Dietary generalism accelerates arrival and persistence of coral‐reef fishes in their novel ranges under climate change

Type Article
Date 2020-10
Language English
Author(s) Monaco CristianORCID1, 2, Bradshaw Corey J.A.3, Booth David J.4, Gillanders Bronwyn M.1, Schoeman David S.5, 6, Nagelkerken Ivan1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories, School of Biological Sciences and The Environment Institute DX 650 418, The University of Adelaide Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
2 : IFREMER, IRD Institut Louis‐Malardé, Univ Polynésie française, EIO F‐98719 Taravao Tahiti, Polynésie française, France
3 : Global Ecology College of Science and Engineering Flinders University, Australia
4 : School of Life Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
5 : Global‐Change Ecology Research Group School of Science and Engineering University of the Sunshine Coast ,Australia
6 : Centre for African Conservation Ecology Department of Zoology Nelson Mandela University ,Australia
Source Global Change Biology (1354-1013) (Wiley), 2020-10 , Vol. 26 , N. 10 , P. 5564-5573
DOI 10.1111/gcb.15221
WOS© Times Cited 20
Keyword(s) climate change, coral reefs, functional traits, generalist, marine fishes, range shifts, temperate ecosystems

Climate change is redistributing marine and terrestrial species globally. Life‐history traits mediate the ability of species to cope with novel environmental conditions, and can be used to gauge the potential redistribution of taxa facing the challenges of a changing climate. However, it is unclear whether the same traits are important across different stages of range shifts (arrival, population increase, persistence). To test which life‐history traits most mediate the process of range extension, we used a 16‐year dataset of 35 range‐extending coral‐reef fish species and quantified the importance of various traits on the arrival time (earliness) and degree of persistence (prevalence and patchiness) at higher latitudes. We show that traits predisposing species to shift their range more rapidly (large body size, broad latitudinal range, long dispersal duration) did not drive the early stages of redistribution. Instead, we found that as diet breadth increased, the initial arrival and establishment (prevalence and patchiness) of climate migrant species in temperate locations occurred earlier. While the initial incursion of range‐shifting species depends on traits associated with dispersal potential, subsequent establishment hinges more on a species’ ability to exploit novel food resources locally. These results highlight that generalist species that can best adapt to novel food sources might be most successful in a future ocean.

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Monaco Cristian, Bradshaw Corey J.A., Booth David J., Gillanders Bronwyn M., Schoeman David S., Nagelkerken Ivan (2020). Dietary generalism accelerates arrival and persistence of coral‐reef fishes in their novel ranges under climate change. Global Change Biology, 26(10), 5564-5573. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :