Fish body sizes change with temperature, but not all species shrink with warming

Scientists have assumed that warming seas lead to smaller fish body sizes, on average. This analysis uses the Reef Life Survey and Australian Temperate Reef Collaboration data to look at whether this is true or not. It looks at how the size of individuals of 335 fish species varies along the Australian coastline (from cool to warm temperatures across their geographic ranges) and also through time and long-term reef monitoring sites. It surprisingly finds that fish size does change significantly with temperature, but not all in the same direction. Some species are larger in warmer seas, others become smaller. This is important for managing fisheries in the modern era of rapidly changing ocean climate, as well as for the way coral and rocky reef ecosystems function.

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