Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/ece3.4659
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Freshwater species distributions along thermal gradients
Author Kärcher, O.; Hering, D.; Frank, K. ORCID logo ; Markovic, D.
Source Titel Ecology and Evolution
Year 2019
Department OESA; iDiv
Volume 9
Issue 1
Page From 111
Page To 124
Language englisch
Keywords climate change; European freshwater; generalized additive models; preferred temperature; safety margin; thermal response; warming tolerance
Abstract The distribution of a species along a thermal gradient is commonly approximated by a unimodal response curve, with a characteristic single optimum near the temperature where a species is most likely to be found, and a decreasing probability of occurrence away from the optimum. We aimed at identifying thermal response curves (TRCs) of European freshwater species and evaluating the potential impact of climate warming across species, taxonomic groups, and latitude. We first applied generalized additive models using catchment‐scale global data on distribution ranges of 577 freshwater species native to Europe and four different temperature variables (the current annual mean air/water temperature and the maximum air/water temperature of the warmest month) to describe species TRCs. We then classified TRCs into one of eight curve types and identified spatial patterns in thermal responses. Finally, we integrated empirical TRCs and the projected geographic distribution of climate warming to evaluate the effect of rising temperatures on species’ distributions. For the different temperature variables, 390–463 of 577 species (67.6%–80.2%) were characterized by a unimodal TRC. The number of species with a unimodal TRC decreased from central toward northern and southern Europe. Warming tolerance (WT = maximum temperature of occurrence—preferred temperature) was higher at higher latitudes. Preferred temperature of many species is already exceeded. Rising temperatures will affect most Mediterranean species. We demonstrated that freshwater species’ occurrence probabilities are most frequently unimodal. The impact of the global climate warming on species distributions is species and latitude dependent. Among the studied taxonomic groups, rising temperatures will be most detrimental to fish. Our findings support the efforts of catchment‐based freshwater management and conservation in the face of global warming.
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Kärcher, O., Hering, D., Frank, K., Markovic, D. (2019):
Freshwater species distributions along thermal gradients
Ecol. Evol. 9 (1), 111 - 124 10.1002/ece3.4659