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Organisms are expected to adapt or move in response to climate change, but observed distribution shifts span a wide range of directions and rates. Explanations often emphasize biological distinctions among species, but general mechanisms have been elusive. We tested an alternative hypothesis: that differences in climate velocity - the rate and directions that climate shifts across the landscape - can explain observed species shifts. We compiled a database of coastal surveys around North American from 1968 to 2011, sampling 128 million individuals across 360 marine taxa. Climate velocity explained the magnitude and direction of shifts in latitude and depth much more efficiently than did species characteristics. Our results demonstrate that marine species shift at different rates and directions because they closely track the complex mosaic of local climate velocities.

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Date Of Record Release 2015-12-28 21:25:44
Description Organisms are expected to adapt or move in response to climate change, but observed distribution shifts span a wide range of directions and rates. Explanations often emphasize biological distinctions among species, but general mechanisms have been elusive. We tested an alternative hypothesis: that differences in climate velocity - the rate and directions that climate shifts across the landscape - can explain observed species shifts. We compiled a database of coastal surveys around North American from 1968 to 2011, sampling 128 million individuals across 360 marine taxa. Climate velocity explained the magnitude and direction of shifts in latitude and depth much more efficiently than did species characteristics. Our results demonstrate that marine species shift at different rates and directions because they closely track the complex mosaic of local climate velocities.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Keyword Climate Change, Marine Species, Impacts
Date Of Record Creation 2015-12-28 21:21:56
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2015-12-28 21:25:44
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2015-12-28 21:21:56 (W3C-DTF)

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