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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps14174

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

Hannah E. Blondin*, Katrina C. Armstrong, Elliott L. Hazen, William K. Oestreich, Bianca S. Santos, Danielle E. Haulsee, Chloe S. Mikles, Christopher J. Knight, Audrey E. Bennett, Larry B. Crowder

*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 two-fold as climate change impacts vary across land and sea uniquely, leading to a greater probability of evolutionary traps to assess vulnerability and manage, as they are subjected to a shifting climate in marine and terrestrial habitats, which likely occur at different velocities. 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 identify 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 three additional 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.