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Disentangling Conditional Effects of Multiple Regime Shifts on Atlantic Cod Productivity
  • Tommi Perälä,
  • Jeffrey Hutchings,
  • Esben Olsen
Tommi Perälä
University of Jyvaskyla
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Jeffrey Hutchings
Dalhousie University
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Esben Olsen
Institute of Marine Research
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Abstract

Regime shifts are increasingly prevalent in the ecological literature. However, definitions vary, and many detection methods are subjective. Here, we employ an operationally objective means of identifying regime shifts, using a Bayesian online change-point detection algorithm able to simultaneously identify shifts in the mean and(or) variance of time series data. We detected multiple regime shifts in long-term (59-154 years) patterns of coastal Norwegian Atlantic cod (>70% decline) and putative drivers of cod productivity: North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO); sea-surface temperature; zooplankton abundance; fishing mortality (F). The consequences of an environmental or climate-related regime shift on cod productivity are accentuated when regime shifts coincide, fishing mortality is high, and populations are small. The analyses suggest that increasing F increasingly sensitized cod in the mid 1970s and late 1990s to regime shifts in NAO, zooplankton abundance, and water temperature. Our work underscores the necessity of accounting for human-induced mortality in RS analyses of marine ecosystems.