Challenges in quantifying, interpreting and predicting distributional shifts of marine species

C. Tara Marshall, Asta Audzijonyte, Alan Baudron, Curtis Champion, Niall Fallon, Alan C. Haynie, Melissa Haltuch, Bryony Townhill, Pieter Daniël van Denderen, Gretta Pecl, John K. Pinnegar, Malin L. Pinsky, Paul Spencer, Christine Stawitz, Jim Thorsen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

141 Downloads (Pure)


Oceans are absorbing approximately 80% of the extra heat and 50% of additional CO2 trapped in the atmosphere and, as a result, have undergone rapid changes in temperature and acidity. The evidence for climate-driven global re-distribution of marine species is growing but often based on the distribution of fish species, many of which are mobile and able to rapidly shift their ranges in response to changing environmental conditions. Standardised surveys are commonly used for inferring spatial distribution, however, there are many examples of species moving beyond the bounds of a survey which then limits our understanding. Additionally, there are often non-climate factors that confound the interpretation of range shifts, e.g. fishing or habitat changes. Quantifying the magnitude and rates of distributional shifts is further complicated by the variety of metrics that are used to describe historical species distributions and then contemporary changes in these distributions. Accurately specifying both the suite of drivers underpinning range shifts and the magnitude of range shifts is essential due to the societal importance of marine species for food, local economies and future projections of commercial fish species. Here, based on a cross-comparison of methodological approaches from a range of globally important marine ecosystems, we make recommendations for appropriate approaches to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data describing the abundance and location of marine species.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventSpecies on the Move 2019 - Kruger National Park, South Africa
Duration: 22 Jul 201926 Jul 2019


ConferenceSpecies on the Move 2019
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityKruger National Park
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges in quantifying, interpreting and predicting distributional shifts of marine species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this