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

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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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03663191
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 11:28:10 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 3:40:36 AM

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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, NRC Research Press 2021, 7 (1), pp.217-239. ⟨10.1139/as-2020-0019⟩. ⟨hal-03663191⟩

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