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Oceanographic habitat suitability is positively correlated with the body condition of a coastal‐pelagic fish

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 20:52 authored by Champion, C, Hobday, AJ, Gretta PeclGretta Pecl, Sean TraceySean Tracey

Species distribution models are commonly used to determine a species’ probability of occurrence but have not been used to examine the effect of environmental habitat suitability on fish condition, which is considered to be an integrated measure of physiological status. Here, we test for a relationship between oceanographic habitat suitability and the body condition of kingfish (Seriola lalandi) from eastern Australia. We (a) test whether individuals sampled from areas of high‐quality habitat were in better condition than individuals sampled from areas of low‐quality habitat, and (b) assess whether the condition of kingfish responded to oceanographic habitat suitability predicted at varying time‐before‐capture periods. Kingfish habitat was modelled as a function of sea surface temperature, sea‐level anomaly and eddy kinetic energy in a generalized additive modelling framework. Model predictions were made over one‐ to six‐week time‐before‐capture periods and compared to field‐derived kingfish condition data measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Oceanographic habitat suitability was significantly correlated with kingfish condition at time‐before‐capture periods ranging from one to four weeks and became increasingly correlated at shorter lead‐times. Our results highlight that (a) fish condition can respond sensitively to environmental variability and this response can be detected using oceanographic habitat suitability models, and (b) climate change may drive extensions in species range limits through spatial shifts in oceanographic habitat quality that allow individuals to persist beyond historical range boundaries without their body condition being compromised.

Funding

Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

History

Publication title

Fisheries Oceanography

Volume

29

Pagination

100-110

ISSN

1054-6006

Department/School

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified

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