Antarctic Science

Opinion

Paradigm misplaced? Antarctic marine ecosystems are affected by climate change as well as biological processes and harvesting

Stephen Nicola1 c1, John Croxalla2 p1, Phil Trathana2, Nick Galesa1 and Eugene Murphya2

a1 Australian Antarctic Division, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Channel Highway, Kingston, TAS 7050, Australia

a2 BioSciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK

Abstract

A recent review by Ainley et al. has suggested that recent investigations of the ecological structure and processes of the Southern Ocean have “almost exclusively taken a bottom-up, forcing-by-physical-processes approach relating individual species' population trends to climate change”. We examine this suggestion and conclude that, in fact, there has been considerable research effort into ecosystem interactions over the last 25 years, particularly through research associated with management of the living resources of the Southern Ocean. Future Southern Ocean research will make progress only when integrated studies are planned around well structured hypotheses that incorporate both the physical and biological drivers of ecosystem processes.

(Received January 09 2007)

(Accepted March 26 2007)

(Online publication July 13 2007)

Correspondence:

c1 steve.nicol@aad.gov.au

p1 current address BirdLife International Global Seabird Programme, Welbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge CB3 0NA, UK

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