Climate Change Will Re-draw the Map for Marine Megafauna and the People Who Depend on Them

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Grose Susan O.1, Pendleton Linwood1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Leathers Amanda6, Cornish Andrew7, Waitai Sheridan8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, CNRS, UMR 6308, AMURE, IUEM University of Western Brittany, Plouzané, France
2 : World Wildlife Fund, Global Science, Washington, DC, United States
3 : Nicholas School for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States
4 : Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
5 : Ocean Data Foundation, Lysaker, Norway
6 : World Wide Fund for Nature, Wellington, New Zealand
7 : World Wide Fund for Nature, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
8 : Tribal Leader, Ngāti Kuri, Kaitaia, New Zealand
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2020-07 , Vol. 7 , N. 547 , P. 13p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2020.00547
Keyword(s) climate change, marine megafauna, habitat loss, disease, range shifts, prey
Abstract

Climate change is expected to dramatically alter the distribution of many marine megafauna, impacting the people and economies that depend upon them. We build on the recent literature by developing a framework to describe the effects these changes will have on marine megafauna. With the goal to assist policymakers and grass roots organizers, we identify three illustrative pathways by which climate change drives these range shifts: (1) effects on habitat and shelter, (2) impacts on reproduction and disease, and (3) changing distribution of sources of food. We examine non-climate factors that may constrain or enable megafauna to adapt, creating winners and losers both for the species and the people dependent upon them. Finally, we comment on what management strategies exist at international and local scales that could help mitigate these impacts of climate change so that we, as a global community, can ensure that marine megafauna and people can best co-exist in a changing world.

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