The EurekAlert, April 13, 2022: Climate Change Will Reshuffle Marine Ecosystems in Unexpected ways, Rutgers Study Finds
Rutgers, April 13, 2022: Climate Change Will Reshuffle Marine Ecosystems in Unexpected ways, Rutgers Study Finds
BBC Newshour, April 13, 2022: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172yfbwz3p97ks
E. W. Tekwa, James R. Watson and Malin L. Pinsky. 2022. Body size and food–web interactions mediate species range shifts under warming. Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Species ranges are shifting in response to climate change, but most predictions disregard food–web interactions and, in particular, if and how such interactions change through time. Predator–prey interactions could speed up species range shifts through enemy release or create lags through biotic resistance. Here, we developed a spatially explicit model of interacting species, each with a thermal niche and embedded in a size-structured food–web across a temperature gradient that was then exposed to warming. We also created counterfactual single species models to contrast and highlight the effect of trophic interactions on range shifts. We found that dynamic trophic interactions hampered species range shifts across 450 simulated food–webs with up to 200 species each over 200 years of warming. All species experiencing dynamic trophic interactions shifted more slowly than single-species models would predict. In addition, the trailing edges of larger bodied species ranges shifted especially slowly because of ecological subsidies from small shifting prey. Trophic interactions also reduced the numbers of locally novel species, novel interactions and productive species, thus maintaining historical community compositions for longer. Current forecasts ignoring dynamic food–web interactions and allometry may overestimate species' tendency to track climate change.