Theme: Global change
The oceans are a critical global resource that are changing. This change is both natural but also, in recent times, has become anthropogenically driven. Work across marine sciences at Glasgow looks at means to study global change by monitoring calcifying marine ecosystems (e.g. corals), the effects of change on coastal erosion, and the vulnerability of fish stocks to changing temperatures.
Climate proxies: Biology of calcifying organisms
The Kamenos lab explores questions about how the oceans are altered by the synergy between natural and anthropogenic change while trying to better determine the actual extent of global change.
Marine biodiversity, energy cascades, climate control and global biogeochemical cycles are all resources / services that oceans provide, and are investigated in two broad disciplines:
- Understanding the relationships between global change (e.g. climate variability, ocean acidification & multiple stressors) and calcifying marine ecosystems (e.g. corals and coralline algae) along with the services these ecosystems provide, and
- Developing climatic and ecological proxies for the Holocene (our present geological epoch).
These research areas are strongly interdisciplinary including many biological, geological and chemical techniques, with research in temperate, tropical and polar areas using SCUBA as well as in the Marine Mesocosm Facility (below).
This facility has 128 remotely monitored mesocosms for exploring the impacts of CO2-associated global change on marine biotic and geochemical systems. In particular, we can investigate the responses of marine systems to multiple stressors (any combination of temperature, ocean acidification, hypoxia, light and salinity) and calibrate / validate palaeoenvironmental proxies.
- Kamenos, N. A., Burdett, H. L., Aloisi, E., Findlay, H. S., Martin, S., Longbone, C., Dunn, J., Widdicombe, S., and Calosi, P. (2013)Coralline algal structure is more sensitive to rate, rather than the magnitude, of ocean acidification. Global Change Biology, 19 (12). pp. 3621-3628. ISSN 1354-1013 (doi:10.1111/gcb.12351)
- Kamenos, N.A. (2010) North Atlantic summers have warmed more than winters since 1353 and the response of marine zooplankton.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (52). pp. 22442-22447. ISSN 0027-8424(doi:10.1073/pnas.1006141107 )
Vulnerability of coasts to erosion
Glasgow researchers recently completed a project on how iceberg scouring shapes communities of marine scavengers. As scouring is expected to intensify and then reduce with global climate change, this work reveals how this system is likely to change in the future. Antarctic animals are thought to be particularly vulnerable to even small changes in temperature.
- Dunlop, K. M., Barnes, D. K.A., and Bailey, D. M. (2014) Variation of scavenger richness and abundance between sites of high and low iceberg scour frequency in Ryder Bay, west Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology, 37 (12). pp. 1741-1754. ISSN 0722-4060 (doi:10.1007/s00300-014-1558-y)
- Peck, L.S., Webb, K.E., and Bailey, D.M. (2004) Extreme sensitivity of biological function to temperature in Antarctic marine species. Functional Ecology, 18 (5). pp. 625-630. ISSN 0269-8463(doi:10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00903.x)
Effects of climate change of fish stocks
We attempt to make a positive difference with our research by collaborating with policy advisors in government, industry and NGOs. We are partners in the Scottish Government’s ClimateXChange network. Through this we are working on projects to assess the vulnerability of fish stocks through climate effects on their habitats. We are also helping develop Marine Protected Area policies that can take climate change into account.
Finally, we are involved in EU COST Action FA1004 Conservation Physiology of Marine Fishes, a collaboration of researchers across Europe, with an aim to identify how physiological mechanisms can be incorporated into models for predicting the response of fish populations to climate change.
- Cooke, S. J., Killen, S. S., Metcalfe, J. D., McKenzie, D. J., Mouillot, D., Jorgensen, C., and Peck, M. A. (2014) Conservation physiology across scales: insights from the marine realm. Conservation Physiology, 2 (1). cou024. ISSN 2051-1434 (doi:10.1093/conphys/cou024)
- Ryan, M.R., Killen, S.S., Gregory, R.S., and Snelgrove, P.V.R. (2012)Predators and distance between habitat patches modify gap crossing behaviour of juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua, L. 1758). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 422 . pp. 81-87. ISSN 0022-0981 (doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2012.04.017)