Squids, octopuses and other cephalopods boom in oceans amid climate change, a new study has found.
The oceans of the world have undergone so many changes due to human activity. While some marine species have suffered from these interventions, cephalopods look as if they have reaped good effects. In fact, the new study found that the numbers of species increased notably in the last 60 years.
"The consistency was the biggest surprise," says study author Zoë Doubleday from the University of Adelaide in Australia.
A Look At Cephalopods
Cephalopods grow at a fast rate, live short lives and have highly sensitive functional abilities, which may enable them to adapt more rapidly than other marine species.
Looking at the situation of the fisheries, the researchers speculate that the increasing number of cephalopods may be the species' response to the changing environment.
Doubleday says cephalopods are intensely variable and their abundance can go up or down wildly, both among and within the species. Observing persistent and long-term rise in population in the three different groups of cephalopods is really noteworthy.
Investigating The Boom Of Cephalopods
For the study, the team arranged catch rates of cephalopods on international time series from 1953 to 2013. The investigation entailed a total of 35 cephalopod species, representing six families.
Analysis shows that multiple types of cephalopods all across the world indeed exhibit population increases.
Implications For Humans And Marine Life
The authors say the study's impacts on ecology, society and economy are not yet very clear and are likely complicated.
Cephalopods are quality predators and their abundance may pose consequences to their preys, including those that have commercial value. Predators that forage on cephalopods, however, may benefit from this rise.
At present, the authors cannot definitely predict the future of cephalopod populations, especially if the pressures in the fishing industry continue to rise.
The team is now looking at the factors that may be attributed to the rise of the populations. Being able to determine this is vital because it may give insights about how human activities are altering the oceans.
The study is published in the journal Current Biology on May 23.