NANO alumni publication: Rising temperature and marine plankton community dynamics: Is warming bad?

NANO Alumni Subrata Sarker  and Atul Kumar Yadav and colleagues published the following article in the Ecological Complexity journal

Rising temperature and marine plankton community dynamics: Is warming bad?

Sarker et al. (2020) Ecological Complexity, DOI 10.1016/j.ecocom.2020.100857



Global warming is a major threat to the natural environment worldwide with potential adverse impact on plankton community. This will ultimately lead to a change in the dynamics of aquatic food webs. In this study we used seasonally forced multi-species version of the classic Rosenzweig–MacArthur predator–prey model to understand the role and stochastic influence of increasing temperature on marine plankton. First, stable coexistence of four phytoplankton and three zooplankton species was created in a system and then the level of temperature changed to achieve our research goal. We found that the stable coexistence of phytoplankton and zooplankton was related to periodic shifts in species biomass, variation in inter-specific competition and niche configuration. Warming significantly reduced total plankton biomass and changed turnover time of a species, with gradual warming breaking the stable coexistence of phytoplankton and zooplankton. In addition, we found that warming make specialist species more vulnerable than generalist species. After adding noise, a significant variation was observed in plankton biomass and amplification of noise was higher for phytoplankton compared to zooplankton. These results suggest that stochastic or unpredictable nature of temperature fluctuations may create a window of opportunity for the emergence of new species. Overall, warming would induce a shift in plankton dynamics and thereby exert pressure on plankton dependent communities such as fish in the long run.



  • Population
  • Temperature rise
  • Diversity
  • Stochastic
  • Tropical aquatic system

Link for the publication here

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