Publications

Export 3 results:
Sort by: Author Title Type [ Year  (Desc)]
2019
Dayton, PK, Jarrell SC, Kim S, Parnell PE, Thrush SF, Hammerstrom K, Leichter JJ.  2019.  Benthic responses to an Antarctic regime shift: food particle size and recruitment biology. Ecological Applications. 29   10.1002/eap.1823   AbstractWebsite

Polar ecosystems are bellwether indicators of climate change and offer insights into ecological resilience. In this study, we describe contrasting responses to an apparent regime shift of two very different benthic communities in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. We compared species-specific patterns of benthic invertebrate abundance and size between the west (low productivity) and east (higher productivity) sides of McMurdo Sound across multiple decades (1960s-2010) to depths of 60 m. We present possible factors associated with the observed changes. A massive and unprecedented shift in sponge recruitment and growth on artificial substrata observed between the 1980s and 2010 contrasts with lack of dramatic sponge settlement and growth on natural substrata, emphasizing poorly understood sponge recruitment biology. We present observations of changes in populations of sponges, bryozoans, bivalves, and deposit-feeding invertebrates in the natural communities on both sides of the sound. Scientific data for Antarctic benthic ecosystems are scant, but we gather multiple lines of evidence to examine possible processes in regional-scale oceanography during the eight years in which the sea ice did not clear out of the southern portion of McMurdo Sound. We suggest that large icebergs blocked currents and advected plankton, allowed thicker multi-year ice, and reduced light to the benthos. This, in addition to a possible increase in iron released from rapidly melting glaciers, fundamentally shifted the quantity and quality of primary production in McMurdo Sound. A hypothesized shift from large to small food particles is consistent with increased recruitment and growth of sponges on artificial substrata, filter-feeding polychaetes, and some bryozoans, as well as reduced populations of bivalves and crinoids that favor large particles, and echinoderms Sterechinus neumayeri and Odontaster validus that predominantly feed on benthic diatoms and large phytoplankton mats that drape the seafloor after spring blooms. This response of different guilds of filter feeders to a hypothesized shift from large to small phytoplankton points to the enormous need for and potential value of holistic monitoring programs, particularly in pristine ecosystems, that could yield both fundamental ecological insights and knowledge that can be applied to critical conservation concerns as climate change continues.

2016
Abrams, PA, Ainley DG, Blight LK, Dayton PK, Eastman JT, Jacquet JL.  2016.  Necessary elements of precautionary management: implications for the Antarctic toothfish. Fish and Fisheries. 17:1152-1174.   10.1111/faf.12162   AbstractWebsite

We review the precautionary approach to fisheries management, propose a framework that will allow a systematic assessment of insufficient precaution and provide an illustration using an Antarctic fishery. For a single-species fishery, our framework includes five attributes: (1) limit reference points that recognize gaps in our understanding of the dynamics of the species; (2) accurate measures of population size; (3) ability to detect population changes quickly enough to arrest unwanted declines; (4) adequate understanding of ecosystem dynamics to avoid adverse indirect effects; and (5) assessment of the first four elements by a sufficiently impartial group of scientists. We argue that one or more of these elements frequently fail to be present in the management of many fisheries. Structural uncertainties, which characterize almost all fisheries models, call for higher limit points than those commonly used. A detailed look into the five elements and associated uncertainties is presented for the fishery on the Antarctic toothfish in the Ross Sea (FAO/CCAMLR Area 88.1, 88.2), for which management was recently described as highly precautionary'. In spite of having features that make the Ross Sea fishery ideal for the application of the precautionary approach, gaps in our knowledge and failure to acknowledge these gaps mean that current regulation falls short of being sufficiently precautionary. We propose some possible remedies.

2006
Gili, JM, Arntz WE, Palanques A, Orejas C, Clarke A, Dayton PK, Isla E, Teixido N, Rossi S, Lopez-Gonzalez PJ.  2006.  A unique assemblage of epibenthic sessile suspension feeders with archaic features in the high-Antarctic. Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography. 53:1029-1052.   10.1016/j.dsr2.2005.10.021   AbstractWebsite

We suggest that the epibenthic communities of passive suspension feeders that dominate some high-Antarctic seafloors present unique archaic features that are the result of long isolation, together with the effects of environmental features including reduced terrestrial runoff and favourable feeding conditions. These features probably originated during the Late Cretaceous, when the high-Antarctic environment started to become different from the surrounding oceans. Modern Antarctic communities are thus composed of a mixture of Palaeozoic elements, taxa that migrated from the deep ocean during interglacial periods, and a component of fauna that evolved from common Gondwana Cretaceous ancestors. We explore this hypothesis by revisiting the palaeoecological history of Antarctic marine benthic communities and exploring the abiotic and biotic factors involved in their evolution, including changes in oceanic circulation and production, plankton communities, the development of glaciation, restricted sedimentation, isolation, life histories, and the lack of large predators. The conditions favouring the retention of apparently archaic features in the Antarctic marine fauna remain to be fully elucidated, but high-Antarctic communities are clearly unique and deserve special conservation. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.