Ecological and methodological drivers of species' distribution and phenology responses to climate change

Brown, Christopher J., O'Connor, Mary I., Poloczanska, Elvira S., Schoeman, David S., Buckley, Lauren B., Burrows, Michael T., Duarte, Carlos M., Halpern, Benjamin S., Pandolfi, John M., Parmesan, Camille and Richardson, Anthony J. (2016) Ecological and methodological drivers of species' distribution and phenology responses to climate change. Global Change Biology, 22 4: 1548-1560. doi:10.1111/gcb.13184

Author Brown, Christopher J.
O'Connor, Mary I.
Poloczanska, Elvira S.
Schoeman, David S.
Buckley, Lauren B.
Burrows, Michael T.
Duarte, Carlos M.
Halpern, Benjamin S.
Pandolfi, John M.
Parmesan, Camille
Richardson, Anthony J.
Title Ecological and methodological drivers of species' distribution and phenology responses to climate change
Journal name Global Change Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2486
Publication date 2016-04-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/gcb.13184
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 4
Start page 1548
End page 1560
Total pages 13
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2306 Global and Planetary Change
2304 Environmental Chemistry
2303 Ecology
2300 Environmental Science
Abstract Climate change is shifting species’ distribution and phenology. Ecological traits, such as mobility or reproductive mode, explain variation in observed rates of shift for some taxa. However, estimates of relationships between traits and climate responses could be influenced by how responses are measured. We compiled a global data set of 651 published marine species’ responses to climate change, from 47 papers on distribution shifts and 32 papers on phenology change. We assessed the relative importance of two classes of predictors of the rate of change, ecological traits of the responding taxa and methodological approaches for quantifying biological responses. Methodological differences explained 22% of the variation in range shifts, more than the 7.8% of the variation explained by ecological traits. For phenology change, methodological approaches accounted for 4% of the variation in measurements, whereas 8% of the variation was explained by ecological traits. Our ability to predict responses from traits was hindered by poor representation of species from the tropics, where temperature isotherms are moving most rapidly. Thus, the mean rate of distribution change may be underestimated by this and other global syntheses. Our analyses indicate that methodological approaches should be explicitly considered when designing, analysing and comparing results among studies. To improve climate impact studies, we recommend that (1) reanalyses of existing time series state how the existing data sets may limit the inferences about possible climate responses; (2) qualitative comparisons of species’ responses across different studies be limited to studies with similar methodological approaches; (3) meta-analyses of climate responses include methodological attributes as covariates; and (4) that new time series be designed to include the detection of early warnings of change or ecologically relevant change. Greater consideration of methodological attributes will improve the accuracy of analyses that seek to quantify the role of climate change in species’ distribution and phenology changes.
Keyword Fishing
Global warming
Marine ecosystem
Publication bias
Range edge
Range shift
Time series
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID EF-0553768
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 08 Mar 2016, 11:42:07 EST by System User on behalf of Global Change Institute