Abstract: Climate change is having multiple impacts on marine species characterized by sedentary adult and pelagic larval phases, from increasing adult mortality to changes in larval duration and ocean currents. Recent studies have shown impacts of climate change on species persistence through direct effects on individual survival and development, but few have considered the indirect effects mediated by ocean currents and species traits such as pelagic larval duration. We used a density-dependent and stochastic metapopulation model to predict how changes in adult mortality and dynamic connectivity can affect marine metapopulation stability. We analyzed our model with connectivity data simulated from a biophysical ocean model of the northeast Pacific coast forced under current (1998–2007) and future (2068–2077) climate scenarios in combination with scenarios of increasing adult mortality and decreasing larval duration. Our results predict that changes of ocean currents and larval duration mediated by climate change interact in complex and opposing directions to shape local mortality and metapopulation connectivity with synergistic effects on regional metapopulation stability: while species with short larval duration are most sensitive to temperature-driven reduction in larval duration, the response of species with longer larval duration are mostly mediated by changes in both the mean and variance of larval connectivity driven by ocean currents. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the spatiotemporal structure of connectivity in order to predict how the multiple effects of climate change will impact marine populations.
Recommended citation: Bani, R., Marleau, J., Fortin, M. J., Daigle, R. M., & Guichard, F. (2021). Dynamic larval dispersal can mediate the response of marine metapopulations to multiple climate change impacts. Oikos, 130(6), 989-1000.