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Geographical Range Extension of the Spotfin burrfish, Chilomycterus reticulatus (L. 1758), in the Canary Islands: A Response to Ocean Warming?

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Biodiversity and Conservation Research Group, IU-ECOAQUA, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Crta. Taliarte s/n, 35214 Telde, Canary Islands, Spain
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The Ocean Brothers, C/ Charaviscales 4, 38900 Valverde, El Hierro Island, Canary Islands, Spain
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School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia Ocean Institute, Crawley (Perth), WA 6009, Australia
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Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
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Servicio de Impacto Ambiental, Dirección General de Lucha Contra el Cambio Climático y Medio Ambiente, Viceconsejería de Lucha Contra el Cambio Climático, Consejería de Transición Ecológica, Lucha Contra el Cambio Climático yPlanificación Territorial, C/ Profesor Agustín Millares Carló 18, 35071 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120230
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Change Effects on Marine Benthos)
In recent decades, numerous marine species have changed their distribution ranges due to ocean warming. The Spotfin burrfish, Chilomycterus reticulatus, is a reef fish with a global distribution along tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate areas of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. In this work, we analyzed the presence of this species, between 1990 and 2019, at two islands of the Canarian Archipelago under varying oceanographic conditions: El Hierro (the westernmost island, under more tropical conditions) and Gran Canaria (a central-east island, under more cooler conditions). We expected that, under increased ocean temperatures in recent decades, the number of sightings has increased in Gran Canaria relative to El Hierro. We compiled information from different sources, including interviews and local citizenship databases. A total of 534 sightings were reported: 38.58% from El Hierro and 61.43% from Gran Canaria. The number of sightings on Gran Canaria has significantly increased through time, at a rate of 0.1 sightings per year; at El Hierro, however, the number of sightings has not significantly changed over time. Sea Surface Temperature has linearly increased in both El Hierro and Gran Canaria islands over the last three decades. Positive Sea Surface Temperature anomalies, particularly in 1998 and 2010, including high winter minimum temperatures, provide an ideal oceanographic context to favour the arrival of new individuals and, consequently, the increase in the number of sightings in Gran Canaria. Still, potential donor areas of fish recruits remain unknown. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropicalization; sea temperature rise; distribution shift; population increase; Diodontidae; Canary Islands tropicalization; sea temperature rise; distribution shift; population increase; Diodontidae; Canary Islands
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Espino, F.; Tuya, F.; del Rosario, A.; Bosch, N.E.; Coca, J.; González-Ramos, A.J.; del Rosario, F.; Otero-Ferrer, F.J.; Moreno, Á.C.; Haroun, R. Geographical Range Extension of the Spotfin burrfish, Chilomycterus reticulatus (L. 1758), in the Canary Islands: A Response to Ocean Warming? Diversity 2019, 11, 230.

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