Global Warming Pushes Fish Populations to the Poles

A recent study noted that global warming has pushed fish populations toward the cooler waters of the north and south poles. Researchers from the University of Glasgow analyzed global data and examined data on 115 species covering all major ocean regions.

With vibrant coral reefs and sizable concentrations of tuna, turtles and other species, tropical oceans are known for their rich marine biodiversity. It has long been believed that the resistance of marine organisms gradually decreases as we move towards the poles.

Over the past century, global warming has substantially affected marine ecosystems, with fish species disappearing completely from some locations, noted research published in the journal Global Change Biology on May 30, 2023.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers applied existing life history evolutionary mathematical models to publish data on birth weight, growth rate, and adult mortality for 47 marine fish species. They found that tropical fish experienced 80% higher mortality than polar fish.

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The model predicts that polar fish should take advantage of lower mortality risks to maximize the number of offspring they produce by maturing later. Published data on marine fish confirm the model’s predictions: polar species tend to reproduce significantly more slowly than tropical ones and the number of eggs they lay increases more sharply as body size increases.

These findings suggest that climate change may drive changes in the growth and reproduction of marine fish, with warmer oceans causing fish to reproduce earlier when they are smaller, and produce fewer eggs as a result. This could have a major impact on fish populations and fisheries around the world.

Researchers point to advertising for the potential impact of migration on ecosystems. There can be severe repercussions if prey of these species do not follow them or they start causing invasive disturbances in their new habitat.


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