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Temporal change in UK marine communities: trends or regime shifts?

Temporal change in UK marine communities: trends or regime shifts?
Temporal change in UK marine communities: trends or regime shifts?
A regime shift is a large, sudden, and long-lasting change in the dynamics of an ecosystem, affecting multiple trophic levels. There are a growing number of papers that report regime shifts in marine ecosystems. However, the evidence for regime shifts is equivocal, because the methods used to detect them are not yet well developed. We have collated over 300 biological time series from seven marine regions around the UK, covering the ecosystem from phytoplankton to marine mammals. Each time series consists of annual measures of abundance for a single group of organisms over several decades. We summarised the data for each region using the first principal component, weighting either each time series or each biological component (e.g. plankton, fish, benthos) equally. We then searched for regime shifts using Rodionov’s regime shift detection (RSD) method, which found regime shifts in the first principal component for all seven marine regions. However, there are consistent temporal trends in the data for six of the seven regions. Such trends violate the assumptions of RSD. Thus, the regime shifts detected by RSD in six of the seven regions are likely to be artefacts caused by temporal trends. We are therefore developing more appropriate time series models for both single populations and whole communities that will explicitly model temporal trends and should increase our ability to detect true regime shift events.
Abundance, population trends, principal components, regime shift detection, regime shifts, time series, UK marine ecosystems
0173-9565
10-24
Spencer, M.
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Birchenough, S.N.R.
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Mieszkowska, N.
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Robinson, L.A.
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Simpson, S.D.
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Burrows, M.T.
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Capasso, E.
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Cleall-Harding, P.
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Crummy, J.
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Duck, C.
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Eloire, D.
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Frost, M.
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Hall, A.J.
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Hawkins, S.J.
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Johns, D.G.
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Sims, D.W.
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Smyth, T.J.
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Frid, C.L.J.
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Spencer, M.
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Birchenough, S.N.R.
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Mieszkowska, N.
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Robinson, L.A.
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Simpson, S.D.
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Burrows, M.T.
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Capasso, E.
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Cleall-Harding, P.
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Crummy, J.
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Duck, C.
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Eloire, D.
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Frost, M.
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Hall, A.J.
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Hawkins, S.J.
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Johns, D.G.
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Sims, D.W.
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Smyth, T.J.
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Frid, C.L.J.
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Spencer, M., Birchenough, S.N.R., Mieszkowska, N., Robinson, L.A., Simpson, S.D., Burrows, M.T., Capasso, E., Cleall-Harding, P., Crummy, J., Duck, C., Eloire, D., Frost, M., Hall, A.J., Hawkins, S.J., Johns, D.G., Sims, D.W., Smyth, T.J. and Frid, C.L.J. (2011) Temporal change in UK marine communities: trends or regime shifts? Marine Ecology, 32 (Suppl. S1), 10-24. (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.2010.00422.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A regime shift is a large, sudden, and long-lasting change in the dynamics of an ecosystem, affecting multiple trophic levels. There are a growing number of papers that report regime shifts in marine ecosystems. However, the evidence for regime shifts is equivocal, because the methods used to detect them are not yet well developed. We have collated over 300 biological time series from seven marine regions around the UK, covering the ecosystem from phytoplankton to marine mammals. Each time series consists of annual measures of abundance for a single group of organisms over several decades. We summarised the data for each region using the first principal component, weighting either each time series or each biological component (e.g. plankton, fish, benthos) equally. We then searched for regime shifts using Rodionov’s regime shift detection (RSD) method, which found regime shifts in the first principal component for all seven marine regions. However, there are consistent temporal trends in the data for six of the seven regions. Such trends violate the assumptions of RSD. Thus, the regime shifts detected by RSD in six of the seven regions are likely to be artefacts caused by temporal trends. We are therefore developing more appropriate time series models for both single populations and whole communities that will explicitly model temporal trends and should increase our ability to detect true regime shift events.

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Published date: April 2011
Keywords: Abundance, population trends, principal components, regime shift detection, regime shifts, time series, UK marine ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 187745
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/187745
ISSN: 0173-9565
PURE UUID: 7757a3f4-2e9c-4f8c-8756-979d64af660e

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Date deposited: 18 May 2011 09:21
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 20:54

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Contributors

Author: M. Spencer
Author: S.N.R. Birchenough
Author: N. Mieszkowska
Author: L.A. Robinson
Author: S.D. Simpson
Author: M.T. Burrows
Author: E. Capasso
Author: P. Cleall-Harding
Author: J. Crummy
Author: C. Duck
Author: D. Eloire
Author: M. Frost
Author: A.J. Hall
Author: S.J. Hawkins
Author: D.G. Johns
Author: D.W. Sims
Author: T.J. Smyth
Author: C.L.J. Frid

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