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Resident lobsters dominate food competition with range-shifting lobsters in an ocean warming hotspot


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Twiname, S, Fitzgibbon, QP ORCID: 0000-0002-1104-3052, Hobday, AJ, Carter, CG ORCID: 0000-0001-5210-1282, Oellermann, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5392-6737 and Pecl, GT ORCID: 0000-0003-0192-4339 2022 , 'Resident lobsters dominate food competition with range-shifting lobsters in an ocean warming hotspot' , Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 685 , pp. 171-181 , doi: 10.3354/meps13984.

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Species redistributions are one of the most prevalent changes observed in oceans worldwide due to climate change. One of the major challenges is being able to predict temperature-driven changes to species interactions and the outcome of these changes for marine communities due to the complex nature of indirect effects. In the ocean-warming hotspot of south-east Australia, the ranges of many species have shifted poleward. The range of the eastern rock lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi has extended into warming Tasmanian waters inhabited by the resident southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii, which may lead to increased competitive interactions between the species. Using video monitoring, we investigated how the 2 species compete for food at current (18°C), future (21°C) and future heatwave (24°C) summer temperatures. Behavioural competition occurred in 80% of experiments, during which J. edwardsii won 84% of competitive interactions and showed more aggressive behaviour at all temperatures. This indicates that resident J. edwardsii is not only more dominant in direct food competition than the range-shifting S. verreauxi but, surprisingly, also sustains competitive dominance beyond its physiological thermal optimum under predicted future ocean warming and heatwave scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Twiname, S and Fitzgibbon, QP and Hobday, AJ and Carter, CG and Oellermann, M and Pecl, GT
Keywords: climate change ecology, interspecific competition, novel species interactions, range shifts, spiny lobsters, thermal performance
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Publisher: Inter-Research
ISSN: 0171-8630
DOI / ID Number: 10.3354/meps13984
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Copyright 2022 The Author(s)Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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