Sunday, January 13, 2008

Greenhouse ocean may downsize fish risking one of world's most productive fisheries

The Bering Sea, one of the world's most active fishing grounds, is changing according to this story in Science Daily: ... The Bering Sea is highly productive thanks mainly to diatoms, a large type of phytoplankton. "Because they're large, diatoms are eaten by large zooplankton, which are then eaten by large fish," Hutchins explained.

The scientists found that greenhouse conditions favored smaller types of phytoplankton over diatoms. Such a shift would ripple up the food chain: as diatoms become scarce, animals that eat diatoms would become scarce, and so forth. "The food chain seems to be changing in a way that is not supporting these top predators, of which, of course, we're the biggest," Hutchins said.

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