Climate change decouples marine and freshwater habitats of a threatened migratory fish

Lin, Hsien-Yung, Bush, Alex, Linke, Simon, Possingham, Hugh P. and Brown, Christopher J. (2017) Climate change decouples marine and freshwater habitats of a threatened migratory fish. Diversity and Distributions, 23 7: 751-760. doi:10.1111/ddi.12570

Author Lin, Hsien-Yung
Bush, Alex
Linke, Simon
Possingham, Hugh P.
Brown, Christopher J.
Title Climate change decouples marine and freshwater habitats of a threatened migratory fish
Journal name Diversity and Distributions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-4642
Publication date 2017-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ddi.12570
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 23
Issue 7
Start page 751
End page 760
Total pages 10
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim: To assess how climate change may decouple the ecosystems used by a migratory fish, and how decoupling influences priorities for stream restoration.

Location: Australia.

Methods: We modelled changes in habitat suitability under climate change in both riverine and marine habitats for a threatened diadromous species, the Australian Grayling Prototroctes maraena, using niche models. The loss of riverine habitats for Grayling was compared with or without considering the impact of climate change on adjacent marine habitats. We also asked whether considering marine climate change changed the locations where removing dams had the greatest benefit for Grayling conservation.

Results: Climate change is expected to cause local extinction in both marine and river habitats regardless of whether dams are retained or removed at the trailing edge of the Grayling's range (north-eastern). Decoupling of habitats was most apparent in the eastern and south-eastern portion of the Grayling's range, where ocean warming may cause a decline in the suitability of marine habitats for larvae, while many freshwater habitats retained suitable habitat for adults. Removing dams to restore connectivity between ocean and freshwater habitats was predicted to have the greatest benefit for Grayling in southern portions of their range. Under climate change, the priorities for barrier removal gradually shift towards dams at higher elevation because of increasing suitability of freshwater habitats at higher elevations.

Main conclusions: Our study highlights the importance of assessing climate range shifts in multiple ecosystems for migratory species and can help inform priorities for stream restoration under a changing climate.
Keyword Climate change
Freshwater ecosystem
Global warming
Marine ecosystem
Threatened species
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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