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Rapid assessment of an ocean warming hotspot reveals ‘‘high’’ confidence in potential species’ range extensions


Robinson, LM and Gledhill, DC and Moltschaniwskyj, NA and Hobday, AJ and Frusher, S and Barrett, N and Stuart-Smith, J and Pecl, GT, Rapid assessment of an ocean warming hotspot reveals high'' confidence in potential species' range extensions, Global Environmental Change, 31 pp. 28-37. ISSN 0959-3780 (2015) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2015 The Authors-Licenced under Creative Commons CC BY license. (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.12.003


Shifts in species’ ranges are one of the most frequently reported and globally ubiquitous impacts of climate change, with rates of movement being particularly high in the sea. The arrival of multiple range extending species can cause serious issues for natural resource managers; some species threaten ecosystem function while others present social and/or economic opportunities. An early indication of which species are potentially extending their ranges can provide useful guidance for managers regarding future investments in impact assessment, monitoring or potential management intervention. Given that scientific monitoring data on potential range shifting species are often sparse in the marine environment a rapid assessment that utilises and assimilates disparate data sources that vary in quality, quantity and collection methods is needed. Off the east coast of Tasmania surface waters have been warming at almost four times the global average and dozens of species range shifts have already been documented. Building on existing methods used in the early detection of invasive species, we developed a cost-effective and rapid screening assessment tool that uses monitoring data from a variety of sources, particularly from the citizen science program Redmap, to classify levels of confidence in potential range extensions over a three year time period (2009–2012) for a variety of marine species. From our assessment of 47 species, eight were classified with "high" confidence as potentially extending their ranges. The "high" confidence classification of these species suggests they should be a priority when investigating potential ecosystem and socio-economic impacts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, temperate Australia
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:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Robinson, LM (Dr Lucy Robinson)
UTAS Author:Moltschaniwskyj, NA (Associate Professor Natalie Moltschaniwskyj)
UTAS Author:Frusher, S (Professor Stewart Frusher)
UTAS Author:Barrett, N (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, J (Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith)
UTAS Author:Pecl, GT (Professor Gretta Pecl)
ID Code:99149
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:76
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-03-16
Last Modified:2017-11-02
Downloads:289 View Download Statistics

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