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Multidecadal shifts in fish community diversity across a dynamic biogeographic transition zone
Troast, B.; Paperno, R.; Cook, G.S. (2020). Multidecadal shifts in fish community diversity across a dynamic biogeographic transition zone. Diversity Distrib. 26(1): 93-107.
In: Diversity and Distributions. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 1366-9516; e-ISSN 1472-4642, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Dataset 

    Climate Change
    Species composition
    Taxa > Species > Indicator species
Author keywords
    beta diversity, biogeographic transition zone, fish community dynamics, Indian River Lagoon

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Troast, B.
  • Paperno, R.
  • Cook, G.S.


    A 21‐year fisheries‐independent monitoring dataset was used to explore fish community diversity across a latitudinal gradient to quantify how diversity has changed and relate those changes in diversity to changes in the abiotic environment. Additionally, this study spans a biogeographic transition zone, providing insight into future species assemblages across regions of relatively high species diversity.


    Indian River Lagoon, FL, USA.


    Spatial and temporal beta diversity was quantified latitudinally with “best derived breaks” determined by using chronological cluster analyses. Multiple indices of alpha diversity were quantified, including species richness, Shannon diversity, Simpson diversity and Pielou's evenness. AIC model selection and environmental fit tests were performed to link patterns of diversity and species assemblages with the abiotic environment.


    Evidence of a biogeographic transition zone was supported by data spanning the entire study period; the largest break in species assemblage occurred near 28°N. Fine‐scale analyses using small and large seine catches were noisier than broad analyses but indicated a northern shift in location of the biogeographic transition zone. Beta diversity was generally dominated by species turnover/balance versus nestedness/gradient components, implying that changes were driven by species sorting associated with the physical environment. Excluding the summation of all environmental variables, temperature and dissolved oxygen best describe patterns of diversity and species composition.

    Main conclusions

    Over years less affected by disturbances, large and small seine catch data suggest the fish community assemblage and location of the biogeographic transition zone has shifted 9 and 21 km to the north. If the trends observed in these years were to continue from 1999 until the year 2100, a 111–243‐km shift in fish communities could be expected. Variation in rates of movement based on gear type suggests novel species assemblages could ensue.

  • Multi-decadal shifts in fish community diversity across a dynamic biogeographic transition zone, more

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