2011-03-10 11:29:14Rapid poleward range expansion of tropical reef corals in response to rising sea surface temperatures
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1) GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L04601, doi:10.1029/2010GL046474, 2011

Rapid poleward range expansion of tropical reef corals in response
to rising sea surface temperatures
Hiroya Yamano,1 Kaoru Sugihara,1 and Keiichi Nomura2

1] Rising temperatures caused by climatic warming may
cause poleward range shifts and/or expansions in species
distribution. Tropical reef corals (hereafter corals) are some of
the world’s most important species, being not only primary
producers, but also habitat‐forming species, and thus fundamental
ecosystem modification is expected according to
changes in their distribution. Although most studies of climate
change effects on corals have focused on temperatureinduced
coral bleaching in tropical areas, poleward range
shifts and/or expansions may also occur in temperate areas.
We show the first large‐scale evidence of the poleward range
expansion of modern corals, based on 80 years of national
records from the temperate areas of Japan, where centurylong
measurements of in situ sea‐surface temperatures have
shown statistically significant rises. Four major coral species
categories, including two key species for reef formation in
tropical areas, showed poleward range expansions since the
1930s, whereas no species demonstrated southward range
shrinkage or local extinction. The speed of these expansions
reached up to 14 km/year, which is far greater than that
for other species. Our results, in combination with recent
findings suggesting range expansions of tropical coral‐reef
associated organisms, strongly suggest that rapid, fundamental
modifications of temperate coastal ecosystems could be in
progress. Citation: Yamano, H., K. Sugihara, and K. Nomura
(2011), Rapid poleward range expansion of tropical reef corals in
response to rising sea surface temperatures, Geophys. Res. Lett.,
38, L04601, doi:10.1029/2010GL046474.

2011-03-10 15:34:52?
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
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