Sea temperatures control European marine fish distributions – ScienceDaily

An analysis spanning from southern Portugal to northern Norway highlights the importance of temperature in determining where fish species are located.

By confirming temperature as a major driver of large-scale spatial variation in fish populations, the study was able to use future climate projections to predict where species will be most common by 2050 and 2100. The results show that overall, at the larger community level, changes are taking place. Expect it at locations of greater warming, with the effects most pronounced further north – at higher latitudes.

This study was the first of its kind to use data from large-area fisheries surveys to assess how environmental variation drives species distribution. The study included 198 marine fish species from 23 surveys and 31,502 samples collected by fishery scientists between 2005 and 2018.

Martin Jenner, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology in the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, who directed the research, said: “This unique study brings together fisheries survey data from across this hugely important marine ecosystem. With this information, we can conclusively show the broad importance of temperature The sea controls how fish communities gather.

Louise Ratterford, lead author of the study conducted at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, explains: “The team’s analysis showed how temperature proved to be the most important variable in determining where species were found, with water depth and salinity also important factors. This enabled us to use predictive models to figure out More about how fish will respond to a warming climate over the coming decades.”

Professor Steve Simpson, who led the research, added: “The study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that future climate-driven warming will lead to widespread changes in fish communities, potentially leading to changes in catches in commercial fisheries around the world. Region. . “

The study was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council [NERC] UK Government Office of Science.

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