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Temperature-related biodiversity change across temperate marine and terrestrial systems

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Climate change is reshaping global biodiversity as species respond to changing temperatures. However, the net effects of climate-driven species redistribution on local assemblage diversity remain unknown. Here, we relate trends in species richness and abundance from 21,500 terrestrial and marine assemblage time series across temperate regions (23.5–60.0° latitude) to changes in air or sea surface temperature. We find a strong coupling between biodiversity and temperature changes in the marine realm, where species richness mostly increases with warming. However, biodiversity responses are conditional on the baseline climate, such that in initially warmer locations richness increase is more pronounced while abundance declines with warming. In contrast, we do not detect systematic temperature-related richness or abundance trends on land, despite a greater magnitude of warming. As the world is committed to further warming, substantial challenges remain in maintaining local biodiversity amongst the non-uniform inflow and outflow of ‘climate migrants’. Temperature-driven community restructuring is especially evident in the ocean, whereas climatic debt may be accumulating on land.


Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Early online date4 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2020

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