaldsen RB, Fossheim M, Strelkova N, Thangstad TH,
Manushin I, Zakharov D

 

Impact of multiple stressors on sea bed fauna in a warming Arctic


The Arctic Barents Sea is experiencing a record high temperature increase, a poleward shift in the distributions of commercial fish stocks, and invasion by a predator crab. Jørgensen et al. evaluated benthic community vulnerability when exposed to sea water warming, bottom trawling, and predation. This indicated an increased importance of boreal and a reduced importance of Arctic species. Bottom trawling and snow crabs increase the exposure of both large immobile species and of small prey species. This can lead to alterations in community structure and diversity. This information enables authorities to identify vulnerable areas that warrant special attention, including protection from trawling and reduction of the snow crab stock.

 

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