Scientia Marina, Forthcoming Articles

Investigation of spatiotemporal patterns in mean temperature and mean trophic level of MEDITS survey catches in the Mediterranean Sea


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04835.12A

Panagiota Peristeraki
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters - University of Crete, Biology Department, Greece
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8608-078X

Isabella Bitetto
COISPA Tecnologia and Ricerca, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8497-1642

Pierluigi Carbonara
COISPA Tecnologia and Ricerca, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2529-2535

Roberto Carlucci
Department of Biology University of Bari, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9287-6936

Gregoire Certain
Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer, Departement Ressource Biologique et Environnement, Laboratoire Halieutique Méditerranée, UMR, France
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5242-5268

Francesco De Carlo
Aplysia soc. coop. r.l., Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3421-5395

Michele Gristina
Institute for Coastal Marine Environment (IAMC), National Research Council (CNR), Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3639-7655

Nikos Kamidis
HAO-Demeter, Fisheries Research Institute, Greece
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6191-3298

Paola Pesci
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9066-8076

Marco Stagioni
Marine Biology and Fisheries Lab Dept. Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA) Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8819-0413

María Valls
Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Baleares, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9070-8181

George Tserpes
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9052-4091

Abstract


Mean temperature (MTC) and mean trophic level (MTL) spatiotemporal patterns of MEDITS survey catches were examined in 13 geographic statistical areas (GSAs) of the Mediterranean between 1994 and 2016. The study aimed to detect changes in the demersal community structure related to anthropogenic impacts. A generalized additive modelling approach was used to examine the effects of year and GSA on the MTC and MTL indexes and on bottom temperature by haul. For the MTC index, the year was significant only in 4 GSAs, while for MTL it was significant in 5. Higher MTC values were observed in central and eastern areas. Bottom temperature increased after 2010, and also from west to east and from north to south. Our results indicate that the recently observed increase in bottom sea temperature has not resulted in an immediate response by demersal marine communities, but areas with higher warming rates or shallow depths were found to be more susceptible to sea warming. For MTL, decreasing trends were observed in only 2 GSAs, while the temporal trends observed in 5 GSAs may have reflected changes in fishing activity patterns. However, higher MTL values were observed in GSAs with generally higher exploitation rates, indicating that factors other than fishing play an important structuring role in marine communities. The present results indicate differences among Mediterranean subareas in regard to changes in the community structure attributed to environmental conditions and exploitation patterns and have implications for the ecology and dynamics of the stocks.

Keywords


mean temperature of the catch; trophic level; bottom temperature; trends; Mediterranean; fishing pressure; sea warming; climate change

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