Thermal physiology integrated species distribution model predicts profound habitat fragmentation for estuarine fish with ocean warming.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Species distribution models predict a poleward migration for marine ectotherms with ocean warming. However, a key limitation in current species distribution models (SDM) is that they do not account for population-specific heterogeneity in physiological responses to temperature change resulting from local adaptations and acclimatization. To address this gap, we developed a novel, Physiology Integrated BioClimate Model (PIBCM) that combines habitat-specific metabolic thermal physiological tolerance of a species into a bioclimate envelope model. Using a downscaling approach, we also established a fine-resolution coastal sea-surface temperature data set for 2050-2080, that showed a high degree of location-specific variability in future thermal regimes. Combining predicted temperature data with the PIBCM model, we estimated habitat distribution for a highly eurythermal intertidal minnow, the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus), a species that likely presents a best-case-scenario for coastal vertebrates. We show that the killifish northern boundary shifts southwards, while distinct habitat fragmentation occurs in the southern sub-population (due to migration of adjacent fish populations to the nearest metabolically optimal thermal habitat). When compared to current SDMs (e.g., AquaMaps), our results emphasize the need for thermal physiology integrated range shift models and indicate that habitat fragmentation for coastal fishes may reshape nursery habitats for many commercially and ecologically important species.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Harishchandra, A; Xue, H; Salinas, S; Jayasundara, N

Published Date

  • December 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 21781 -

PubMed ID

  • 36526639

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9758224

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-2322

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41598-022-25419-4


  • eng