Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Patterns of abundance across geographical ranges as a predictor for responses to climate change: Evidence from UK rocky shores

Lookup NU author(s): Stephanie Dickens, Jade Chenery, Charlotte Foster, Dr Jacqueline Pocklington, Dr Heather SugdenORCiD, Dr Jane Delany



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Aim: Understanding patterns in the abundance of species across thermal ranges can give useful insights into the potential impacts of climate change. The abundant-centre hypothesis suggests that species will reach peak abundance at the centre of their thermal range where conditions are optimal, but evidence in support of this hypothesis is mixed and limited in geographical and taxonomic scope. We tested the applicability of the abundant-centre hypothesis across a range of intertidal organisms using a large, citizen science-generated data set. Location: UK. Methods: Species' abundance records were matched with their location within their thermal range. Patterns in abundance distribution for individual species, and across aggregated species abundances, were analysed using Kruskal–Wallis tests and quantile general additive models. Results: Individually, invertebrate species showed increasing abundances in the cooler half of the thermal range and decreasing abundances in the warmer half of the thermal range. The overall shape for aggregated invertebrate species abundances reflected a broad peak, with a cool-skewed maximum abundance. Algal species showed little evidence for an abundant-centre distribution individually, but overall the aggregated species abundances suggested a hump-backed abundance distribution.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vye SR, Dickens S, Adams L, Bohn K, Chenery J, Dobson N, Dunn RE, Earp HS, Evans M, Foster C, Grist H, Holt B, Hull S, Jenkins S, Lamont P, Long S, Mieszkowska N, Millard J, Morrall Z, Pack K, Parry-Wilson H, Pocklington J, Pottas J, Richardson L, Scott A, Sugden H, Watson G, West V, Winton D, Delany J, Burrows MT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diversity and Distributions

Year: 2020

Volume: 26

Issue: 10

Pages: 1357-1365

Print publication date: 01/10/2020

Online publication date: 24/06/2020

Acceptance date: 29/05/2020

Date deposited: 22/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1366-9516

ISSN (electronic): 1472-4642

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13118


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Heritage Lottery Fund