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Climate Change Drives Collapse in Marine Food Webs

A new study has found that levels of commercial fish stocks could be harmed as rising sea temperatures affect their source of food.

University of Adelaide scientists have demonstrated how climate change can drive the collapse of marine “food webs”.

Published in the open access journal PLOS Biology, the study’s lead author PhD student, Hadayet Ullah and supervisors Professor Ivan Nagelkerken and Associate Professor Damien Fordham of the University’s Environment Institute, show that increased temperatures reduce the vital flow of energy from the primary food producers at the bottom (e.g. algae), to intermediate consumers (herbivores), to predators at the top of marine food webs.

Such disturbances in energy transfer can potentially lead to a decrease in food availability for top predators, which in turn, can lead to negative impacts for many marine species within these food webs.

Read more at University of Adelaide

Image: Reduced energy flow means that the amount of food available for predators -- such as fishes -- at the top of food webs is reduced, with potential consequences for fisheries species. (Credit: Lance Anderson, Unsplash)


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