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Climate-driven regime shift of a temperate marine ecosystem
Wernberg, T.; Bennett, S.; Babcock, R.C.; de Bettignies, T.; Cure, K.; Depczynski, M.; Dufois, F.; Fromont, J.; Fulton, C.J.; Hovey, R.K.; Harvey, E.S.; Holmes, T.H.; Kendrick, G.A.; Radford, B.; Santana-Garcon, J.; Saunders, B.J.; Smale, D.A.; Thomsen, M.S.; Tuckett, C.A.; Tuya, F.; Vanderklift, M.A.; Wilson, S. (2016). Climate-driven regime shift of a temperate marine ecosystem. Science (Wash.) 353(6295): 169-172.
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Wernberg, T.
  • Bennett, S.
  • Babcock, R.C.
  • de Bettignies, T.
  • Cure, K.
  • Depczynski, M.
  • Dufois, F.
  • Fromont, J.
  • Fulton, C.J.
  • Hovey, R.K.
  • Harvey, E.S.
  • Holmes, T.H.
  • Kendrick, G.A.
  • Radford, B.
  • Santana-Garcon, J.
  • Saunders, B.J.
  • Smale, D.A.
  • Thomsen, M.S.
  • Tuckett, C.A.
  • Tuya, F.
  • Vanderklift, M.A.
  • Wilson, S.

    Ecosystem reconfigurations arising from climate-driven changes in species distributions are expected to have profound ecological, social, and economic implications. Here we reveal a rapid climate-driven regime shift of Australian temperate reef communities, which lost their defining kelp forests and became dominated by persistent seaweed turfs. After decades of ocean warming, extreme marine heat waves forced a 100-kilometer range contraction of extensive kelp forests and saw temperate species replaced by seaweeds, invertebrates, corals, and fishes characteristic of subtropical and tropical waters. This community-wide tropicalization fundamentally altered key ecological processes, suppressing the recovery of kelp forests.

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