Ocean Warming Threatens Key Trophic Interactions Supporting A Commercial Fishery in A Climate Change

A new paper is JUST published in Global Change Biology, focusing on the indirect effects of climate change on the biology of marine organisms. The paper is entitled :"Ocean warming threatens key trophic interactions supporting a commercial fishery in a climate change hotspot".

Image from Holland et al. (2021)


Worldwide, rising ocean temperatures are causing declines and range shifts in marine species. The direct effects of climate change on the biology of marine organisms are often well documented; yet, knowledge on the indirect effects, particularly through trophic interactions, is largely lacking. They provide evidence of ocean warming decoupling critical trophic interactions supporting a commercially important mollusc in a climate change hotspot. Dietary assessments of the Australian blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra) indicate primary dependency on a widespread macroalgal species (Phyllospora comosa) which they show to be in state of decline due to ocean warming, resulting in abalone biomass reductions. Niche models suggest further declines in P. comosa over the coming decades and ongoing risks to H. rubra. This study highlights the importance of studies from climate change hotspots and understanding the interplay between climate and trophic interactions when determining the likely response of marine species to environmental changes.


This publication was led by Owen Holland (Deakin University, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia), and our Marine Mapping Group Member Mary Young contributed to the publication.


Congrats to Mary and the DU Marine Mapping Group!

To read the full article, click here.

Last edited on the October 19th, 2021.

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