Dynamic habitat suitability modelling reveals rapid poleward distribution shift in a mobile apex predator

Hill, Nicholas J., Tobin, Andrew J., Reside, April E., Pepperell, Julian G. and Bridge, Tom C. L. (2016) Dynamic habitat suitability modelling reveals rapid poleward distribution shift in a mobile apex predator. Global Change Biology, 22 3: 1086-1096. doi:10.1111/gcb.13129

Author Hill, Nicholas J.
Tobin, Andrew J.
Reside, April E.
Pepperell, Julian G.
Bridge, Tom C. L.
Title Dynamic habitat suitability modelling reveals rapid poleward distribution shift in a mobile apex predator
Journal name Global Change Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2486
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/gcb.13129
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 22
Issue 3
Start page 1086
End page 1096
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Many taxa are undergoing distribution shifts in response to anthropogenic climate change. However, detecting a climate signal in mobile species is difficult due to their wide-ranging, patchy distributions, often driven by natural climate variability. For example, difficulties associated with assessing pelagic fish distributions have rendered fisheries management ill-equipped to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, leaving pelagic species and ecosystems vulnerable. Here, we demonstrate the value of citizen science data for modelling the dynamic habitat suitability of a mobile pelagic predator (black marlin, Istiompax indica) within the south-west Pacific Ocean. The extensive spatial and temporal coverage of our occurrence data set (n = 18 717), collected at high resolution (~1.85 km2), enabled identification of suitable habitat at monthly time steps over a 16-year period (1998–2013). We identified considerable monthly, seasonal and interannual variability in the extent and distribution of suitable habitat, predominately driven by chlorophyll a and sea surface height. Interannual variability correlated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, with suitable habitat extending up to ~300 km further south during La Nina events. Despite the strong influence of ENSO, our model revealed a rapid poleward shift in the geometric mean of black marlin habitat, occurring at 88.2 km decade−1. By incorporating multiple environmental factors at monthly time steps, we were able to demonstrate a rapid distribution shift in a mobile pelagic species. Our findings suggest that the rapid velocity of climate change in the south-west Pacific Ocean is likely affecting mobile pelagic species, indicating that they may be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought.
Keyword Apex predator
Black marlin (Istiompax indica)
Boundary current
Climate change
Distribution shift
Habitat suitability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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