Prof. Dr. Axel Temming
Head of Research Unit
Research interests and scientific accomplishments
My scientific focus is on the quantitative investigation of marine populations and their interactions with both human exploitation and the biological and physical environment.
I have started with classical population dynamics of single species, both fish and crustaceans. Initial work in the Baltic on the population dynamics of common dab revealed a strong dependency of the population on the hydrographic conditions in the Baltic. I could present evidence from an analysis of historic data since 1900 that the main population in the central Baltic had irreversibly crashed during the 1940s, most likely due to decreasing salinity and oxygen concentrations in the Bornholm deep.
Work on brown shrimp in the North Sea focussed on the key question, if short lived species with very high natural mortality rates can be overfished. A combination of field investigations, embedded in the “Wadden Sea research program of an interdisciplinary BMBF project (SWAP) and lab studies on gastric evacuation rates and bioenergetics of its main predators revealed a clear size dependency of mortality rates, most of the predation refers to undersized shrimp. The analysis of a time series data revealed a doubling of mortality rates over time, most likely due to increased fishing effort. The determinations of the actual levels of mortality, the growth of this species and the development of an integrated numerical life cycle model are the main focus of an EU-study and an ongoing research project, which is funded by the BMELF. A side line has been the analysis of the economic development of the German shrimp fleet, based on annual balance sheets of fishing vessels between the 1960s and the 1980s. Here we could show that the state of economic overfishing was already reached in the 1960s, due to the open access to this fishery. This work was honoured with the young scientist award of ICES. Most recently we have started a cooperation with physical oceanographers within the ZMK to link our life cycle model of c. crangon with a 3D hydrodynamic model, to generate realistic drift and temperature histories for cohorts of shrimp. We were able to test the hypothesis that spring recruitment of these shrimps along the German coast is largely imported from Dutch waters.
Predator prey interactions and their role in fished ecosystems are currently a main focus of my work. This work has a strong field component, starting with the participation in an internationally coordinated stomach sampling program in the North Sea in 1991, where my group analysed the haddock samples on a North Sea scale. (BMELF project and FP4 project feeding ecology of North Sea fish, coordinated by myself). This data set is the basis for the currently operated multi-species assessment model at ICES. The numerical model requires further input data on consumption rates of predatory fish and my group has performed extensive experimental studies on cod, whiting and horse mackerel to supply biologically sound input parameters to the model (participation in two EU-projects). Recently we have worked more on the underlying theoretical principles of species interaction, namely the processes driving prey selection. We found that size selection is actually less relevant that previously assumed and that numerical abundance of prey and spatial overlap are far more influential. This finding opened another line of cooperation with physical oceanography within ZMK: we started to investigate the dependency of predator and prey spatial distributions on hydrographic conditions. The focus in the North Sea was on hydrographic fronts, and we were able to show that a number of predators actually concentrates near fronts, thus generating a high predation risk on juvenile fish, which also aggregate in these areas because of the increased biological production. Most of this work was carried out in the framework of the EU project LIFECO (FP5). This work is continued in the EU-project BECAUSE, where modelling efforts are made to separate spatial overlap and size preference components of the prey selection process. First published results reveal, that overfished cod stocks are unlikely to recover even without fishing, due to the predation impact of a new predator species (grey gurnard).
The German Globec project, which I coordinated together with Jürgen Alheit, attempts to integrate three different scientific communities, namely the planktologists, fisheries biologists and physical oceanographers to understand the complex interactions between fish, plankton and the physical environment. An applied aspect of this work, which focuses on a pelagic fish occurring in both Baltic and North Sea, sprat, is a better understanding of the dependency of the recruitment success on hydrographical processes. This will allow predictions on the performance of this species under future weather and climate scenarios. This project is the frame for the main cooperation between physical oceanography and biology within the ZMK: IfM contributes with three subprojects to this project: circulation modelling, ecosystem modelling and data base management. The biological work in Hamburg focuses on the experimental and field based analysis top down processes and the analysis of the surviving recruits of sprat.
The new ECODRIVE project as well as my work in the frame of the Excellence-Cluster CLISAP is focused on the investigation of climate change on the distribution and trophic interactions of marine exploited populations, involving IBM model development and coupling to 3-D hydrodynamic models. These coupled models will be tested in hindcast mode and run into the future using down-scaled atmospheric forcing data from climate change runs of IPCC.
I operate a towed video-plankton recorder systems (developed in at WHOI). This equipment allows joint fine scale measurements of hydrographic and biological data in situ. The digital camera images and the sensor information is available in real time during towing and this opens a wide range of joint investigations between physical and biological oceanographers. Currently the system is used to analyse the plankton distributions along cross transects through hydrographic fronts. A new line of investigation will be the investigation of dimension and distribution small scale copepod patches to better understand the interaction between planktivourous fish and copepod production.
1976 – 1983: Studies of Biology, Informatics and Fisheries Biology in Berlin and Kiel (Germany)
1983: Diplom in Fisheries Biology, University of Kiel
1989: "Biology and population dynamics of common dab (Limanda limanda)(L.)) in the Baltic", Dissertation at the University Kiel
1995: Habilitation, University Hamburg
1983 – 1984, 1986: Research Scientist, Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel
1987 – 1989: Research Scientist, University of Hamburg, IHF
1989 – 1994: Assistant Professorship (Hochschulassisstent), University of Hamburg
1994 – 1997: Research Scientist, Federal Research Centre for Fisheries, Hamburg
since 1997: Professorship for Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg, IHF
since 2000: Leader of Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science
since 2004: Vice Director of Biozentrum Grindel, Dept. Biology
Honours, distinctions and awards, scholarships, awards, medals
1984 PhD Scholarship, University of Kiel
1992 Young Scientist Award, Annual Science conference 1992, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
2007 PI Exzellenzcluster CLISAP
20 Diploma and 10 PhD Students
Selected professional membership
Chair Advisory board of Federal Research Center for Fisheries, Hamburg, since 2004.
Member Deutsche Wissenschaftliche Kommission für Meeresforschung.
Selected scientific committees/services:
Chair ICES Working Group on Crangon fisheries and life history, 2000 - 2005
Member ICES Multi-Species Assessment Group, 1989 – present
Member ICES Demersal Fish Cttee, Living Marine resources Cttee 1994 – present
Member steering group for medium sized German research vessels
Member of German Scientific Commission for Marine Research
Chair of advisory board of Federal Research Centre for Fisheries
EU-project, FP6. BECAUSE: Critical Interactions Between Species and their Implications for a Precautionary Fisheries Management in a variable Environment: a Modelling Approach (3 Mill. €), Coordination.
BMBF-project, German GLOBEC I+II: Trophic Interactions between Zooplankton and Fish under the Influence of Physical Processes (total 5.5 Mill. €). Vice coordination and, within this: coordination of University Hamburg subprojects in IHF and IfM
BMELV-Project CRANGON: Entwicklung, Parametrisierung und Anwendung eines spezifischen Y/R Modells für die Nordseegarnele (Crangon crangon L.) zur Beurteilung des Befischungszustandes.
MARINERA/BMBF-Projekt, Ecosystem Change in the North Sea: Processes, Drivers, Prediction ECODRIVE, Start 2009, zusammen mit Prof. C. Möllmann und Prof. M. Peck
PI in Excellence Cluster CLISAP. Two funded projects in CLISAP: RANGESHIFT, PRORES
Santos, J.; Herrmann, B.; Stepputtis, D.; Günther, C.; Limmer, B.; Mieske, B.; Schultz, S.; Neudecker, T.; Temming, A.; Hufnagl, M.; Bethke, E.; Kraus, G. (2018): Predictive framework for codend size selection of brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) in the North Sea beam-trawl fishery. PLoS ONE 13 (7): 1-20 (e0200464). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200464
Lauerburg R.A.M., Temming A., Pinnegar J.K., Kotterba P., Sell A.F., Kempf A., Floeter J. (2018): Forage fish control population dynamics of North Sea whiting Merlangius merlangus. Marine Ecology Progress Series 594: 213-230. DOI: 10.3354/meps12533
Bernreuther M., Peters J., Möllmann C., Renz J., Dutz J., Herrmann J.P., Temming A. (2018): Trophic decoupling of mesozooplankton production and the pelagic planktivores sprat Sprattus sprattus and herring Clupea harengus in the Central Baltic Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 592: 181-196. DOI: 10.3354/meps12512
Hufnagl M., Temming A. (2018): Are the RNA:DNA ratio and dry-weight-at-length suitable growth proxies for brown shrimps (Crangon crangon)? Scientia Marina 82 (1), pages 43-54. DOI: 10.3989/scimar.04530.05A
Schulte K.F., Dänhardt A., Hufnagl M., Siegel V., Wosniok W., Temming A. (2018): Not easy to catch: multiple covariates influence catch rates of brown shrimp (Crangon crangon L.), potentially affecting inferences drawn from catch and landings data. ICES Journal of Marine Science 75 (4), pages 1318–1328. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsx203
Temming A., Günther C., Rückert C., Hufnagl M. (2017): Understanding the life cycle of North Sea brown shrimp Crangon crangon: A simulation model approach. Marine Ecology Progress Series 584, pages 119-143. DOI: 10.3354/meps12325
Floeter J.; van Beusekom J.E.E.; Auch D.; Callies U.; Carpenter J.; Dudeck T.; Eberle S.; Eckhardt A; Gloe D.; Hänselmann K.; Hufnagl M.; Janßen S.; Lenhart H.; Möller K.O.; North R.P.; Pohlmann T.; Riethmüller R.; Schulz S. Spreizenbarth S.; Temming A.; Walter B.; Zielinski O.; Möllmann C. (2017.):Pelagic effects of offshore wind farm foundations in the stratified North Sea. Progress in Oceanography 156: pages 154-173. DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2017.07.003
Tulp, I.; Chen, C.; Haslob, H.; Schulte, K.; Siegel, V.; Steenbergen, J.; Temming, A.; Hufnagl, M. 2016. Annual brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) biomass production in Northwestern Europe contrasted to annual landings. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73 (10), Pages 2539–2551. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsw141
Koster, F.W.; Huwer, B.; Hinrichsen, H.H.; Neumann, V.; Makarchouk, A.; Eero, M.; Dewitz, B.V.; Hussy, K.; Tomkiewicz, J.; Margonski, P.; Temming, A.; Hermann, J.P.; Oesterwind, D.; Dierking, J.; Kotterba, P.; Plikshs, M . 2013. Eastern Baltic cod recruitment revisited-dynamics and impacting factors. ICES Journal of Marine Science , Volume 74, Pages 3-19
Gimpela, A. , Stelzenmüller, V., Cormier, R. , Floeter, J., Temming, A. 2013. A spatially explicit risk approach to support marine spatial planning in the German EEZ. Marine Environmental Research , Volume 86, Pages 56–69
Berg, C.W. & Temming, A. 2010. Estimation of feeding patterns for piscivorous fish using individual prey data from stomach contents. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. (submitted)
Daewel, U., Schrum, C. & Temming, A. 2010. Towards a more complete understanding of the life cycle of brown shrimp (Crangon crangon): Modelling passive larvae and juvenile transport in combination with physically forced vertical juvenile migration. Fisheries Oceanography (revised ms submitted)
Raab, K., Nagelkerke, L.A.J., Boerée, C., Rijnsdorp, A.D., Temming A., Dickey-Collas M. 2010. Anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus diet in the North and Baltic Seas. Journal of Sea Research, in press
Hufnagl, M., Temming, A., Siegel, V., Tulp, I., & Bolle, L. 2010. Estimating total mortality and asymptotic length of Crangon crangon between 1955 and 2006. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 67: 875–884.
Hufnagl,M., Temming, A., Dänhardt, A. & Perger, R. 2010: Is Crangon crangon (L. 1758, Decapoda, Caridea) food limited in the Wadden Sea? Journal of Sea Research 64: 386–400
Hufnagl, M. , Temming, A. & Dänhardt, A. 2010. Hermaphroditism in brown shrimp: lessons from field data and modelling. Mar. Biol. DOI 10.1007/s00227-010-1477-6
Meskendahl, L., Herrmann, J.-P. & Temming, A. 2010.Effects of temperature and body mass on metabolic rates of sprat, Sprattus sprattus L. Mar. Bio. DOI 10.1007/s00227-010-1461-1
Kempf, A., Dingsør, G. E., Huse, G., Vinther, M., Floeter, J., and Temming, A. 2010. The importance of overlap – predicting North Sea cod recovery with a multi-species fisheries assessment model. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 67: in press
Bernreuther, M., Temming, A. & Herrmann, J.-P. 2009. Effect of temperature on the gastric evacuation in sprat Sprattus sprattus. J.Fish Biol. 75: 1525 – 1541.
Baumann, H., Malzahn, A.M., Voss, R. & Temming. A. 2009. The German Bight (North Sea) is a nursery area for both locally and externally produced sprat juveniles. J Sea Res. 61:234-243
Kempf, A., Flöter, J. & Temming, A. 2009. Recruitment of North Sea cod (Gadus morhua) and Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii) between 1992 and 2006 – the interplay between climate influence and predation. Can J.Fish. Aquat. Sci. (in press).
Temming, A. & Herrmann, J.-P. 2009. A generic model to estimate food consumption: linking Bertanlanffys growth model with Beverton and Holt’s and Ivlev’s concepts of net conversion efficiency. Can J.Fish. Aquat. Sci. 66: 683-700.
Kempf, A., Floeter, J. & Temming, A. 2008. Predator–prey overlap induced Holling type III functional response in the North Sea fish assemblage. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 367: 295-308
Bernreuther, M., Temming, A. & Herrmann, J.-P. 2008. Laboratory experiments on the gastric evacuation of juvenile herring (Clupea harengus L.). J. Exp. Mar. Bio. Ecol. 363: 1-11.
Baumann,H., Voss, R., Hinrichsen, H.H., Mohrholz, V., Schmidt, J. & Temming, A. 2008. Investigating the selective survival of summer- over spring-born sprat, Sprattus sprattus in the Baltic Sea. Fisheries Research 91: 1-14.
Ehrich, S. Adlerstein, S., Brokmann, U., Floeter, J., Garthe, S., Hinz, H., Kröncke, I., Neumann, H., Reiss, H., Sell, A., Stein. M., Stelzenmüller, V., Stransky, C., Temming, A., Wegner, G. & Zauke, G.p. 2007. 20 years of the German Small Scale Bottom Trawl Survey (GSBTS): A review. Senck. Mar. 37: 13-82.
Dänhardt, A. & Temming, A. (2007). Effects of haul duration on the physical condition of sprat larvae. Aquat. Biol, 1: 135 – 139.
Temming, A., Floeter, J. and Ehrich, S. (2007). Predation hot spots: large scale impact of local aggregations. Ecosystems 10: 865-876.
Daenhardt, A., A. Temming, M.A. Peck and Clemmesen, C., (2007). Depth-dependent nutritional condition of sprat Sprattus sprattus larvae in the central Bornholm Basin, Baltic Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 341: 217–228.
Baumann, H., Peck, M.A., Götze, E., and Temming, A. (2007). Starving early juvenile sprat, Sprattus sprattus L., in Western Baltic coastal waters: evidence from combined field and laboratory observations in August/September 2003. Journal of Fish Biology 70: 853-866
Kempf, A., Floeter, J., Temming, A. (2006): Decadal changes in the North Sea food web between 1981 and 1991 – implications for fish stock assessment. Can. J.Fish. Aquat. Sci. 63: 2586-2602
Baumann, H., Hinrichsen, H.-H., Möllmann, C., Koester, F.W., Malzahn, A.M., and Temming, A. (2006). Recruitment variability in Baltic sprat, Sprattus sprattus, is tightly coupled to temperature and transport patterns affecting the larval and early juvenile stages. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63: 2191-2201
Baumann, H., Gröhsler, T., Kornilovs, G., Makarchouk, A., Feldman, V., and Temming, A. (2006). Temperature-induced regional and temporal growth differences in Baltic young-of-the-year sprat, Sprattus sprattus. Marine Ecology Progress Series 317: 225-236
Baumann, H., Hinrichsen, H.-H., Voss, R., Stepputtis, D., Grygiel, W., Clausen, L.W., and Temming, A. (2006). Linking growth- to environmental histories in central Baltic young-of-the-year sprat, Sprattus sprattus: an approach based on otolith microstructure analysis and hydrodynamic modeling. Fisheries Oceanography 15: 465-476.
Jens Floeter, Alexander Kempf, Morten Vinther, Corinna Schrum, Axel Temming. 2005. Grey gurnard (Chelidonichthys gurnardus (L.)) in the North Sea. An emerging key predator? Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sciences 62: 1-12.
Floeter J. & Temming A. 2005: Analysis of prey size preference of North Sea whiting, saithe and grey gurnard. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 62: 897-907.
Temming, A., S. Götz, N. Mergardt and S. Ehrich. 2004. Predation of whiting and haddock on sandeel: aggregative response, competition and diel periodicity. J. Fish Biol. 64: 1-22.
Temming, A. & Herrmann, J.P., 2003. Castric evacuation in cod - Prey-specific evacuation rates for use in North Sea, Baltic Sea and Barents Sea multi species models. Fisheries Research 63: 21-41.
Floeter, J., A. Temming, 2003: Explaining diet composition of North Sea cod (Gadus morhua L.): Prey size preference vs. prey availability. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sciences 60(2): 140-150.
Floeter, J. and A. Temming, 2003: North Sea Fish and higher trophic levels: a review. (North Sea 2000: Part 1: State of the Art in Marine Biology at the End of the 20th Century). Senckenb. marit., 33, 269-442.
Rückert, C., Floeter, J., A. Temming. 2002: An estimate of horse mackerel biomass in the North Sea, 1991-1997. - ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59: 120-130.
Temming, A. & Damm, U. 2002. Life cycle of Crangon crangon in the North Sea: a simulation of he timing of recruitment as a function of the seasonal temperature signal. Fish. Oceanography, 11: 45-58.
Temming, A., Böhle, B., Skagen, D.W. and Knudsen, F.R. 2002. Gastric evacuation in mackerel: the effects of meal size, prey type and temperature. J.Fish Biol. 61: 50-70.
Temming, A. , N. Mergardt, 2002: Estimating the mean time between meals in the field from stomach content data and gastric evacuation functions of whiting (Merlangius merlangus L.) feeding on sandeel (Ammodytes marinus Raitt). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59(4), 782-793.
Adlerstein,S.A., Temming, A., and Mergardt,N. 2002. Comparison of stomach contents of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) from the 1981 and 1991 North Sea International Stomach Sampling Projects. ICES Journal of Marine Science 59: 497-515.