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Continental Shelf-Wide Response of a Fish Assemblage to Rapid Warming of the Sea

Continental Shelf-Wide Response of a Fish Assemblage to Rapid Warming of the Sea
Continental Shelf-Wide Response of a Fish Assemblage to Rapid Warming of the Sea
Climate change affects marine biological processes from genetic to ecosystem levels [1,2,3]. Recent warming in the northeast Atlantic [4,5] has caused distributional shifts in some fish species along latitudinal and depth gradients [6,7], but such changes, as predicted by climate envelope models [8], may often be prevented because population movement requires availability of suitable habitat. We assessed the full impacts of warming on the commercially important European continental shelf fish assemblage using a data-driven Eulerian (grid-based) approach that accommodates spatial heterogeneity in ecological and environmental conditions. We analyzed local associations of species abundance and community diversity with climatic variables, assessing trends in 172 cells from records of >100 million individuals sampled over 1.2 million km2 from 19802008. We demonstrate responses to warming in 72% of common species, with three times more species increasing in abundance than declining, and find these trends reflected in international commercial landings. Profound reorganization of the relative abundance of species in local communities occurred despite decadal stability in the presence-absence of species. Our analysis highlights the importance of focusing on changes in species abundance in established local communities to assess the full consequences of climate change for commercial fisheries and food security.

0960-9822
1565-1570
Simpson, Stephen D.
84cad0c4-c91b-4419-af80-ebc361dc4d16
Jennings, Simon
38694b49-bd00-4b30-b300-92c416eff01f
Johnson, Mark P.
2324fb61-aaf2-42cf-b0f3-79a96297dce4
Blanchard, Julia L.
33feb2bd-57c8-494b-b8e5-092451b011cf
Schön, Pieter-Jan
b4daa1a5-d601-4527-a1c9-c9a84ea4193e
Sims, David W.
7234b444-25e2-4bd5-8348-a1c142d0cf81
Genner, Martin J.
90547c65-c194-4c93-8ea4-b8523acef1a6
Simpson, Stephen D.
84cad0c4-c91b-4419-af80-ebc361dc4d16
Jennings, Simon
38694b49-bd00-4b30-b300-92c416eff01f
Johnson, Mark P.
2324fb61-aaf2-42cf-b0f3-79a96297dce4
Blanchard, Julia L.
33feb2bd-57c8-494b-b8e5-092451b011cf
Schön, Pieter-Jan
b4daa1a5-d601-4527-a1c9-c9a84ea4193e
Sims, David W.
7234b444-25e2-4bd5-8348-a1c142d0cf81
Genner, Martin J.
90547c65-c194-4c93-8ea4-b8523acef1a6

Simpson, Stephen D., Jennings, Simon, Johnson, Mark P., Blanchard, Julia L., Schön, Pieter-Jan, Sims, David W. and Genner, Martin J. (2011) Continental Shelf-Wide Response of a Fish Assemblage to Rapid Warming of the Sea. Current Biology, 21 (18), 1565-1570. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Climate change affects marine biological processes from genetic to ecosystem levels [1,2,3]. Recent warming in the northeast Atlantic [4,5] has caused distributional shifts in some fish species along latitudinal and depth gradients [6,7], but such changes, as predicted by climate envelope models [8], may often be prevented because population movement requires availability of suitable habitat. We assessed the full impacts of warming on the commercially important European continental shelf fish assemblage using a data-driven Eulerian (grid-based) approach that accommodates spatial heterogeneity in ecological and environmental conditions. We analyzed local associations of species abundance and community diversity with climatic variables, assessing trends in 172 cells from records of >100 million individuals sampled over 1.2 million km2 from 19802008. We demonstrate responses to warming in 72% of common species, with three times more species increasing in abundance than declining, and find these trends reflected in international commercial landings. Profound reorganization of the relative abundance of species in local communities occurred despite decadal stability in the presence-absence of species. Our analysis highlights the importance of focusing on changes in species abundance in established local communities to assess the full consequences of climate change for commercial fisheries and food security.

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S0960-9822(11)00891-8?script=true - Accepted Manuscript
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S0960-9822(11)00891-8 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Published date: 15 September 2011
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 340116
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/340116
ISSN: 0960-9822
PURE UUID: ac21266f-0078-4378-a748-569749336f95

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Jun 2012 15:25
Last modified: 02 Dec 2019 20:57

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