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Keywords:

  • Climate change;
  • estuarine nurseries;
  • invasive species;
  • metabolism;
  • survival

Abstract

This study compared the mortality and metabolic response of the Senegal seabream, Diplodus bellottii, an African species recently reported in Southern Europe and the white seabream Diplodus sargus, a native species, across a range of temperatures. The temperatures tested were 18, 26, 28 and 30 °C. Mortality was zero at 18 °C and very low at all other temperatures for both species, with the exception of D. bellottii, which experienced 32% mortality at 30 °C. Metabolic rates increased steadily with increasing temperatures, with a steep increase at 30 °C for D. bellottii. Thermal sensitivity ranged between 2 and 3 for both species and for all thermal intervals, with the exception of the thermal sensitivity between 28 and 30 °C for D. bellottii, which was 7. It was concluded that D. bellottii is under thermal stress at 30 °C. Diplodus bellottii may have expanded its distribution northwards due to an increase in sea surface temperatures. However, further warming may result in habitat loss for the juveniles, since Southern European estuarine systems will reach temperatures that may lead to lower fitness in juveniles of this species.