We conducted a literature review of reported temperature, salinity, pH, depth and oxygen preferences and thresholds of important marine species found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Scotian Shelf region. We classified 54 identified fishes and macroinvertebrates as important either because they support a commercial fishery, have threatened or at risk status, or meet one of the following criteria: bycatch, baitfish, invasive, vagrant, important for ecosystem energy transfer, or predators or prey of the above species. The compiled data allow an assessment of species-level impacts including physiological stress and mortality given predictions of future ocean physical and biogeochemical conditions. If an observed, multi-decadal oxygen trend on the central Scotian Shelf continues, a number of species will lose favorable oxygen conditions, experience oxygen-stress, or disappear due to insufficient oxygen in the coming half-century. Projected regional trends and natural variability are both large, and natural variability will act to alternately amplify and dampen anthropogenic changes. When estimates of variability are included with the trend, species encounter unfavourable oxygen conditions decades sooner. Finally, temperature and oxygen thresholds of adult Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) and adult Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) are assessed in the context of a potential future scenario derived from high-resolution ocean models for the central Scotian Shelf.
Brennan C. E., Blanchard H. & Fennel K., 2016. Putting temperature and oxygen thresholds of marine animals in context of environmental change: a regional perspective for the Scotian Shelf and Gulf of St. Lawrence. PLoS ONE 11(12):e0167411. Article.