Cephalopods seem to benefit from marine environment changes

  • A University of Adelaide study has found that unlike the declining populations of many fish species, the number of cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish and squid) has increased in the world’s oceans over the past 60 years.
  • The international team, led by researchers from the University’s Environment Institute, compiled a global database of cephalopod catch rates to investigate long-term trends in abundance, published in Cell Press journal Current Biology.
  • The increase in abundance has significant and complex implications for both the marine food web and Humans.

Cuttlefish (Courtesy: University of Adelaide)

 

Background

  • Cephalopods are often called ‘weeds of the sea’ as they have a unique set of biological traits, including rapid growth, short lifespans and flexible development.
  • Cephalopods adapt to changing environmental conditions (such as temperature) more quickly than many other marine species, which suggests that they may be benefiting from a changing ocean environment.
  • Cephalopods are an ecologically and commercially important group of invertebrates that are highly sensitive to changes in the environment.

Cephalopods are found in all marine habitats and, as well as being voracious predators, they are also an important source of food for many marine species, as well as humans.

News Item compiled by L Sai Charan

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