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Climate-driven range expansion of a critically endangered top predator in northeast Atlantic waters

Wynn, R.B.; Josey, S.A.; Martin, A.P.; Johns, D.G.; Yesou, P.. 2007 Climate-driven range expansion of a critically endangered top predator in northeast Atlantic waters. Biology Letters, 3 (5). 529-532. 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0162

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Abstract/Summary

Global climate change is driving rapid distribution shifts in marine ecosystems; these are well established for lower trophic levels, but are harder to quantify for migratory top predators. By analysing a 25-year sightings-based dataset, we found evidence for rapid northwards range expansion of the critically endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in northeast Atlantic waters. A 0.6°C sea surface temperature increase in the mid-1990s is interpreted as an underlying controlling factor, while simultaneous northward shifts of plankton and prey fish species suggests a strong bottom-up control. Our results have important conservation implications and provide new evidence for climate-driven regime shift in Atlantic ecosystems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0162
ISSN: 1744-9561
Additional Keywords: climate change, trophic cascade, Atlantic Ocean, Balearic shearwater
Date made live: 08 Nov 2007 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/149400

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