Advancing bioenergetics-based modeling to improve climate change projections of marine ecosystems

Climate change has rapidly altered marine ecosystems and is expected to continue to push systems and species beyond historical baselines into novel conditions. Projecting responses of organisms and populations to these novel environmental conditions often requires extrapolations beyond observed conditions, challenging the predictive limits of statistical modeling capabilities. Bioenergetics modeling provides the mechanistic basis for projecting climate change effects on marine living resources in novel conditions, has a long history of development, and has been applied widely to fish and other taxa. We provide our perspective on 4 opportunities that will advance the ability of bioenergetics-based models to depict changes in the productivity and distribution of fishes and other marine organisms, leading to more robust projections of climate impacts. These are (1) improved depiction of bioenergetics processes to derive realistic individual-level response(s) to complex changes in environmental conditions, (2) innovations in scaling individual-level bioenergetics to project responses at the population and food web levels, (3) more realistic coupling between spatial dynamics and bioenergetics to better represent the local- to regional-scale differences in the effects of climate change on the spatial distributions of organisms, and (4) innovations in model validation to ensure that the next generation of bioenergetics-based models can be used with known and sufficient confidence. Our focus on specific opportunities will enable critical advancements in bioenergetics modeling and position the modeling community to make more accurate and robust projections of the effects of climate change on individuals, populations, food webs, and ecosystems.


Bioenergetics, Modeling, Climate change, Fish, Projections, Challenges, Agent-based

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Rose Kenneth A., Holsman Kirstin, Nye Janet A., Markowitz Emily H., Banha Thomas N.S., Bednaršek Nina, Bueno-Pardo Juan, Deslauriers David, Fulton Elizabeth A., Huebert Klaus B., Huret Martin, Ito Shin-ichi, Koenigstein Stefan, Li Lingbo, Moustahfid Hassan, Muhling Barbara A., Neubauer Philipp, Paula José Ricardo, Siddon Elizabeth C., Skogen Morten D., Spencer Paul D., Van Denderen P. Daniel, van der Meeren Gro I., Peck Myron A. (2024). Advancing bioenergetics-based modeling to improve climate change projections of marine ecosystems. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 732. 193-221.,

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