Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4522
Title: Modeling climate change impacts on phenology and population dynamics of marine migrating species
Author: James J. Anderson, Eliezer Gurarie, Chloe Bracis, Brian J. Burke, Kristin L. Laidre
Publication Year: 2013
Journal: Ecological Modelling
Volume: 264
Issue: 24
Pages: 8397
Keywords: climate change,migration,modeling,phenology

We review literature concerning the impacts of climate change on the migration of marine species, with an emphasis on migration phenology and adaptation through genetic tracking and phenotypic plasticity. We then develop an individual based modeling framework characterizing effects of climate change on phenology and population dynamics. In the framework, migration timing between foraging and breeding habitats and the resulting match between environmental conditions and the animal’s environmental preferences, or bioclimate envelope, determines its condition, survival and fecundity. Climate-induced changes produce timing mismatches that result in the population shifting its phenology through both genetic and plastic processes. Model results suggest: 1) the size of the bioclimate envelope is an important determinant of the population’s sensitivity to climate change and susceptibility to extinction, 2) extinction can result if the rate of shift in the bioclimate envelop exceeds the rate a population’s phenology can adapt or if the variability in the envelope exceeds the inherent variability in phenology, 3) populations with migration timing cued by photoperiod are expected to exhibit weaker phenotypic plasticity than those cued by temperature, and 4) extinction follows a threshold pattern in response to climate change which suggests that population size may not be a reliable indicator of extinction threat. However, variability in population condition may be an indicator of possible extinction threat. Finally, while we purposefully kept the model simple in this paper, we discuss how it can be extended to cover more complex interactions.

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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize the interaction of human use and habitat distribution, quantity and quality.