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Hypoxia in the spotlight

Connecting the dots: In the lead-up to the 2015 Annual Science Conference, discover this year's theme sessions and how they relate to ICES ongoing work. This time, theme session R
Published: 31 July 2015

​​​​​​​​​​​Theme Session R

Causes and consequences of hypoxia

Conveners: Karin E. Limburg (USA ), Valerio Bartolino (Sweden), Benjamin Walther (USA)

24 September 17.00 – 18.30; 25 September 09.00 – 13.00; ​25 September 14.00 – 16.00

Theme session R will explore the effects and implications of hypoxia ​(such as dead zones) for coastal and marine ecosystems.

Oxygen-depleted waters have become a worldwide problem for the management of and conservation of these ecosystems, with a decline in suitable habitats for many fish populations affecting their distribution, survival and growth. Effects on fish and fisheries have typically been difficult to observe and thus quantify. Only recently have tools such as otolith markers and in situ observation systems been acquired to describe the consequences of hypoxia on population, system production and fisheries.

The theme session will be broken up into sub-sessions, with the presentations in each reflecting a common theme. Eight invitees, experts in the field of hypoxia, will give 20-minute long presentations, two per sub-session.

A fifth session on the Friday afternoon will include a discussion at the end to raise the idea of forming a Research Coordination Network (HypoxiNet).

The content of theme session R has key links with several ICES expert groups and initiatives.​​​​​​​

Links to steering groups

The Steering Group on Ecosystem Pressures and Impacts (SSGEPI)

Links to strategic initiatives

ICES-PICES Strategic Initiative on Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

Links to expert groups

Given that hypoxia most often occurs through human activity such as nutrient pollution, working groups whose remit covers pollution in and chemical composition of the marine environment are all relevant, such as the Marine Chemistry Working Group (MCWG), the Working Group on Marine Sediments in Relation to Pollution (WGMS), the Working Group on Biological Effects of Contaminants (WGBEC), and the ICES - IOC Working Group on Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics (WGHABD).

Also connected are groups that study human stressors like the Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) and the ICES/IOC/IMO Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors (WGBOSV).

Also related are groups looking at climate change science, ecosystem dynamics and trophic interactions – the Working Group on Integrative, Physical-biological and Ecosystem Modelling (WGPIEM), the Benthos Ecology Working Group (BEWG), and the Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish, their Ecosystems and Climate Impact (WGSPEC), for example.

Other groups include those working with demersal fish and fisheries such as the Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal Stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak (WGNSSK) and the North-Western Working Group (NWWG).

Links to other theme sessions

Theme session G – Managing marine ecosystem services in a changing climate (Co-sponsored by PICES)

Theme session H – Ocean acidification: Understanding chemical, biological and biochemical responses in marine ecosystems (Co-sponsored by PICES)

Theme session P – How to hit an uncertain, moving target: achieving Good Environmental Status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive  ​

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​Photo: David Burdick, NOAA photo library

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Hypoxia in the spotlight

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