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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 699:181-198 (2022)  -  DOI:

Land-dependent marine species face climate-driven impacts on land and at sea

Hannah E. Blondin1,*, Katrina C. Armstrong1, Elliott L. Hazen1,2,3, William K. Oestreich1,4, Bianca S. Santos5, Danielle E. Haulsee1, Chloe S. Mikles1, Christopher J. Knight1, Audrey E. Bennett1, Larry B. Crowder1

1Hopkins Marine Station, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
2Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
3Environmental Research Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monterey, CA 93950, USA
4Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
5Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Land-dependent marine species are a unique guild of species whose life histories rely on both land and sea. This group is exposed to climate change-related stressors 2-fold, as climate change impacts likely occur at different velocities across land and sea habitat, leading to a greater probability of evolutionary traps. Thus, it is difficult to assess vulnerability and subsequently manage these populations in response to climate change. Without consideration of the factors unique to land-dependent marine species, current vulnerability assessment frameworks may fall short when evaluating climate impacts on these species. We identified commonalities in climate-related threats across taxa and geographic regions, highlighting the specific life history strategies that may be better suited to adapt to the changing climate. Accordingly, we suggest 3 considerations for assessing the vulnerability of land-dependent marine species: (1) degree of specialization, (2) intraspecies population-level differences, and (3) non-climate stressors. Where possible, we suggest how the exclusion of this information in management and conservation planning may lead to less successful outcomes. Potential compounding impacts of multiple stressors puts this group at particular risk of population collapse when losing land and/or sea habitat and functionality. Each of these considerations should be included when assessing vulnerabilities to climate change, as well as in effective and proactive management responses.

KEY WORDS: Land-dependent marine animals · Climate change · Marine megafauna · Life history · Vulnerability assessment · Seabirds · Sea turtles · Marine mammal

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Cite this article as: Blondin HE, Armstrong KC, Hazen EL, Oestreich WK and others (2022) Land-dependent marine species face climate-driven impacts on land and at sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 699:181-198.

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