Article CC BY 4.0
refereed
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Climate change disrupts core habitats of marine species

ORCID
0000-0001-5012-0199
Affiliation
Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany
Hodapp, Dorothee;
ORCID
0000-0003-3402-5057
Affiliation
Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany
Roca, Irene T.;
ORCID
0000-0003-1097-4784
Affiliation
Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany
Fiorentino, Dario;
ORCID
0000-0002-0976-7561
Affiliation
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
Garilao, Cristina;
GND
1130710343
ORCID
0000-0002-4061-626X
Affiliation
Department of Biometry and Environmental Systems Analysis, Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Kaschner, Kristin;
ORCID
0000-0003-4479-292X
Affiliation
Quantitative Aquatics, Los Baños, Philippines
Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen;
GND
1020118989
ORCID
0000-0001-9142-1457
Affiliation
Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
Schneider, Birgit;
ORCID
0000-0003-0468-4107
Affiliation
Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
Segschneider, Joachim;
ORCID
0000-0002-9028-665X
Affiliation
GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
Kocsis, Ádám T.;
GND
142860115
ORCID
0000-0002-1088-2014
Affiliation
GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
Kiessling, Wolfgang;
GND
1254019979
ORCID
0000-0002-6345-2851
Affiliation
Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany
Brey, Thomas;
GND
143612026
ORCID
0000-0001-9745-636X
Affiliation
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
Froese, Rainer

Driven by climate change, marine biodiversity is undergoing a phase of rapid change that has proven to be even faster than changes observed in terrestrial ecosystems. Understanding how these changes in species composition will affect future marine life is crucial for conservation management, especially due to increasing demands for marine natural resources. Here, we analyse predictions of a multiparameter habitat suitability model covering the global projected ranges of >33,500 marine species from climate model projections under three CO2 emission scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5) up to the year 2100. Our results show that the core habitat area will decline for many species, resulting in a net loss of 50% of the core habitat area for almost half of all marine species in 2100 under the high-emission scenario RCP8.5. As an additional consequence of the continuing distributional reorganization of marine life, gaps around the equator will appear for 8% (RCP2.6), 24% (RCP4.5), and 88% (RCP8.5) of marine species with cross-equatorial ranges. For many more species, continuous distributional ranges will be disrupted, thus reducing effective population size. In addition, high invasion rates in higher latitudes and polar regions will lead to substantial changes in the ecosystem and food web structure, particularly regarding the introduction of new predators. Overall, our study highlights that the degree of spatial and structural reorganization of marine life with ensued consequences for ecosystem functionality and conservation efforts will critically depend on the realized greenhouse gas emission pathway.

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