Stable oxygen isotope reconstruction of temperature exposure of the Icelandic cod (Gadus morhua) stock over the last 100 years
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionICES Journal of Marine Science. 2020, 77 (3), 942-952. 10.1093/icesjms/fsaa011
Increasing water temperatures are predicted around the globe, with high amplitudes of warming in Subarctic and Arctic regions where Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) populations currently flourish. We reconstructed oxygen isotope and temperature chronologies from Icelandic cod otoliths, one of the largest cod stocks in the world, to determine if cod moved or migrated over the last 100 years to avoid increasing water temperatures. For δ18Ootolith analysis, individual annual growth increments from immature and mature life history stages were micromilled from adult otoliths, which were collected in southern Iceland. Linear mixed-effect models confirmed that stable oxygen isotope time series of immature and mature cod differ significantly between both life stages (p < 0.001). Overall, cod otolith δ18O was significantly correlated with water temperature (sea surface temperature: p < 0.001, temperature at 200 m depth: p < 0.01), indicating that Atlantic cod were exposed to fluctuating water temperatures during the past 100 years and did not move as a response to increasing ocean temperatures. All of the alternate physical factors that were considered for the isotope-based variation in the temperature exposure of Icelandic cod were rejected.