New publication: The effects of oil spills on marine fish: Implications of spatial variation in natural mortality

Ø. Langangen*, E. Olsen, L.C. Stige*, J. Ohlberger*, N.A. Yaragina, F.B. Vikebø, B. Bogstad, N.C. Stenseth*, and D.Ø. Hjermann* in Marine Pollution Bulletin. Open access.


The effects of oil spills on marine biological systems are of great concern, especially in regions with high biological production of harvested resources such as in the Northeastern Atlantic. The scientific studies of the impact of oil spills on fish stocks tend to ignore that spatial patterns of natural mortality may influence the magnitude of the impact over time. Here, we first illustrate how spatial variation in natural mortality may affect the population impact by considering a thought experiment. Second, we consider an empirically based example of Northeast Arctic cod to extend the concept to a realistic setting. Finally, we present a scenario-based investigation of how the degree of spatial variation in natural mortality affects the impact over a gradient of oil spill sizes. Including the effects of spatial variations in natural mortality tends to widen the impact distribution, hence increasing the probability of both high and low impact events.

Article in press. Available online 4 April 2017.
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.03.037
Publication webpage.

* Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, UiO
See the publication webpage for full author information.


Tags: Marine Pollution Bulletin;
Published Apr. 5, 2017 10:54 AM - Last modified Apr. 20, 2017 11:30 AM