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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 614:159-171 (2019)  -  DOI:

Cyclical climate oscillation alters species statistical relationships with local habitat

Sarah M. Roberts1,*, Andre M. Boustany2, Patrick N. Halpin1, Ryan R. Rykaczewski3

1Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
2Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
3Marine Science Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: As anthropogenic climate change increases the temperatures of the world’s oceans, the survival rates, spatial distributions, and phenology of marine species are affected. Additionally, cyclical climate oscillations, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), influence species presences throughout the Atlantic Basin. We evaluate the potential effects of local habitat variability on the nearshore presence of 7 commercial fish species along the South Atlantic Bight. Employing random forest models, we assess the relationships between historical observed presence and bottom temperature (BT), salinity, benthic habitat structure, and the NAO. Our results suggest that for some species, the influence of BT on species nearshore presence depends on the phase of the NAO. Thus, the statistical responses of some species to changing ocean temperatures will largely depend on the phase of the NAO.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · Climate variation · North Atlantic Oscillation · Species distribution · Species-environment relationships

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Cite this article as: Roberts SM, Boustany AM, Halpin PN, Rykaczewski RR (2019) Cyclical climate oscillation alters species statistical relationships with local habitat. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 614:159-171.

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