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Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna

Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna
Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna
A critical assumption underlying projections of biodiversity change associated with global warming is that ecological communities comprise balanced mixes of warm-affinity and cool-affinity species which, on average, approximate local environmental temperatures. Nevertheless, here we find that most shallow water marine species occupy broad thermal distributions that are aggregated in either temperate or tropical realms. These distributional trends result in ocean-scale spatial thermal biases, where communities are dominated by species with warmer or cooler affinity than local environmental temperatures. We use community-level thermal deviations from local temperatures as a form of sensitivity to warming, and combine these with projected ocean warming data to predict warming-related loss of species from present-day communities over the next century. Large changes in local species composition appear likely, and proximity to thermal limits, as inferred from present-day species’ distributional ranges, outweighs spatial variation in warming rates in contributing to predicted rates of local species loss.
0028-0836
88-92
Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44
Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec
Barrett, Neville S.
a2858a4e-18c2-4aaa-ba4b-e3a3386abf44
Kininmonth, Stuart J.
57546a0e-c2fb-424b-9fe5-2f49933c76ab
Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34
Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44
Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec
Barrett, Neville S.
a2858a4e-18c2-4aaa-ba4b-e3a3386abf44
Kininmonth, Stuart J.
57546a0e-c2fb-424b-9fe5-2f49933c76ab
Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34

Stuart-Smith, Rick D., Edgar, Graham J., Barrett, Neville S., Kininmonth, Stuart J. and Bates, Amanda E. (2015) Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna. Nature, 528, 88-92. (doi:10.1038/nature16144).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A critical assumption underlying projections of biodiversity change associated with global warming is that ecological communities comprise balanced mixes of warm-affinity and cool-affinity species which, on average, approximate local environmental temperatures. Nevertheless, here we find that most shallow water marine species occupy broad thermal distributions that are aggregated in either temperate or tropical realms. These distributional trends result in ocean-scale spatial thermal biases, where communities are dominated by species with warmer or cooler affinity than local environmental temperatures. We use community-level thermal deviations from local temperatures as a form of sensitivity to warming, and combine these with projected ocean warming data to predict warming-related loss of species from present-day communities over the next century. Large changes in local species composition appear likely, and proximity to thermal limits, as inferred from present-day species’ distributional ranges, outweighs spatial variation in warming rates in contributing to predicted rates of local species loss.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 11 November 2015
Published date: 3 December 2015
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385570
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385570
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 36351acc-ea34-481c-bc7d-889c43f9925a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jan 2016 17:20
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 05:16

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Contributors

Author: Rick D. Stuart-Smith
Author: Graham J. Edgar
Author: Neville S. Barrett
Author: Stuart J. Kininmonth
Author: Amanda E. Bates

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