Small pelagic fish in the new millennium: A bottom-up view of global research effort
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Small pelagic fish in the new millennium: A bottom-up view of global research effort

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  • Journal Title:
    Progress in Oceanography
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    Small pelagic fish (SPF) play extremely important ecological roles in marine ecosystems, form some of the most economically valuable fisheries resources, and play a vital role in global food security. Due to their short generation times and tight coupling to lower trophic levels, populations of SPF display large boom-and-bust dynamics that are closely linked to climate variability. To reveal emerging global research trends on SPF as opposed to more recently published, ecosystem-specific reviews of SPF, we reviewed the literature published in two, 6-year periods in the new millennium (2001–2006, and 2011–2016) straddling the publication of a large, global review of the dynamics of SPF in 2009. We explored intrinsic and extrinsic (bottom-up) factors influencing the dynamics of SPF such as anchovies, sardines, herrings and sprats within the sub-order Clupeidae. Published research efforts within 16 different biogeographic ocean regions were compiled (more than 900 studies) and compared to identify i) new milestones and advances in our understanding, ii) emerging research trends and iii) remaining gaps in knowledge. Studies were separated into 5 categories (field, laboratory, mesocosms, long-term statistical analyses and spatially-explicit modelling) and discussed in relation to 10 bottom-up categories including 5 abiotic factors (temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, density), 3 physical processes (advection, turbulence, turbidity) and 2 biotic factors (prey quantity and quality). The peer-reviewed literature reflects changes in the number of studies between the two time periods including increases (Mediterranean Sea, Humboldt Current) and decreases (Australia, Benguela Current). Our review highlights i) gaps in ecological knowledge on young juveniles and, in general, on the impacts of hypoxia and heatwaves on SPF, ii) the utility of paleo studies in exploring population drivers, iii) the continued need to develop spatially-explicit, full life-cycle models, iv) the importance of exploring how density-dependent processes impact vital rates (growth, survival, reproduction), and v) the benefits of international collaboration for knowledge transfer and building unifying hypotheses on the role of bottom-up factors and processes that regulate SPF populations.
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    Progress in Oceanography, 191
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    CC BY
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