Impact of climate change on fish population dynamics in the Baltic Sea a dynamical downscaling investigation

Understanding how climate change, exploitation and eutrophication will affect populations and ecosystems of the Baltic Sea can be facilitated with models which realistically combine these forcings into common frameworks. Here, we evaluate sensitivity of fish recruitment and population dynamics to past and future environmental forcings provided by three ocean-biogeochemical models of the Baltic Sea. Modeled temperature explained nearly as much variability in reproductive success of sprat (Sprattus sprattus; Clupeidae) as measured temperatures during 19732005, and both the spawner biomass and the temperature have influenced recruitment for at least 50 years. The three Baltic Sea models estimate relatively similar developments (increases) in biomass and fishery yield during twenty-first century climate change (ca. 28 % range among models). However, this uncertainty is exceeded by the one associated with the fish population model, and by the source of global climate data used by regional models. Knowledge of processes and biases could reduce these uncertainties.