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Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities

Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities
Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities
Habitat reserves can promote ecological resilience to climate variability by supporting intact trophic webs and large-bodied individuals1, 2, 3. Protection may also alter community responses to long-term climate change by offering habitat for range-shifting species4. Here we analyse the species richness, diversity and functional traits of temperate reef fish communities over 20 years in a global warming hotspot and compare patterns in a marine reserve with nearby sites open to fishing. Species richness and diversity oscillated strongly on the decadal scale. Long-term warming signatures were also present as increasing functional trait richness and functional diversity, driven in part by a general increase in herbivores. Nevertheless, reserve sites were distinguished from fished sites by displaying: greater stability in some aspects of biodiversity; recovery of large-bodied temperate species; resistance to colonization by subtropical vagrants; and less pronounced increases in the community-averaged temperature affinity. We empirically demonstrate that protection from fishing has buffered fluctuations in biodiversity and provided resistance to the initial stages of tropicalization.
1758-678X
62-67
Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34
Barrett, Neville S.
a2858a4e-18c2-4aaa-ba4b-e3a3386abf44
Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44
Holbrook, Neil J.
0ce6b2f1-dbef-45e6-a9cb-6c2334888476
Thompson, Peter A.
11c523fe-9d73-4c07-acae-9aaec293ed5f
Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec
Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34
Barrett, Neville S.
a2858a4e-18c2-4aaa-ba4b-e3a3386abf44
Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44
Holbrook, Neil J.
0ce6b2f1-dbef-45e6-a9cb-6c2334888476
Thompson, Peter A.
11c523fe-9d73-4c07-acae-9aaec293ed5f
Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec

Bates, Amanda E., Barrett, Neville S., Stuart-Smith, Rick D., Holbrook, Neil J., Thompson, Peter A. and Edgar, Graham J. (2014) Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities. Nature Climate Change, 4 (1), 62-67. (doi:10.1038/nclimate2062).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Habitat reserves can promote ecological resilience to climate variability by supporting intact trophic webs and large-bodied individuals1, 2, 3. Protection may also alter community responses to long-term climate change by offering habitat for range-shifting species4. Here we analyse the species richness, diversity and functional traits of temperate reef fish communities over 20 years in a global warming hotspot and compare patterns in a marine reserve with nearby sites open to fishing. Species richness and diversity oscillated strongly on the decadal scale. Long-term warming signatures were also present as increasing functional trait richness and functional diversity, driven in part by a general increase in herbivores. Nevertheless, reserve sites were distinguished from fished sites by displaying: greater stability in some aspects of biodiversity; recovery of large-bodied temperate species; resistance to colonization by subtropical vagrants; and less pronounced increases in the community-averaged temperature affinity. We empirically demonstrate that protection from fishing has buffered fluctuations in biodiversity and provided resistance to the initial stages of tropicalization.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 October 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 December 2013
Published date: 2014
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 360777
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/360777
ISSN: 1758-678X
PURE UUID: 8e9a33f8-b2fa-48f5-b2dd-1ce5afa5a338

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Dec 2013 15:42
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:15

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