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.
The world’s oceans are highly impacted by climate change and other human pressures, with significant implications for marine ecosystems and the livelihoods that they support. Adaptation for both natural and human systems is increasingly important as a coping strategy due to the rate and scale of ongoing and potential future change. Here, we conduct a review of literature concerning specific case studies of adaptation in marine systems, and discuss associated characteristics and influencing factors, including drivers, strategy, timeline, costs, and limitations. We found ample evidence in the literature that shows that marine species are adapting to climate change through shifting distributions and timing of biological events, while evidence for adaptation through evolutionary processes is limited. For human systems, existing studies focus on frameworks and principles of adaptation planning, but examples of implemented adaptation actions and evaluation of outcomes are scarce. These findings highlight potentially useful strategies given specific social–ecological contexts, as well as key barriers and specific information gaps requiring further research and actions.