Temperature exposure in cod driven by changes in abundance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 2022, 79 (4), 587-600. 10.1139/cjfas-2020-0424
Animals actively select the most suitable habitat in terms of fitness, much of which is mediated by temperature. We reconstructed population abundance, oxygen isotope and temperature chronologies for the Icelandic and the Northeast Arctic (NEA) cod (Gadus morhua) populations to determine if their temperature selectivity over the last 100 years was driven by rising water temperatures and (or) changes in abundance. Individual annual growth increments from immature and mature life history stages of cod collected in southern Iceland and the Lofoten area (Norway) were micromilled from adult otoliths and then assayed for stable oxygen isotopes (δ18Ootolith). Linear mixed effect models were used to identify and quantify the density-dependent temperature exposure of both cod populations. The results indicated that Icelandic cod migrated into warmer waters with increasing abundance (p < 0.05), whereas NEA cod moved into colder waters (p < 0.001). Our results suggest that thermal preferences and density-dependent effects can be used to forecast potential redistribution scenarios of fish as oceans warm.