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Closed Access item Nile damming as plausible cause of extinction and drop in abundance of deep-sea shrimp in the western Mediterranean over broad spatial scales

Authors:Cartes, Joan Enric
Maynou, Francesc
Fanelli, Emanuela
Issue Date:Nov-2011
Publisher:Elsevier
Citation:Progress in Oceanography 91(3): 286–294 (2011)
Abstract:Greatly increased retention of flow in Nile River reservoirs was initiated in 1964, after completion of the Aswan High Dam, which induced important oceanographic changes in the Mediterranean Sea, including deep waters (below a depth of 150 m). Based on an analysis of data series starting in the 1940s/1950s, the giant red shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea has become locally extinct off of the Catalonian coasts (and elsewhere in the northwestern Mediterranean) at depths of 400–900 m, with a simultaneous and significant drop in the catches of red shrimp, Aristeus antennatus, in the second half of the 1960s. The extinction and sharp decline of deep-shrimp populations off Catalonian coast (at ca. 3200 km westwards from Nile Delta) followed the 1964 drop in Nile discharge with a delay of ca. 3–5 yrs (breakpoint analysis applied to data series). The breakpoints detected in the second half of 1960s both in Nile runoff and shrimps’ abundance were independent of climatic events in the study area (e.g. changes in NAO) and occurred before the increase in fishing effort off Catalonian coasts (breakpoint in 1973–1974). The Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW), inhabited by A. foliacea in the western Basin, had significant temperature (T) and salinity (S) increases in the 1950–1970 period, and Nile damming has contributed about 45% of the total S increase of Western Mediterranean deep-water masses from the 1960s to the late 1990s (Skliris and Lascaratos, 2004). This had to increase, for instance, LIW salinity at its formation site in the eastern Mediterranean. Nile damming was probably a triggering factor for the extinction/drop in abundance of deepsea shrimp off Catalonian coasts.
Description:9 pages, 4 figures, 2 tables
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2011.01.004
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/47216
ISSN:0079-6611
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos

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