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Thermal limits to the geographic distributions of shallow-water marine species

Thermal limits to the geographic distributions of shallow-water marine species
Thermal limits to the geographic distributions of shallow-water marine species
Temperature profoundly affects species’ geographic ranges, but the extent to which it limits contemporary range edges has been difficult to assess from laboratory experiments of thermal tolerance. The persistence of populations depends on temperature-mediated outcomes of ecological and demographic processes across all stages of a species’ life history, as well as any adaptation to local temperature regimes. We assessed the relationships between sea temperature and observed distributional ranges for 1,790 shallow-water marine species from 10 animal classes and found remarkable consistencies in trends in realized thermal limits among taxa and ocean basins, as well as general agreement with previous laboratory findings. Realized thermal niches increase from the Equator towards cold–temperate locations, despite an opposite trend in geographic range size. Species’ cool distribution limits are best predicted by the magnitude of seasonality within their range, while a relatively firm thermal barrier exists on the equatorward range edge for temperate species. Our findings of consistencies in realized thermal limits indicate potential limits to adaptation among common marine species and highlight the value of realized thermal niches for predicting species’ distributional dynamics in warming seas.
1846–1852
Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44
Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec
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
Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34

Stuart-Smith, Rick D., Edgar, Graham J. and Bates, Amanda E. (2017) Thermal limits to the geographic distributions of shallow-water marine species. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 1846–1852. (doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0353-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Temperature profoundly affects species’ geographic ranges, but the extent to which it limits contemporary range edges has been difficult to assess from laboratory experiments of thermal tolerance. The persistence of populations depends on temperature-mediated outcomes of ecological and demographic processes across all stages of a species’ life history, as well as any adaptation to local temperature regimes. We assessed the relationships between sea temperature and observed distributional ranges for 1,790 shallow-water marine species from 10 animal classes and found remarkable consistencies in trends in realized thermal limits among taxa and ocean basins, as well as general agreement with previous laboratory findings. Realized thermal niches increase from the Equator towards cold–temperate locations, despite an opposite trend in geographic range size. Species’ cool distribution limits are best predicted by the magnitude of seasonality within their range, while a relatively firm thermal barrier exists on the equatorward range edge for temperate species. Our findings of consistencies in realized thermal limits indicate potential limits to adaptation among common marine species and highlight the value of realized thermal niches for predicting species’ distributional dynamics in warming seas.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 October 2017
Published date: 23 October 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415292
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415292
PURE UUID: d9cdb6d9-4a6c-4ea9-8261-27031681743a

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Date deposited: 07 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 08:51

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Contributors

Author: Rick D. Stuart-Smith
Author: Graham J. Edgar
Author: Amanda E. Bates

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