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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 728:81-83 (2024)  -  DOI:

Species range shifts, biological invasions and ocean warming

Marlene Wesselmann1, Eugenia T. Apostolaki2, Andrea Anton1,*

1Global Change Research Group, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies, 07190 Esporles, Illes Balears, Spain
2Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 71003 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Marine species are moving beyond their native geographical ranges in response to climate change and shifts in other abiotic conditions, establishing populations at higher latitudes. At the same time, species are introduced into new marine regions as a consequence of an increasingly connected world. The success of such range expansions, whether from shifts associated with climate change or human-mediated introductions, depends on the biotic interactions and environmental conditions at the recipient site and/or the capacity of species to adapt to these new conditions. Originating from a special session held at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2021, the present Theme Section (TS) brings together the current research on 2 interrelated marine ecological topics: (1) invasive species in a warming ocean, and (2) climate-mediated species range shifts. Our investigation of the temporal trends in publications highlights that only one-tenth of studies on marine invasive species examine the species’ interaction with ocean warming. The topic of range shifting species receives slightly more attention than climate driven invasions, but both exhibited a comparable, similarly fast-growing publication rate. Overall, the papers in this TS provide evidence that global warming, and occasionally environmental degradation, are crucial factors altering the distribution of both marine invasive species and range-shifting species. Even though the published literature and even the contributions to this TS only infrequently focus on the interaction between these 2 topics, we propose that future collaboration between scientists from both fields would advance our understanding of the impact of global warming on the shifting distributions of native and invasive species and would allow the development of conservation and management plans in a warming ocean.

KEY WORDS: Invasive species · Exotic species · Climate change · Range expansion · Range contraction · Climate-driven shifts · Species distribution · Global change

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Cite this article as: Wesselmann M, Apostolaki ET, Anton A (2024) Species range shifts, biological invasions and ocean warming. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 728:81-83.

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