Marine food webs found to be susceptible to climate change—10 January 2018 

A new study by Australian Research Council (ARC) researchers at The University of Adelaide demonstrates how climate change can drive the collapse of marine food webs by restricting energy flows between producers, herbivores, and carnivores.

Lead author Hadayet Ullah and supervisors Professor Ivan Nagelkerken and Associate Professor Damien Fordham of The University of Adelaide, who are both recipients of ARC Future Fellowships, show that increased temperatures reduce the vital flow of energy from the primary producers at the bottom, to intermediate consumers, to predators at the top of marine food webs.

Such disturbances in energy transfer can potentially lead to a decrease in food availability for top predators, which in turn, can lead to negative impacts for many marine species within these food webs.

The research is published in the open access journal PLOS Biology.

Media issued by The University of Adelaide.


Image: Reduced energy flow means that the amount of food available for predators -- such as fishes -- at the top of food webs is reduced, with potential consequences for fisheries species.
Credit: Lance Anderson, Unsplash

Original Published Date: 
Thursday, January 11, 2018