Combining abundance and performance data reveals how temperature regulates coastal occurrences and activity of a roaming apex predator

Payne, Nicholas L., Meyer, Carl G., Smith, James A., Houghton, Jonathan D.R., Barnett, Adam, Holmes, Bonnie J., Nakamura, Itsumi, Papastamatiou, Yannis P., Royer, Mark A., Coffey, Daniel M., Anderson, James M., Hutchinson, Melanie R., Sato, Katsufumi, and Halsey, Lewis G. (2018) Combining abundance and performance data reveals how temperature regulates coastal occurrences and activity of a roaming apex predator. Global Change Biology, 24 (5). pp. 1884-1893.

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The redistribution of species has emerged as one of the most pervasive impacts of anthropogenic climate warming, and presents many societal challenges. Understanding how temperature regulates species distributions is particularly important for mobile marine fauna such as sharks given their seemingly rapid responses to warming, and the socio-political implications of human encounters with some dangerous species. The predictability of species distributions can potentially be improved by accounting for temperature's influence on performance, an elusive relationship for most large animals. We combined multi-decadal catch data and bio-logging to show that coastal abundance and swimming performance of tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier are both highest at similar to 22 degrees C, suggesting thermal constraints on performance may regulate this species' distribution. Tiger sharks are responsible for a large proportion of shark bites on humans, and a focus of controversial control measures in several countries. The combination of distribution and performance data moves towards a mechanistic understanding of tiger shark's thermal niche, and delivers a simple yet powerful indicator for predicting the location and timing of their occurrences throughout coastlines. For example, tiger sharks are mostly caught at Australia's popular New South Wales beaches (i.e. near Sydney) in the warmest months, but our data suggest similar abundances will occur in winter and summer if annual sea surface temperatures increase by a further 1-2 degrees C.

Item ID: 53513
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2486
Keywords: accelerometer, biogeography, climate change, fundamental niche, overall dynamic body acceleration, physiological ecology, realized niche, species distribution modelling, tagging, thermal performance curve
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, New South Wales Recreational Fishing Trust, Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Fisheries Queensland, F.G. Wilson Pty Ltd, Winifred Violet Scott Foundation (WVSF), Cascade COFUND (CC), RipCom Telecommunications, New South Wales Game Fishing Association, Elanora State School, Discovery Channel, Bio-Logging Science of the University of Tokyo
Projects and Grants: ARC LP120100592, CC PCOFUND-GA-2012-600181
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 07:34
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 70%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 20%
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