Projected range shift of eelgrass in the Northwest Atlantic with climate change

Climate change is altering the distribution and abundance of many marine species, including habitat-forming seagrasses which provide important ecosystem functions and services. Using species distribution models, we predicted the current distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in the Northwest Atlantic and projected possible future range shifts under contrasting climate change scenarios until the end of the 21st century. Our results highlight relatively small changes under a strong climate mitigation scenario, yet substantial northward shifts under a business-as-usual emission scenario, with losses of eelgrass beds along its southern range limit.

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