But a new study from the University of Adelaide, published in Nature Climate Change , shows that the ocean acidification predicted under continuing high CO2 emissions may make cooler, temperate waters less welcoming.


“Every summer hundreds of tropical fish species extend their range to cooler and temperate regions as the waters of their natural habitat become a little too warm for comfort,” says lead author Ericka Coni, PhD student in the University’s School of Biological Sciences. “For at least two decades, Australian temperate reefs have been receiving new guests from the tropics.

“As a result of warming, we also see warm-temperate long-spined sea urchins increasing in numbers in southeast Australia, where they overgraze kelp forests and turn them into deserts known as ‘urchin barrens’. Coral reef fishes that are expanding their ranges to temperate Australia prefer these barrens over the natural kelp habitats.

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