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Defining and observing stages of climate-mediated range shifts in marine systems


Bates, AE and Pecl, GT and Frusher, S and Hobday, AJ and Wernberg, T and Smale, DA and Sunday, JM and Hill, NA and Dulvy, NK and Colwell, RK and Holbrook, NJ and Fulton, EA and Slawinski, D and Feng, M and Edgar, GJ and Radford, BT and Thompson, PA and Watson, RA, Defining and observing stages of climate-mediated range shifts in marine systems, Global Environmental Change, 26, (1) pp. 27-38. ISSN 0959-3780 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.03.009


Climate change is transforming the structure of biological communities through the geographic extension and contraction of species’ ranges. Range edges are naturally dynamic, and shifts in the location of range edges occur at different rates and are driven by different mechanisms. This leads to challenges when seeking to generalize responses among taxa and across systems. We focus on warming-related range shifts in marine systems to describe extensions and contractions as stages. Range extensions occur as a sequence of (1) arrival, (2) population increase, and (3) persistence. By contrast, range contractions occur progressively as (1) performance decline, (2) population decrease and (3) local extinction. This stage-based framework can be broadly applied to geographic shifts in any species, life-history stage, or population subset. Ideally the probability of transitioning through progressive range shift stages could be estimated from empirical understanding of the various factors influencing range shift rates. Nevertheless, abundance and occupancy data at the spatial resolution required to quantify range shifts are often unavailable and we suggest the pragmatic solution of considering observations of range shifts within a confidence framework incorporating the type, amount and quality of data. We use case studies to illustrate how diverse evidence sources can be used to stage range extensions and contractions and assign confidence that an observed range shift stage has been reached. We then evaluate the utility of trait-based risk (invasion) and vulnerability (extinction) frameworks for application in a range shift context and find inadequacies, indicating an important area for development. We further consider factors that influence rates of extension and contraction of range edges in marine habitats. Finally, we suggest approaches required to increase our capacity to observe and predict geographic range shifts under climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:species redistribution, attribution, prediction, biogeography, warming, abundance-occupancy relationship
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Bates, AE (Dr Amanda Bates)
UTAS Author:Pecl, GT (Professor Gretta Pecl)
UTAS Author:Frusher, S (Professor Stewart Frusher)
UTAS Author:Hill, NA (Dr Nicole Hill)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, NJ (Professor Neil Holbrook)
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:91623
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:170
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-05-22
Last Modified:2018-02-16

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