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Demersal fish biomass declines with temperature across productive shelf seas
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  • Daniël van Denderen,
  • Aurore Maureaud,
  • Ken Andersen,
  • Sarah Gaichas,
  • Martin Lindegren,
  • Colleen Petrik,
  • Charles Stock,
  • Jeremy Collie
Daniël van Denderen
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet Institut for Akvatiske Ressourcer

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Aurore Maureaud
Rutgers College
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Ken Andersen
Technical University of Denmark
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Sarah Gaichas
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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Martin Lindegren
Technical University of Denmark
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Colleen Petrik
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Charles Stock
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Jeremy Collie
University of Rhode Island
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Fish community biomass is generally thought to decline with increasing temperature due to higher metabolic losses resulting in less efficient energy transfer in warm-water food webs. However, whether these metabolic predictions explain observed macroecological patterns in fish community biomass is virtually unknown. Here we test these predictions by examining the variation in demersal fish biomass across 21 productive shelf regions using high-resolution monitoring data from the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific. We find that biomass per km2 varies 40-fold across regions and is highest in cold waters and areas with low fishing exploitation. We find no evidence that temperature change has impacted biomass within marine regions over time. Yet, the cross-regional patterns suggest that long-term impacts of warming will be negative on biomass. These results provide an empirical basis for predicting future changes in fish community biomass and its associated services for human wellbeing i.e., food provisioning, under global warming.