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Free Content Climate Variation, Regime Shifts, and Implications for Sustainable Fisheries

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The term ecosystem regime shift refers to low frequency, high amplitude variation in marine ecosystems involving changes in community composition, species abundances, and trophic structure. Changes occur in the abundance of both exploited and unexploited populations. Temporally coherent changes often occur in other spatially separated ecosystems. Ecosystem regime shifts are thought to be a response to shifts in the ocean and atmosphere climate and hence are relatively coherent with climate changes. However, the mechanisms responsible for ecosystem regime shifts are not well established. Changes in energy flow from the base of the ecosystem is frequently thought to be responsible, but in some cases climate-induced changes in apex predators also result in top-down responses. For example, regime shifts appeared to have occurred in the North Pacific in 1977 and 1989.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2005

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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