European small pelagic fish distribution under global change scenarios

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Schickele Alexandre1, Goberville Eric2, Leroy Boris2, Beaugrand Gregory3, 4, Hattab Tarek5, Francour Patrice1, Raybaud Virginie1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, UMR 7035 ECOSEAS Nice, France
2 : Unité Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques (BOREA) CNRS IRD Muséum National d'Histoire NaturelleSorbonne UniversitéUniversité de Caen NormandieUniversité des Antilles Paris, France
3 : Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences UMR 8187 LOG CNRS Univ. LilleUniv. Littoral Côte d'Opale Wimereux, France
4 : The Laboratory Marine Biological Association Plymouth, UK
5 : MARBEC, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS Ifremer, IRD Sète, France
Source Fish And Fisheries (1467-2960) (Wiley), 2021-01 , Vol. 22 , N. 1 , P. 212-225
DOI 10.1111/faf.12515
Keyword(s) climate change, ecological niche, exclusive economic zone, range shift, species distribution models, uncertainties

The spectre of increasing impacts on exploited fish stocks in consequence of warmer climate conditions has become a major concern over the last decades. It is now imperative to improve the way we project the effects of future climate warming on fisheries. While estimating future climate‐induced changes in fish distribution is an important contribution to sustainable resource management, the impacts on European small pelagic fish—representing over 50% of the landings in the Mediterranean and Black Sea between 2000 and 2013—are yet largely understudied. Here, we investigated potential changes in the spatial distribution of seven of the most harvested small pelagic fish species in Europe under several climate change scenarios over the 21st century. For each species, we considered eight Species Distribution Models (SDMs), five General Circulation Models (GCMs) and three emission scenarios (the IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways; RCPs). Under all scenarios, our results revealed that the environmental suitability for most of the seven species may strongly decrease in the Mediterranean and western North Sea while increasing in the Black and Baltic Seas. This potential northward range expansion of species is supported by a strong convergence among projections and a low variability between RCPs. Under the most pessimistic scenario (RCP8.5), climate‐related local extinctions were expected in the south‐eastern Mediterranean basin. Our results highlight that a multi‐SDM, multi‐GCM, multi‐RCP approach is needed to produce more robust ecological scenarios of changes in exploited fish stocks in order to better anticipate the economic and social consequences of global climate change.

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