Detecting range shifts among Australian fishes in response to climate change

Booth,DJ, Bond,N and Macreadie,P 2011, Detecting range shifts among Australian fishes in response to climate change, Marine and freshwater research, vol. 62, no. 9, pp. 1027-1042, doi: 10.1071/MF10270.

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Title Detecting range shifts among Australian fishes in response to climate change
Author(s) Booth,DJ
Macreadie,PORCID iD for Macreadie,P
Journal name Marine and freshwater research
Volume number 62
Issue number 9
Start page 1027
End page 1042
Total pages 16
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1323-1650
Keyword(s) catch databases
climate-change impacts
distributional patterns
distributional range
geographic limits
habitat loss
ocean acidification
range edge
sea-level rise
Summary One of the most obvious and expected impacts of climate change is a shift in the distributional range of organisms, which could have considerable ecological and economic consequences. Australian waters are hotspots for climate-induced environmental changes; here, we review these potential changes and their apparent and potential implications for freshwater, estuarine and marine fish. Our meta-analysis detected 300 papers globally on 'fish' and 'range shifts', with ∼7% being from Australia. Of the Australian papers, only one study exhibited definitive evidence of climate-induced range shifts, with most studies focussing instead on future predictions. There was little consensus in the literature regarding the definition of 'range', largely because of populations having distributions that fluctuate regularly. For example, many marine populations have broad dispersal of offspring (causing vagrancy). Similarly, in freshwater and estuarine systems, regular environmental changes (e.g. seasonal, ENSO cycles not related to climate change) cause expansion and contraction of populations, which confounds efforts to detect range 'shifts'. We found that increases in water temperature, reduced freshwater flows and changes in ocean currents are likely to be the key drivers of climate-induced range shifts in Australian fishes. Although large-scale frequent and rigorous direct surveys of fishes across their entire distributional ranges, especially at range edges, will be essential to detect range shifts of fishes in response to climate change, we suggest careful co-opting of fisheries, museum and other regional databases as a potential, but imperfect alternative. © 2011 CSIRO Open Access.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MF10270
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts)
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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