Vulnerability to climate change of managed stocks in the California Current large marine ecosystem
Introduction: Understanding how abundance, productivity and distribution of individual species may respond to climate change is a critical first step towards anticipating alterations in marine ecosystem structure and function, as well as developing strategies to adapt to the full range of potential changes.
Methods: This study applies the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries Climate Vulnerability Assessment method to 64 federally-managed species in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem to assess their vulnerability to climate change, where vulnerability is a function of a species’ exposure to environmental change and its biological sensitivity to a set of environmental conditions, which includes components of its resiliency and adaptive capacity to respond to these new conditions.
Results: Overall, two-thirds of the species were judged to have Moderate or greater vulnerability to climate change, and only one species was anticipated to have a positive response. Species classified as Highly or Very Highly vulnerable share one or more characteristics including: 1) having complex life histories that utilize a wide range of freshwater and marine habitats; 2) having habitat specialization, particularly for areas that are likely to experience increased hypoxia; 3) having long lifespans and low population growth rates; and/or 4) being of high commercial value combined with impacts from non-climate stressors such as anthropogenic habitat degradation. Species with Low or Moderate vulnerability are either habitat generalists, occupy deep-water habitats or are highly mobile and likely to shift their ranges.
Discussion: As climate-related changes intensify, this work provides key information for both scientists and managers as they address the long-term sustainability of fisheries in the region. This information can inform near-term advice for prioritizing species-level data collection and research on climate impacts, help managers to determine when and where a precautionary approach might be warranted, in harvest or other management decisions, and help identify habitats or life history stages that might be especially effective to protect or restore.
|Vulnerability to climate change of managed stocks in the California Current large marine ecosystem
|Frontiers in Marine Science
|Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
|1103767, 21 p.
|California, Oregon, Washington
|California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
|Google Analytic Metrics