February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Non-native species in northern Europe: investigating the potential for future spread using high resolution climate projections

Oral Presentation
Biological Invasions
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
16:00 to 16:15

Townhill, B.L. 1 Tinker, J. 2 Pitois, S. 3 Creach, V. 4 Jones, M. 5 Simpson, S. 6 Dye, S.R. 7 Pinnegar, J.K. 8

1Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
2Met Office
3Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
4Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
6University of Exeter
7Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
8Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Climate change can affect every stage of introduction, colonisation, establishment and invasion of non-native species. In southern Europe there are numerous species that are considered commonplace, and many of these organisms are now spreading northwards as seawater temperatures increase. The similarity of climatic conditions between source and recipient areas is assumed to influence the probability of successful establishment, however in a changing climate this is difficult to quantify. We have adapted and applied a risk assessment methodology in order to scope out new species with proven invasive qualities that have not yet arrived in northern Europe, but which could arrive and then become problematic in the future. Those species determined to have the highest risk have been taken forward, as well as some species that may be economically beneficial, for species distribution modelling to determine their future potential habitat distributions under climate change scenarios. In the past, species distribution models have usually relied on low resolution global data. In this study, in order to increase the local resolution of the distribution models, recently available high resolution UK shelf seas climate change model outputs were nested within a lower resolution global climate model. The subsequent distribution modelling showed that habitat suitability will increase further north within Europe for some of the non-native species. Some of these species are potentially valuable and so may present an opportunity for the fishing industry or aquaculture. Other species are known to be nuisance species and so this early warning of their potential future distributions could be valuable in informing monitoring programmes, particularly for vulnerable infrastructure or protected or threatened ecosystems, and for prioritising control actions.
non-native, invasive, climate, change, impact

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