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Data from a mesocosm experiment on responses of larval fish and their prey to warming and browning


Huss, Magnus; van Dorst, Renee; Gårdmark, Anna (2022), Data from a mesocosm experiment on responses of larval fish and their prey to warming and browning, Dryad, Dataset,


This dataset contains data from from a mesocom experiment with larval fish as described in the paper: "Huss, M., van Dorst, R.M., and Gårdmark, A. (2021) Larval fish body growth responses to simultaneous browning and warming"

The data comes from a fully factorial experiment of warming and browning in pelagic mesocosms in two adjacent areas in the Baltic Sea archipelago; an artificially heated coastal bay and a natural area with ambient temperatures. To answer the question how simultaneous warming and browning of coastal food webs impact body growth and survival of larval perch. we innoculated the mesocosms, varying in temperature and colour, with larval Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and zooplankton prey. Browning was simulated by adding coloured substances to the mesocosm bags, whereas the water masses surrounding them in the heated and the natural bay provided the temperature treatment.

The main result is that browning decreased body growth and survival of larval perch, whereas warming increased body growth but had no effect on survival. To understand these results, data on daily fish body growth estimates based on otolith microstructure analysis and size composition and abundance of available prey were analysed. 

The overall conclusion is that larval fish responses to climate change may depend on the relative rate and extent of both warming and browning, as that they may even cancel each other out.

Usage Notes

The readme file contains an explanation of the variables and abbreviations used in the dataset