Global warming will modify the distribution and abundance of fish worldwide, with effects on the structure and dynamics of food networks.
However, making precise predictions on the consequences of this global phenomenon is hard without having a wide historical perspective. A study carried out at the UB and the Southern Centre for Scientific Research (CADIC-CONICET, Argentina), analysed the potential implications in the distribution of the Argentinian hake (Merluccius hubbsi), caused by the warming of marine waters. The study is based on the analysis of the structure of the marine ecosystems from 6,000 to 500 years ago, when temperatures were warmer than now. The results show this species could expand towards south and reach the coast of the South America extreme southern area, like it happened in the past. According to the researchers, this approach allows researchers to make predictions on the transformations to be caused by the climate change in the marine environment with important ecogical and economic implications.
The study, published in the journal Oecologia, is part of the doctoral thesis by the researcher Maria Bas, member of CADIC-CONICET and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona, co-supervised by the tenure-track 2 lecturer Lluís Cardona, from the Research Groups on Large Marine Vertebrates at the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of Biology and IRBio, and by the expert Ivan Briz i Godino, from CADIC-CONICET. York University (United Kingdom) and British Columbia University (Canada) have also taken part in the study.
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