Species better track climate warming in the oceans than on land

Type Article
Date 2020-08
Language English
Author(s) Lenoir Jonathan1, Bertrand Romain2, 3, Comte Lise4, 5, Bourgeaud Luana3, Hattab Tarek6, Murienne Jérôme3, Grenouillet Gaël3, 7
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ecologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés (EDYSAN), UMR7058, CNRS and Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France
2 : Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling, Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station, UMR5321, CNRS and Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier, Moulis, France
3 : Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR5174, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier, CNRS, IRD and UPS, Toulouse, France
4 : School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
5 : Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA
6 : MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IFREMER and IRD, Sète, France
7 : Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France
Source Nature Ecology & Evolution (2397-334X) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2020-08 , Vol. 4 , N. 8 , P. 1044-1059
DOI 10.1038/s41559-020-1198-2
WOS© Times Cited 279
Abstract There is mounting evidence of species redistribution as climate warms. Yet, our knowledge of the coupling between species range shifts and isotherm shifts remains limited. Here, we introduce BioShifts—a global geo-database of 30,534 range shifts. Despite a spatial imbalance towards the most developed regions of the Northern Hemisphere and a taxonomic bias towards the most charismatic animals and plants of the planet, data show that marine species are better at tracking isotherm shifts, and move towards the pole six times faster than terrestrial species. More specifically, we find that marine species closely track shifting isotherms in warm and relatively undisturbed waters (for example, the Central Pacific Basin) or in cold waters subject to high human pressures (for example, the North Sea). On land, human activities impede the capacity of terrestrial species to track isotherm shifts in latitude, with some species shifting in the opposite direction to isotherms. Along elevational gradients, species follow the direction of isotherm shifts but at a pace that is much slower than expected, especially in areas with warm climates. Our results suggest that terrestrial species are lagging behind shifting isotherms more than marine species, which is probably related to the interplay between the wider thermal safety margin of terrestrial versus marine species and the more constrained physical environment for dispersal in terrestrial versus marine habitats.
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