Climate change is resulting in the earlier arrival of spring conditions in many ecosystems around the world. Rebecca Asch, Nereus Fellow (Princeton), gave a lecture at Wellesley College, USA, on November 13 entitled “Climate Change and Seasonality in the Oceans: How will Changing Seasonal Cycles Affect Marine Food Webs?” This was an invited talk sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences.
Asch presented data from a 60-year time series that shows that warming of the sea surface is associated with earlier reproduction of several fish species in the southern California Current. Asch then discussed research funded by the Nereus Program, which projects how future ocean warming will globally affect the spawning times of fishes and the timing of phytoplankton blooms. The divergence between these seasonal events has the potential to alter marine food webs and decrease the survival rates of fishes during their life history stages.