Climate change impacts on the distribution of coastal lobsters

Joana Boavida-Portugal*, Rui Rosa, Ricardo Calado, Maria Pinto, Ines Boavida-Portugal, Miguel B. Araujo, Francois Guilhaumon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Coastal lobsters support important fisheries all over the world, but there is evidence that climate-induced changes may jeopardize some stocks. Here we present the first global forecasts of changes incoastal lobster species distribution under climate change, using an ensemble of ecological niche models (ENMs). Global changes in richness were projected for 125 coastal lobster species for the end of the century, using a stabilization scenario (4.5 RCP). We compared projected changes in diversity with lobster fisheries data and found that losses in suitable habitat for coastal lobster species were mainly projected in areas with high commercial fishing interest, with species projected to contract their climatic envelope between 40 and 100%. Higher losses of spiny lobsters are projected in the coasts of wider Caribbean/Brazil, eastern Africa and Indo-Pacific region, areas with several directed fisheries and aquacultures, while clawed lobsters are projected to shifts their envelope to northern latitudes likely affecting the North European, North American and Canadian fisheries. Fisheries represent an important resource for local and global economies and understanding how they might be affected by climate change scenarios is paramount when developing specific or regional management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number186
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2018



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