Manage climate-driven range extensions of problematic species
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Range extensions, where the geographic area occupied by a species naturally (without human interference) changes over time, can occur in response to climate change and extreme events (Kyle et al. 2014; Pitt et al. 2010). In some cases, the ‘new’ species to the area (following range extension) can become problematic and negatively impact on other marine species (Johnson et al. 2011). For instance, the range of the barren-forming sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii has extended poleward from New South Wales to Tasmania over the past 40 years or so, and has been shown to be a contributing factor to the cascading negative ecological effect on the local rocky reef community, shifting from macroalgae-dominated systems to sea urchin barrens (Johnson et al. 2011). Managing climate-driven range extension of these problematic species, for instance through physical removal, may help to alleviate the pressure on subtidal benthic invertebrates.
Johnson C.R., Banks S.C., Barrett N.S., Cazassus F., Dunstan P.K., Edgar G.J., Frusher S.D., Gardner C., Haddon M., Helidoniotis F. & Hill K. L. (2011) Climate change cascades: Shifts in oceanography, species' ranges and subtidal marine community dynamics in eastern Tasmania. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 400, 17–32.
Kyle C., Cavanaugh J.R., Kellner A.J., Forde D.S., Gruner J.D., Parker W., Rodriguez I. & Feller C. (2014) Poleward expansion of mangroves is a threshold response to decreased frequency of extreme cold events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 723–727.
Pitt N.R., Poloczanska E.S. & Hobday A.J. (2010) Climate-driven range changes in Tasmanian intertidal fauna. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61, 963–970.