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Are shifts in species distribution triggered by climate change? A swordfish case study

AuthorsErauskin‐Extramiana, Maite; Arrizabalaga, H.; Cabré Albos, Anna; Coelho, Rui; Rosa, Daniela; Ibaibarriaga, L.; Chust, Guillem
KeywordsClimate change
Species distribution model
Center of gravity
Sampling bias
Future projections
Issue DateMay-2020
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 175: 104666 (2020)
AbstractSpecies shifts due to climate change are being recorded and reported worldwide. However, the accurate estimation and causal attribution of species shifts using spatial distribution indicators, such as the center of gravity, is challenging. This is particularly problematic for commercially exploited marine species with data from research surveys, commercial fisheries or other data collection methods that are not recorded homogeneously over time and space. Here, we propose a new framework to ascertain whether the changes in the spatial distribution of species are due to changes in habitat conditions, fishing activity or other factors. This approach is developed to help elucidate the main drivers of species shifts and it is based upon the comparison of historical trends in species distribution shifts among raw data and modeled: i) fishing effort, ii) population occurrence and abundance, iii) habitat, and iv) spatio-temporal reconstruction of the species distribution. We apply this new methodology to the case study of swordfish populations worldwide. On a global scale, 2 out of 6 stocks of swordfish shifted latitudinally during 1958–2004. Of those two, only the Mediterranean stock was associated with a linear trend change of its habitat. In two other stocks, the latitudinal center of gravity of populations occurrence varies following their habitats’ interannual variability; however, this shift is not linear. We further developed a worldwide habitat suitability model for swordfish and projected its distribution and abundance into the future under the RCP8.5 climate change scenario, the highest greenhouse gas concentration scenario, by the end of the century. Future projections estimate an overall swordfish decrease of 22% in CPUE (catch per unit of effort), with substantial decreases in most tropical areas, and a slight increase in its distribution range limits, both in the north and southern hemispheres
DescriptionSpecial issue Oceanic biodiversity under climate change: shifts in natural and human systems.-- 11 pages, 5 figures, 2 tables, supplementary data This research was conducted as part of the CLIOTOP program. This is a contribution 942 from AZTI Marine Research Division
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Identifiersissn: 0967-0645
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