University Of Tasmania
149453 - Resident lobsters dominate food competition with range.pdf (570.56 kB)

Resident lobsters dominate food competition with range-shifting lobsters in an ocean warming hotspot

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Species redistributions are one of the most prevalent changes observed in oceans worldwide due to climate change. One of the major challenges is being able to predict temperature-driven changes to species interactions and the outcome of these changes for marine communities due to the complex nature of indirect effects. In the ocean-warming hotspot of south-east Australia, the ranges of many species have shifted poleward. The range of the eastern rock lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi has extended into warming Tasmanian waters inhabited by the resident southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii, which may lead to increased competitive interactions between the species. Using video monitoring, we investigated how the 2 species compete for food at current (18°C), future (21°C) and future heatwave (24°C) summer temperatures. Behavioural competition occurred in 80% of experiments, during which J. edwardsii won 84% of competitive interactions and showed more aggressive behaviour at all temperatures. This indicates that resident J. edwardsii is not only more dominant in direct food competition than the range-shifting S. verreauxi but, surprisingly, also sustains competitive dominance beyond its physiological thermal optimum under predicted future ocean warming and heatwave scenarios.


Publication title

Marine Ecology Progress Series








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



Place of publication

Nordbunte 23, Oldendorf Luhe, Germany, D-21385

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 The Author(s) Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Aquaculture rock lobster; Wild caught rock lobster