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Journal Articles Arctic Science Year : 2021

West Greenland ichthyoplankton and how melting glaciers could allow Arctic cod larvae to survive extreme summer temperatures

Tomáš Bodnár
  • Function : Author
Petr Knobloch
  • Function : Author
Hynek Řezníček
  • Function : Author
Caroline Bouchard
  • Function : Author
Agathe Charbogne
  • Function : Author
Fabienne Baumgartner
  • Function : Author
Sarah Maes
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Climate change is rapidly modifying marine fish assemblages in the Arctic. As fish eggs and larvae have a narrower thermal tolerance than nonreproductive adults, their response to increasing temperatures is likely one of the main drivers of these changes. In this study, we described ichthyoplankton assemblages in West Greenland between 62 and 73 °N, during summers 2017–2019, and investigated the relationship between sea surface temperature in the spring and summer and the survival of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida (Lepechin, 1774)) early life stages over the hatching season. Warm years were associated with partial recruitment failures resulting from thermal stress to the eggs and larvae hatched late in the season. Using past environmental conditions, we forecasted an imminent decline in Arctic cod recruitment in the regions of Uummannaq and Disko Bay. Observations from fjords suggested that glacial meltwater could create a subsurface thermal refuge allowing Arctic cod larvae to survive despite very high summer sea surface temperature (ca. 10 °C). As the Greenland ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented speed, the mechanism underlying the “glacial meltwater summer refuge hypothesis” could curb some of the negative effects of ocean warming on the survival of young Arctic cod in West Greenland and other Arctic fjord systems.
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hal-03663191 , version 1 (10-05-2022)

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Tomáš Bodnár, Philippe Fraunié, Petr Knobloch, Hynek Řezníček, Caroline Bouchard, et al.. West Greenland ichthyoplankton and how melting glaciers could allow Arctic cod larvae to survive extreme summer temperatures. Arctic Science, 2021, 7 (1), pp.217-239. ⟨10.1139/as-2020-0019⟩. ⟨hal-03663191⟩
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