Tropical coastal fish

Munday, Philip L., Cheal, Alistair J., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Meekan, Mark, Pratchett, Morgan S., Sheaves, Marcus, Sweatman, Hugh, and Wilson, Shaun K. (2012) Tropical coastal fish. In: Ploczanska, E.S., Hobday, A.J., and Richardson, A.J., (eds.) A Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Report Card for Australia. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, pp. 281-306.

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Abstract

[Extract] Climate change is expected to affect populations and communities of tropical marine fishes in many ways, ranging from indirect effects associated with habitat degradation and altered resource availability to direct effects of rapidly changing environmental conditions. In the short-term (up to 2030), the projected impact of climate change on Australia's tropical coastal and demersal fishes is largely tied to the fate of critical benthic habitats, especially for coral reef environments, which are highly vulnerable to elevated temperature, ocean acidification and more intense storms. There is good evidence and strong consensus that climate-induced coral bleaching affects the community structure and abundance of reef-associated fishes, especially when it leads to the structural collapse of reef habitat. In the longer-term (after 2030), sea level rise and altered rainfall patterns are expected to also significantly alter coastal wetlands that are important nursery areas for estuarine and nearshore species. In addition to the effects of habitat degradation, warmer ocean temperatures are projected to cause distributional shifts in some tropical fishes, increasing the geographic ranges of some species and decreasing the ranges of others, including some commercially important species. Life history traits and population dynamics will be affected by warmer temperatures, with potential implications for fisheries yields. Altered oceanic circulation and ocean acidification could also have very significant effects on populations and communities of coastal fishes in the longer term. There are a many critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of the effect of climate change on tropical marine fish, including how predicted effects on individuals and populations will scale-up to influence community structure and function, and the degree to which fish will acclimate or adapt to the expected rapid climate change. Non-reefal environments and commercially important species are especially understudied in relation to climate change impacts. Key strategies in mitigating effects of climate change on coastal marine fishes are to maintain and restore habitat quality, incorporate climate uncertainty into fisheries management plans, and limit impacts of other human activities likely to reduce the sustainability of fish populations.

Item ID: 25196
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Commercial)
ISBN: 978-0-643-10927-8
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Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2013 23:33
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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