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Type: Journal article
Title: Trophic niche segregation allows range-extending coral reef fishes to co-exist with temperate species under climate change
Author: Kingsbury, K.M.
Gillanders, B.M.
Booth, D.J.
Nagelkerken, I.
Citation: Global Change Biology, 2020; 26(12):721-733
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1354-1013
Statement of
Kelsey M. Kingsbury, Bronwyn M. Gillanders, David J. Booth, Ivan Nagelkerken
Abstract: Changing climate is forcing many terrestrial and marine species to extend their ranges poleward to stay within the bounds of their thermal tolerances. However, when such species enter higher latitude ecosystems, they engage in novel interactions with local species, such as altered predator-prey dynamics and competition for food. Here, we evaluate the trophic overlap between range-extending and local fish species along the east coast of temperate Australia, a hotspot for ocean warming and species range extensions. Stable isotope ratios (δ15 N and δ13 C) of muscle tissue and stomach content analysis were used to quantify overlap of trophic niche space between vagrant tropical and local temperate fish communities along a 730 km (6°) latitudinal gradient. Our study shows that in recipient temperate ecosystems, sympatric tropical and temperate species do not overlap significantly in their diet-even though they forage on broadly similar prey groups-and are therefore unlikely to compete for trophic niche space. The tropical and temperate species we studied, which are commonly found in shallow-water coastal environments, exhibited moderately broad niche breadths and local-scale dietary plasticity, indicating trophic generalism. We posit that because these species are generalists, they can co-exist under current climate change, facilitating the existence of novel community structures.
Keywords: diet
niche use
ocean warming
range shifts
stable isotopes
Rights: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14898
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Environment Institute publications

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