Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorLyashevska, Olga
dc.contributor.authorBrophy, Deirdre
dc.contributor.authorWing, Steve
dc.contributor.authorJohns, David G.
dc.contributor.authorHaberlin, Damien
dc.contributor.authorDoyle, Thomas K.
dc.identifier.citationLyashevska, O., Brophy, D., Wing, S. et al. Evidence of a range expansion in sunfish from 47 years of coastal sightings. Mar Biol 169, 20 (2022).
dc.description.abstractAlmost nothing is known about the historical abundance of the ocean sunfish. Yet as an ecologically and functionally important taxa, understanding changes in abundance may be a useful indicator of how our seas are responding to anthropogenic changes including overfishing and climate change. Within this context, sightings from a coastal bird observatory (51.26∘ N, 9.30∘ W) over a 47 year period (from April to October 1971–2017) provided the first long-term index of sunfish abundance. Using a general linear mixed effect model with a hurdle to deal with imperfect detectability and to model trends, a higher probability of detecting sunfish was found in the 1990s and 2000s. Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) phytoplankton color indices and the annual mean position of the 13 ∘C sea surface isotherm were significantly correlated with the probability of detecting sunfish. An increase in siphonophore abundance (as measured by the CPR) was also documented. However, this increase occurred 10–15 years after the sunfish increase and was not significantly correlated with sunfish abundance. Our results suggest that the observed increase in sunfish sightings is evidence of a range expansion because it was significantly correlated with the mean position of the 13 ∘C isotherm which moved northwards by over 200 km. Furthermore, the observed increase in sunfish occured 10 years before sunfish sightings are documented in Icelandic and Norwegian waters, and was concurrent with well-known range expansions for other fish species during the 1990s. This study demonstrates how sustained citizen science projects can provide unique insights on the historical abundance of this enigmatic species.en_US
dc.publisherSpringer Natureen_US
dc.relation.ispartofMarine Biologyen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International*
dc.subjectMola molaen_US
dc.subjectMuggiaea atlanticaen_US
dc.subjectDermochelys coriaceaen_US
dc.subjectCitizen scienceen_US
dc.subjectHurdle modelen_US
dc.titleEvidence of a range expansion in sunfish from 47 years of coastal sightingsen_US
dc.contributor.affiliationMarine and Freshwater Research Centre, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Irelanden_US
dc.contributor.affiliationCape Clear Bird Observatory, Birdwatch Ireland, Wicklow, Irelanden_US
dc.contributor.affiliationThe Marine Biological Association of the UK, Plymouth, UKen_US
dc.contributor.affiliationScience Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, Environmental Research Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Irelanden_US
dc.contributor.affiliationSchool of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Irelanden_US
dc.contributor.sponsorOpen Access funding provided by the IReL Consortium. This research was supported by a grant from the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (Ecosystem tipping points: learning from the past to manage for the future, project code 2015-NC-MS-3).en_US
dc.subject.departmentMarine and Freshwater Research Centreen_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International