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Climate-driven impacts of exotic species on marine ecosystems


Bennett, S and Santana-Garcon, J and Marba, N and Jorda, G and Anton, A and Apostolaki, ET and Cebrian, J and Geraldi, NR and Krause-Jensen, D and Lovelock, CE and Martinetto, P and Pandolfi, JM and Duarte, CM, Climate-driven impacts of exotic species on marine ecosystems, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 30, (5) pp. 1043-1055. ISSN 1466-822X (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2121 The Authors. Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/geb.13283



Temperature is fundamental to the physiological and ecological performance of marine organisms, but its role in modulating the magnitude of ecological impacts by exotic species remains unresolved. Here, we examine the relationship between thermal regimes in the range of origin of marine exotic species and sites of measured impact, after human‐induced introduction. We compare this relationship with the magnitude of impact exerted by exotic species on native ecosystems.



Time period

19772017 (meta‐analysis).

Major taxa studied

Marine exotic species.


Quantitative impacts of exotic species in marine ecosystems were obtained from a global database. The native range of origin of exotic species was used to estimate the realized thermal niche for each species and compared with the latitude and climatic conditions in recipient sites of recorded impact of exotic species. The difference in median temperatures between recipient sites and the thermal range of origin (i.e., thermal midpoint anomaly) was compared with the magnitude of effect sizes by exotic species on native species, communities and ecosystems.


Recorded impacts occurred predominantly within the thermal niche of origin of exotic species, albeit with a tendency toward higher latitudes and slightly cooler conditions. The severity of impacts by exotic species on abundance of native taxa displayed a hump‐shaped relationship with temperature. Peak impacts were recorded in recipient sites that were 2.2C cooler than the thermal midpoint of the range of origin of exotic species, and impacts decreased in magnitude toward higher and lower thermal anomalies.

Main conclusions

Our findings highlight how temperature and climatic context influence ecological impacts by exotic species in marine ecosystems and the implications for existing and novel species interactions under climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:invasive, alien, non-native, environmental matching, temperature, climate change
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments
UTAS Author:Bennett, S (Dr Scott Bennett)
ID Code:143730
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE200100900)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-03-31
Last Modified:2021-10-11
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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