Melting barriers to faunal exchange across ocean basins
- Subject Areas
- Biodiversity, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Epidemiology
- climate change, range expansion, birds, mammals, northwest passages, arctic
- © 2015 McKeon et al.
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2015. Melting barriers to faunal exchange across ocean basins. PeerJ PrePrints 3:e835v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.835v1
Accelerated loss of sea ice in the Arctic is opening routes connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for longer periods each year. These changes will increase the ease and frequency with which marine birds and mammals are able to move between the Pacific and Atlantic ocean basins. Indeed, recent observations of birds and mammals suggest these movements are already occurring. Reconnection of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean basins will present both challenges to marine ecosystem conservation and an unprecedented opportunity to examine the ecological and evolutionary consequences of faunal exchange in real time. To understand these changes and implement effective conservation of marine ecosystems, we need to further develop modeling efforts to predict the rate of dispersal and consequences of faunal exchange. These predictions can be tested by closely monitoring wildlife dispersal through the Arctic Ocean and using modern methods to explore the ecological and evolutionary consequences of these movements.
This is the first version of the preprint.