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Empirical evidence for different cognitive effects in explaining the attribution of marine range shifts to climate change


van Putten, IE and Frusher, S and Fulton, EA and Hobday, AJ and Jennings, SM and Metcalf, S and Pecl, GT, Empirical evidence for different cognitive effects in explaining the attribution of marine range shifts to climate change, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73, (5) pp. 1306-1318. ISSN 1054-3139 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv192


The changing geographical distribution of species, or range shift, is one of the better documented fingerprints of climate change in the marine environment. Range shifts may also lead to dramatic changes in the distribution of economic, social, and cultural opportunities. These challenge marine resource usersí capacity to adapt to a changing climate and managersí ability to implement adaptation plans. In particular, a reluctance to attribute marine range shift to climate change can undermine the effectiveness of climate change communications and pose a potential barrier to successful adaptation. Attribution is a known powerful predictor of behavioural intention. Understanding the cognitive processes that underpin the formation of marine resource usersí beliefs about the cause of observed marine range shift phenomena is therefore an important topic for research. An examination of the attribution by marine resource users of three types of range shifts experienced in a marine climate change hotspot in southeast Australia to various climate and non-climate drivers indicates the existence of at least three contributing cognitions. These are: (i) engrained mental representations of environmental phenomena, (ii) scientific complexity in the attribution pathway, and (iii) dissonance from the positive or negative nature of the impact. All three play a part in explaining the complex pattern of attribution of marine climate change range shifts, and should be considered when planning for engagement with stakeholders and managers around adaptation to climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, fisheries, perceptions, range shift
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:van Putten, IE (Dr Ingrid Van Putten)
UTAS Author:Frusher, S (Professor Stewart Frusher)
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
UTAS Author:Hobday, AJ (Dr Alistair Hobday)
UTAS Author:Jennings, SM (Dr Sarah Jennings)
UTAS Author:Pecl, GT (Professor Gretta Pecl)
ID Code:108502
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2016-04-20
Last Modified:2018-04-11

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