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The shape of abundance distributions across temperature gradients in reef fishes

The shape of abundance distributions across temperature gradients in reef fishes
The shape of abundance distributions across temperature gradients in reef fishes
Improving predictions of ecological responses to climate change requires understanding how local abundance relates to temperature gradients, yet many factors influence local abundance in wild populations. We evaluated the shape of thermal‐abundance distributions using 98 422 abundance estimates of 702 reef fish species worldwide. We found that curved ceilings in local abundance related to sea temperatures for most species, where local abundance declined from realised thermal ‘optima’ towards warmer and cooler environments. Although generally supporting the abundant‐centre hypothesis, many species also displayed asymmetrical thermal‐abundance distributions. For many tropical species, abundances did not decline at warm distribution edges due to an unavailability of warmer environments at the equator. Habitat transitions from coral to macroalgal dominance in subtropical zones also influenced abundance distribution shapes. By quantifying the factors constraining species’ abundance, we provide an important empirical basis for improving predictions of community re‐structuring in a warmer world.
1461-023X
1-12
Waldock, Conor, Alexander
2ac559b9-c08e-4b9c-ba77-7ad69cc6440e
Stuart-Smith,
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Edgar, Graham
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Bird, Tomas
b491394a-2b91-42d5-8262-d1c0e9ff17cd
Bates, Amanda E
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34
Waldock, Conor, Alexander
2ac559b9-c08e-4b9c-ba77-7ad69cc6440e
Stuart-Smith,
d1516582-514d-4420-bb5f-47220b74e8b9
Edgar, Graham
3d07ccdd-0356-410f-a917-bde6819cdcdc
Bird, Tomas
b491394a-2b91-42d5-8262-d1c0e9ff17cd
Bates, Amanda E
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34

Waldock, Conor, Alexander, Stuart-Smith, , Edgar, Graham, Bird, Tomas and Bates, Amanda E (2019) The shape of abundance distributions across temperature gradients in reef fishes. Ecology Letters, 1-12. (doi:10.1111/ele.13222).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Improving predictions of ecological responses to climate change requires understanding how local abundance relates to temperature gradients, yet many factors influence local abundance in wild populations. We evaluated the shape of thermal‐abundance distributions using 98 422 abundance estimates of 702 reef fish species worldwide. We found that curved ceilings in local abundance related to sea temperatures for most species, where local abundance declined from realised thermal ‘optima’ towards warmer and cooler environments. Although generally supporting the abundant‐centre hypothesis, many species also displayed asymmetrical thermal‐abundance distributions. For many tropical species, abundances did not decline at warm distribution edges due to an unavailability of warmer environments at the equator. Habitat transitions from coral to macroalgal dominance in subtropical zones also influenced abundance distribution shapes. By quantifying the factors constraining species’ abundance, we provide an important empirical basis for improving predictions of community re‐structuring in a warmer world.

Text
Waldock et al 2019 Ecology Letters - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 February 2019
Published date: 11 February 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428278
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428278
ISSN: 1461-023X
PURE UUID: ad98be8d-d579-4635-b92c-d99a7810207b

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Date deposited: 20 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 10:10

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Contributors

Author: Conor, Alexander Waldock
Author: Stuart-Smith
Author: Graham Edgar
Author: Tomas Bird
Author: Amanda E Bates

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