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Long-term annual and monthly changes in mysids and caridean decapods in a macrotidal estuarine environment in relation to climate change and pollution

Plenty, Shaun J.; Tweedley, James R.; Bird, David J.; Newton, Lyn C.; Warwick, Richard M.; Henderson, Peter A.; Hall, Norm G.; Potter, Ian C.


Shaun J. Plenty

James R. Tweedley

David J. Bird

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Lynda Newton
Head of Department of Applied Sciences

Richard M. Warwick

Peter A. Henderson

Norm G. Hall

Ian C. Potter


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. A 26-year time series of monthly samples from the water intake of a power station has been used to analyse the trends exhibited by number of species, total abundance, and composition of the mysids and caridean decapods in the inner Bristol Channel. During this period, annual water temperatures, salinities and the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) in winter did not change significantly, whereas annual NAOI declined. Annual mean monthly values for the number of species and total abundance both increased over the 26 years, but these changes were not correlated with any of the measured physico-chemical/climatic factors. As previous studies demonstrated that, during a similar period, metal concentrations in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel (into which that estuary discharges) declined and water quality increased, it is proposed that the above changes are due to an improved environment. The fauna was dominated by the mysids Mesopodopsis slabberi and Schistomysis spiritus, which collectively contributed 94% to total abundance. Both species, which were represented by juveniles, males, non-brooding females and brooding females, underwent statistically-indistinguishable patterns of change in abundance over the 26 years. When analysis was based on the abundances of the various species, the overall species composition differed significantly among years and changed serially with year. When abundances were converted to percentage compositions, this pattern of seriation broke down, demonstrating that changes in abundance and not percentage composition were responsible for the seriation. As with the number and abundance of species, changes in composition over the 26 years were not related to any of the physico-chemical/climatic factors tested. Species composition changed monthly in a pronounced cyclical manner throughout the year, due to statistically different time-staggered changes in the abundance of each species. This cyclicity was related most strongly to salinity.


Plenty, S. J., Tweedley, J. R., Bird, D. J., Newton, L. C., Warwick, R. M., Henderson, P. A., …Potter, I. C. (2018). Long-term annual and monthly changes in mysids and caridean decapods in a macrotidal estuarine environment in relation to climate change and pollution. Journal of Sea Research, 137, 35-46.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 26, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 28, 2018
Publication Date Jul 1, 2018
Journal Journal of Sea Research
Print ISSN 1385-1101
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 137
Pages 35-46
Keywords cyclicity, estuary, micronekton, salinity, temperature
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