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Projecting global marine biodiversity impacts under climate change scenarios

Authors

  • William W.L. Cheung,

    1. Fisheries Centre, 2202 Main Mall, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4
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  • Vicky W.Y. Lam,

    1. Fisheries Centre, 2202 Main Mall, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4
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  • Jorge L. Sarmiento,

    1. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Sayre Hall, Forrestal Campus, PO Box CN710, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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  • Kelly Kearney,

    1. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Sayre Hall, Forrestal Campus, PO Box CN710, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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  • Reg Watson,

    1. Fisheries Centre, 2202 Main Mall, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4
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  • Daniel Pauly

    1. Fisheries Centre, 2202 Main Mall, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4
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William W.L. Cheung, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Nr4 7TJ United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (01) 1603 592542
Fax: +44 (01) 1603 591327
E-mail: w.cheung@fisheries.ubc.ca.

Abstract

Climate change can impact the pattern of marine biodiversity through changes in species’ distributions. However, global studies on climate change impacts on ocean biodiversity have not been performed so far. Our paper aims to investigate the global patterns of such impacts by projecting the distributional ranges of a sample of 1066 exploited marine fish and invertebrates for 2050 using a newly developed dynamic bioclimate envelope model. Our projections show that climate change may lead to numerous local extinction in the sub-polar regions, the tropics and semi-enclosed seas. Simultaneously, species invasion is projected to be most intense in the Arctic and the Southern Ocean. Together, they result in dramatic species turnovers of over 60% of the present biodiversity, implying ecological disturbances that potentially disrupt ecosystem services. Our projections can be viewed as a set of hypothesis for future analytical and empirical studies.

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