Patterns of abundance across geographical ranges as a predictor for responses to climate changeEvidence from UK rocky shores

Authors Organisations
  • Siobhan R. Vye(Author)
    Prifysgol Bangor | Bangor University
  • Stephanie Dickens(Author)
    University of Newcastle
  • Leoni Adams(Author)
    Marine Biological Association
  • Katrin Bohn(Author)
    University of Portsmouth
    Natural England
  • Jade Chenery(Author)
    University of Newcastle
  • Nicola Dobson(Author)
    University of Hull
  • Ruth E. Dunn(Author)
    University of Hull
    Liverpool University
  • Hannah Scarlett Earp(Author)
  • Megan Evans(Author)
    EarthWatch
  • Charlotte Foster(Author)
    University of Newcastle
  • Hannah Grist(Author)
    Scottish Association of Marine Science
  • Ben Holt(Author)
    Marine Biological Association
  • Sue Hull(Author)
    University of Hull
  • Stuart R. Jenkins(Author)
    Prifysgol Bangor | Bangor University
  • Peter Lamont(Author)
    Scottish Association of Marine Science
  • Sarah Long(Author)
    University of Portsmouth
  • Nova Mieszkowska(Author)
    Marine Biological Association
    Liverpool University
  • Justine Millard(Author)
    Marine Conservation Society
  • Zoe Morrall(Author)
    University of Portsmouth
  • Kathryn Pack(Author)
    Marine Biological Association
  • Hannah Parry-Wilson(Author)
    Marine Biological Association
  • Jacqueline Pocklington(Author)
    University of Newcastle
  • Jane Pottas(Author)
    University of Hull
  • Leonie Richardson(Author)
    Marine Conservation Society
  • Abigail Scott(Author)
    University of Portsmouth
  • Heather Sugden(Author)
    University of Newcastle
  • Gordon Watson(Author)
    University of Portsmouth
  • Victoria West(Author)
    Prifysgol Bangor | Bangor University
  • Debbie Winton(Author)
    EarthWatch
  • Jane Delany(Author)
    University of Newcastle
  • Michael T. Burrows(Author)
    Scottish Association of Marine Science
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Early online date24 Jun 2020
DOI
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2020
Links
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Abstract

Aim: Understanding patterns in the abundance of species across thermal ranges can give useful insights into the potential impacts of climate change. The abundant-centre hypothesis suggests that species will reach peak abundance at the centre of their thermal range where conditions are optimal, but evidence in support of this hypothesis is mixed and limited in geographical and taxonomic scope. We tested the applicability of the abundant-centre hypothesis across a range of intertidal organisms using a large, citizen science-generated data set. Location: UK. Methods: Species' abundance records were matched with their location within their thermal range. Patterns in abundance distribution for individual species, and across aggregated species abundances, were analysed using Kruskal–Wallis tests and quantile general additive models. Results: Individually, invertebrate species showed increasing abundances in the cooler half of the thermal range and decreasing abundances in the warmer half of the thermal range. The overall shape for aggregated invertebrate species abundances reflected a broad peak, with a cool-skewed maximum abundance. Algal species showed little evidence for an abundant-centre distribution individually, but overall the aggregated species abundances suggested a hump-backed abundance distribution. Main Conclusions: Our study follows others in showing mixed support for the abundant-centre hypothesis at an individual species level, but demonstrates an increased predictability in species responses when an aggregated overall response is considered.

Keywords

  • abundant-centre hypothesis, algae, citizen science, intertidal, invertebrates, thermal niche

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