Non-quantitative conceptual review of climate-mediated range shifts in freshwater, estuarine and marine fish
Type of Study:
< 300 papers published on climate-mediated range shifts globally, 7% of these are Australian. Authors highlight conceptual difficulties associated with defining the concept of 'range shift' as fish distributions naturally fluctuateover large areas due to broad dispersal of offspring and non-climate related environmental changes (e.g. ENSO). Best available evidence of shifts comes from historical and current commercial fishery datasets related to changing water temperatures. In Australia, there is a lack of rigorous data on fish ranges and recommendations to ammend this are discussed. Increases in water temperature, reduced freshwater flows and changes in ocean currents are highlighted as the most likely drivers of climate- induced range shifts in Australian fishes.
Authors recommend (i) increased intensive and spatially structured monitoring of fish populations in climate-change hotspots (e.g. SE and SW Australia) integrated with climate monitoring initiatives such as the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) , (ii) increased research on key commercial species likely to shift away from state economic zones, (iii) increased collaboration with biosecurity researchers given shared attributes between range-shifting and invasive species, (iii) improving value and cross-referencing of databases, (iv) Linking climate-induce range shift understanding to management responses
World wide and Australian focus
Response variable :
Marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems
Booth D. J., Bond N. & Macreadie P. (2011) Detecting range shifts among Australian fishes in response to climate change. Mar Freshw Res 62, 1027-42.