Integrating physiology, behavior and life history to understand impacts of ocean warming on key marine species

Miss Patricia Peinado1, Dr Quinn Fitgibbon1, Dr Sean Tracey1, Dr Jayson  Semmens1, Dr Gretta  Pecl l1

1IMAS, University Of Tasmania , Sandy Bay, Australia

Marine communities are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the climate-driven changes in the geographical distribution of species. Modification of species distributions can lead to new species interactions which could have consequences for the species population, or the broader community composition or ecosystem functioning. In particular, climate-driven changes in predator-prey interactions can substantially impact the whole community when important predator or prey species are affected. Given major redistribution of marine species is already occurring in response to climate change, understanding species physiology, and the complex relationship between it and biotic interactions are essential for anticipating how species and ecosystems will respond to the fast rates of current warming. By studying rapidly responding species, such squid, in faster changing regions of the world, we can examine the mechanistic links between ocean warming and biological response in advance of wider scale impacts predicted for the future. Squid are fast growing, short-lived, voracious predators that play a large role in the structure and function of many marine ecosystems. Here, we aim to understand how temperature affects physiology and behaviour and the relationship between them in southern calamari. Specifically, the response to metabolic activity, critical thermal limits and life-history traits to current and future warming scenarios are examined. Changes in behaviour are also explored, examining temperature effects on predation-prey interactions, and thermal habitat preferences. Such studies will give us a better understanding of how species respond, and the mechanism behind these responses to changes in the environment.


Second year PhD student in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic  studies at the University of Tasmania.

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