Regional variability in the sensitivity of Caribbean reef fish assemblages to ocean warming.

Ocean warming is expected to impact biodiversity and fisheries in the tropics through shifts in species’ distributions, leading to local extinctions and changes in species composition of catches. However, regional-scale patterns may differ from global trends due to the influence of important environmental factors such as ocean warming, fishing and habitat availability. Here, we used the mean temperature of the catch to test the hypothesis that, for the period of 1971 to 2010, regional variation in species-turnover of exploited reef fish assemblages among 9 Caribbean countries can be explained by differences in the rate of warming, species’ thermal preferences, changes in trophic structure due to fishing and potential reef habitat across the region.