Shifts in Abundance and Distribution of the Sandy Beach Fish Fauna Along the Brazilian Coast: A Response to Climate Change

Monday, August 18, 2014
Exhibit Hall 400AB (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Tatiana Neves , Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Brazil
Francisco Gerson Araújo , Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil
Márcia Azevedo , Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
Ana Paula Guedes , Universidade do Estado da Bahia
André Pessanha , Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
The Brazil coast suffers influence of the tropical Brazil Current that moves southward between latitudes 20-30oS and is very likely to be suffering climate change. We examined temporal and distributional shifts in the fish fauna and tried to associate to climate and non-climate effects. Primary historical and updated information mixed with synthesis from the available literature, from the ‘eighties’ to the ‘present’ were examined. We selected candidate species to indicate climate changes, according to their relative abundance and range of distribution. Seventy species exhibited changes in abundance over the studied period and some of them expanded distributional ranges thought to be climate related. These are distributed across the following categories: species previously unlisted in SE Brazil (9), with abundance increases (16), disappeared from the records in SE Brazil (9), with abundance decreases in all regions (32), and with southward range expansion (15). Of the 15 fishes exhibiting indications of poleward movement, most are from tropical areas, with range of distribution limited to SE coast of Brazil but that were recorded in higher latitudes. Many tropical species have colonized the subtropical and warm temperate South American regions or substantially expanded their ranges, consistent with warming observed in the local marine environment.