Climate change tightens a metabolic constraint on marine habitats


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Hans.Poertner [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Warming of the oceans and consequent loss of dissolved oxygen (O2) will alter marine ecosystems, but a mechanistic framework to predict the impact of multiple stressors on viable habitat is lacking. Here, we integrate physiological, climatic, and biogeographic data to calibrate and then map a key metabolic index—the ratio of O2 supply to resting metabolic O2 demand—across geographic ranges of several marine ectotherms. These species differ in thermal and hypoxic tolerances, but their contemporary distributions are all bounded at the equatorward edge by a minimum metabolic index of ~2 to 5, indicative of a critical energetic requirement for organismal activity. The combined effects of warming and O2 loss this century are projected to reduce the upper ocean’s metabolic index by ~20% globally and by ~50% in northern high-latitude regions, forcing poleward and vertical contraction of metabolically viable habitats and species ranges.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
43448
DOI 10.1126/science.aaa1605

Cite as
Deutsch, C. , Ferrel, A. , Seibel, B. , Poertner, H. O. and Huey, R. B. (2015): Climate change tightens a metabolic constraint on marine habitats , Science, 348 (6239), pp. 1132-1135 . doi: 10.1126/science.aaa1605


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