Future fish distributions constrained by depth in warming seas

Rutterford, LA, Simpson, SD, Jennings, S, Johnson, MP, Blanchard, JL, Schön, PJ, Sims, DW, Tinker, J and Genner, MJ 2015 Future fish distributions constrained by depth in warming seas. Nature Climate Change, 5 (6). 569-573. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2607

Rutterford-etal_FutureFish_NatClimChange2015.pdf - Accepted Version

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2607


European continental shelf seas have experienced intense warming over the past 30 years1. In the North Sea, fish have been comprehensively monitored throughout this period and resulting data provide a unique record of changes in distribution and abundance in response to climate change2, 3. We use these data to demonstrate the remarkable power of generalized additive models (GAMs), trained on data earlier in the time series, to reliably predict trends in distribution and abundance in later years. Then, challenging process-based models that predict substantial and ongoing poleward shifts of cold-water species4, 5, we find that GAMs coupled with climate projections predict future distributions of demersal (bottom-dwelling) fish species over the next 50 years will be strongly constrained by availability of habitat of suitable depth. This will lead to pronounced changes in community structure, species interactions and commercial fisheries, unless individual acclimation or population-level evolutionary adaptations enable fish to tolerate warmer conditions or move to previously uninhabitable locations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Ocean Biology
Depositing User: Professor David Sims
Date made live: 26 Sep 2016 13:52
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 16:54
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/7188

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