University of Tasmania

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Qualitative modelling towards ecosystem-based management of climate-driven species redistribution

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 14:48 authored by Marzloff, MP, Jessica Melbourne-ThomasJessica Melbourne-Thomas, Hamon, KG, Eriko Hoshino, Sarah JenningsSarah Jennings, Elizabeth Van PuttenElizabeth Van Putten, Gretta PeclGretta Pecl
As marine ecosystems face global climate-driven ocean changes, polewards re-distributions of species - or range shifts – occur across taxa and latitudes worldwide. Research on these range shifts largely focuses on understanding and predicting changes in the distribution of individual species. The ecological effects of marine range shifts on ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as human coastal communities, can be large, yet remain difficult to anticipate and manage. Here, we use qualitative modelling of system feedback to understand the cumulative impacts of multiple species shifts in southeastern Australia, a global hotspot for ocean warming. We identify range-shifting species, or ‘range-shifters’, that can induce trophic cascades and affect ecosystem dynamics and productivity, and evaluate the potential effectiveness of alternative management interventions to mitigate these impacts. Our results show that, (i) multiple simultaneous range shifts amplify each other’s negative ecological impacts and (ii) implementing a whole-of-ecosystem management strategy and combining a suite of management interventions, is necessary to effectively prevent undesirable consequences of marine range shifts at the regional scale. Our study illustrates how modelling system feedback with only limited qualitative information about ecosystem structure and range-shifting species can predict ecological consequences of multiple co-­‐occurring range shifts, guide ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, and help prioritise future research and monitoring.


Publication title

Species on the Move Conference Program


Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Event title

Species on the Move

Event Venue

Hobart, Tasmania

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems