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North Sea ecosystem change from swimming crabs to seagulls
Luczak, C.; Beaugrand, G.; Lindley, J.A.; Dewarumez, J.-M.; Dubois, P.J.; Kirby, R.R. (2012). North Sea ecosystem change from swimming crabs to seagulls. Biol. Lett. 8: 4 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1098/rsbl.2012.0474
In: Biology Letters. Royal Society Publishing: London. ISSN 1744-9561, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Larus fuscus graellsii Brehm, 1857 [WoRMS]; Polybius henslowii Leach, 1820 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    climate change food web Larus fuscus graelsii plankton Polybius henslowii sea temperature

Authors  Top 
  • Luczak, C.
  • Beaugrand, G.
  • Lindley, J.A., more
  • Dewarumez, J.-M., more
  • Dubois, P.J.
  • Kirby, R.R.

Abstract
    A recent increase in sea temperature has established a new ecosystem dynamic regime in the North Sea. Climate-induced changes in decapods have played an important role. Here, we reveal a coincident increase in the abundance of swimming crabs and lesser black-backed gull colonies in the North Sea, both in time and in space. Swimming crabs are an important food source for lesser black-backed gulls during the breeding season. Inhabiting the land, but feeding mainly at sea, lesser black-backed gulls provide a link between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, since the bottom-up influence of allochthonous nutrient input from seabirds to coastal soils can structure the terrestrial food web. We, therefore, suggest that climate-driven changes in trophic interactions in the marine food web may also have ensuing ramifications for the coastal ecology of the North Sea.

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