MEPS 414:1-9 (2010)  -  doi:10.3354/meps08753

FEATURE ARTICLE
Regional warming changes fish species richness in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean

Remment ter Hofstede1,*, Jan Geert Hiddink2, Adriaan D. Rijnsdorp1

1IMARES, Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies, IJmuiden 1976 CP, The Netherlands
2School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Anglesey LL59 5AB, UK

ABSTRACT: Regional warming causes changes in local communities due to species extinctions and latitudinal range shifts. We show that the species richness of fish in 3 regional seas in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean has changed over time (1997 to 2008), and we relate this to higher water temperatures and the biogeographic affinity of the species. In the North and Celtic Seas, species richness increased due to increases in the number of warm-favouring Lusitanian species. In the area west of Scotland, species richness decreased because the number of cold-favouring Boreal species decreased. Additional analyses of trends in fishing effort imply that the observed changes in species richness are unlikely to have been induced by fisheries in the North and Celtic Seas, thereby strengthening the idea that climate change affects species richness of marine fish. However, in the area west of Scotland, a potential effect of fisheries in addition to temperature change on the observed change in species richness could not be ruled out.


KEY WORDS: Climate change . Species richness . Biogeography . International Bottom Trawl Surveys . IBTS . North Sea . Celtic Sea . West of Scotland


Full text in pdf format 
Information about this Feature Article  
Cite this article as: ter Hofstede R, Hiddink JG, Rijnsdorp AD (2010) Regional warming changes fish species richness in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 414:1-9

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -