Climatic Change

, Volume 115, Issue 3–4, pp 485–503 | Cite as

Impacts of climate change on growth, migration and recruitment success of Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus) in the western North Pacific

  • Takeshi OkunishiEmail author
  • Shin-ichi Ito
  • Taketo Hashioka
  • Takashi T. Sakamoto
  • Naoki Yoshie
  • Hiroshi Sumata
  • Yumiko Yara
  • Naosuke Okada
  • Yasuhiro Yamanaka


We developed a multi-trophic level ecosystem model by coupling physical, biogeochemical-plankton and fish models. An oceanic general circulation model was coupled with a lower trophic level ecosystem model and a Japanese sardine migration model, and applied to the western North Pacific. To investigate the impact of global warming on the pelagic fish ecosystem, such as Japanese sardine, we conducted numerical experiments of growth and migration of Japanese sardine using physical fields for the present day and future with a global warming scenario simulated by a high-resolution climate model. The model results demonstrated possible impacts of global warming on the growth and migration pattern of Japanese sardine. The growths of fish in the current main spawning region under the global warming scenario were significantly slower than those under the present climate scenario. Fish in this region will be at disadvantage for their recruitment under the global warming condition. Prey conditions in the spawning region were projected not to markedly change under global warming condition while water temperature increased. As a result sardine spawning ground was projected to shift towards more north areas. During the feeding migration period in summer, geographical distribution of juveniles fish was projected to shift northwards by one to two degrees latitude under the global warming condition following the change in the distribution of optimal temperature region for feeding. However, this northwards shift of the optimal temperature for feeding was minimized adjacent to the western North Pacific by the cooler water supply by the intensification of the Oyashio.


Global Warming Kuroshio Extension Japanese Anchovy Oyashio Region Japanese Sardine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This paper is a contribution to “Evaluation, Adaptation and Mitigation of Global Warming in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Research and Development” in the Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Research Council (AFFRC) collaborating with “Marine Environmental Simulation Study for Future Projection of Marine Ecosystems” in the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), promoted by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The climate simulations were conducted by the support of the Kyousei project—“Project for Sustainable Coexistence of Human, Nature, and the Earth”, which is produced by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. Authors thank Prof. Kishi of Hokkaido University and Prof. Oozeki, Dr. Kubota and Dr. Takasuka of Fisheries Research Agency for their fruitful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Okunishi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shin-ichi Ito
    • 2
  • Taketo Hashioka
    • 3
    • 4
  • Takashi T. Sakamoto
    • 5
  • Naoki Yoshie
    • 6
  • Hiroshi Sumata
    • 7
  • Yumiko Yara
    • 8
  • Naosuke Okada
    • 3
  • Yasuhiro Yamanaka
    • 3
    • 4
    • 9
  1. 1.Tohoku National Fisheries Research InstituteFisheries Research AgencyShiogamaJapan
  2. 2.Tohoku National Fisheries Research InstituteFisheries Research AgencyShiogamaJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  4. 4.Core Research for Evolutional Science and TechnologyJapan Science and Technology AgencyTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  6. 6.Center for Marine Environmental StudiesEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  7. 7.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  8. 8.Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem StudiesNational Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan
  9. 9.Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokohamaJapan

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