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This content will become publicly available on October 3, 2024

Title: Mechanistic modeling of climate effects on redistribution and population growth in a community of fish species

Understanding community responses to climate is critical for anticipating the future impacts of global change. However, despite increased research efforts in this field, models that explicitly include important biological mechanisms are lacking. Quantifying the potential impacts of climate change on species is complicated by the fact that the effects of climate variation may manifest at several points in the biological process. To this end, we extend a dynamic mechanistic model that combines population dynamics, such as species interactions, with species redistribution by allowing climate to affect both processes. We examine their relative contributions in an application to the changing biomass of a community of eight species in the Gulf of Maine using over 30 years of fisheries data from the Northeast Fishery Science Center. Our model suggests that the mechanisms driving biomass trends vary across space, time, and species. Phase space plots demonstrate that failing to account for the dynamic nature of the environmental and biologic system can yield theoretical estimates of population abundances that are not observed in empirical data. The stock assessments used by fisheries managers to set fishing targets and allocate quotas often ignore environmental effects. At the same time, research examining the effects of climate change on fish has largely focused on redistribution. Frameworks that combine multiple biological reactions to climate change are particularly necessary for marine researchers. This work is just one approach to modeling the complexity of natural systems and highlights the need to incorporate multiple and possibly interacting biological processes in future models.

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Global Change Biology
Medium: X Size: p. 6399-6414
["p. 6399-6414"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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