The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: Climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts

Verges, Adriana, Steinberg, Peter D., Hay, Mark E., Poore, Alistair G. B., Campbell, Alexandra H., Ballesteros, Eric, Heck, Jr. Kenneth L., Booth, David J., Coleman, Melinda A., Feary, David A., Figueira, Will, Langlois, Tim, Marzinelli, Ezequiel M., Mizerek, Toni, Mumby, Peter J., Nakamura, Yohei, Roughan, Moninya, van Sebille, Erik, Gupta, Alex Sen, Smale, Dan A., Tomas, Fiona, Wernberg, Thomas and Wilson, Shaun K. (2014) The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: Climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 1789: . doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0846

Author Verges, Adriana
Steinberg, Peter D.
Hay, Mark E.
Poore, Alistair G. B.
Campbell, Alexandra H.
Ballesteros, Eric
Heck, Jr. Kenneth L.
Booth, David J.
Coleman, Melinda A.
Feary, David A.
Figueira, Will
Langlois, Tim
Marzinelli, Ezequiel M.
Mizerek, Toni
Mumby, Peter J.
Nakamura, Yohei
Roughan, Moninya
van Sebille, Erik
Gupta, Alex Sen
Smale, Dan A.
Tomas, Fiona
Wernberg, Thomas
Wilson, Shaun K.
Title The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: Climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 2014-07-09
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2014.0846
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 281
Issue 1789
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of London
Language eng
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
2300 Environmental Science
2400 Immunology and Microbiology
2700 Medicine
Abstract Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to 'barrens' when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs.
Keyword Climate change
Ecosystem impacts
Functional diversity
Range shift
Western boundary currents
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
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