Biogeography of cephalopods in the Southern Ocean using habitat suitability prediction models
Our understanding of how environmental change in the Southern Ocean will affect marine diversity, habitats and distribution remain limited. The habitats and distributions of Southern Ocean cephalopods are generally poorly understood, and yet such knowledge is necessary for research and conservation management purposes, as well as for assessing the potential impacts of environmental change. We used net-catch data to develop habitat suitability models for 15 of the most common cephalopods in the Southern Ocean. Using modeled habitat suitability, we assessed favorable areas for each species and examined the relationships between species distribution and environmental parameters. The results compared favorably with the known ecology of these species and with spatial patterns from diet studies of squid predators. The individual habitat suitability models were overlaid to generate a “hotspot” index of species richness, which showed higher numbers of squid species associated with various fronts of the Antarctic circumpolar current. Finally, we reviewed the overall distribution of these species and their importance in the diet of Southern Ocean predators. There is a need for further studies to explore the potential impacts of future climate change on Southern Ocean squid.
Authors: Xavier, Jose, Raymond, Ben, Jones, Daniel C., Griffiths, Huw