Research Summary: Projecting Range Limits with Coupled Thermal Tolerance – Climate Change Models: An Example Based on Gray Snapper (Lutjanus griseus) along the U.S. East Coast


We couple a species range limit hypothesis with the output of an ensemble of general circulation models to project the poleward range limit of gray snapper. Using laboratory-derived thermal limits and statistical downscaling from IPCC AR4 general circulation models, we project that gray snapper will shift northwards; the magnitude of this shift is dependent on the magnitude of climate change. We also evaluate the uncertainty in our projection and find that statistical uncertainty associated with the experimentally-derived thermal limits is the largest contributor (∼ 65%) to overall quantified uncertainty. This finding argues for more experimental work aimed at understanding and parameterizing the effects of climate change and variability on marine species.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 20-December-2012

Author(s): Hare J., Wuenschel M., Kimball M.


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