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Scientists link climate change and gray snapper

NOAA scientists continue to develop and improve the approaches used to understand the effect of climate change on marine fisheries along the East Coast. Their latest study projects that gray snapper, one common coastal species found in the Southeast, will shift northwards in response to warming coastal waters.

In a study published online Dec. 20 in the journal Plos One, researchers from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the University of North Florida developed projections of gray snapper distribution under several climate change scenarios.

"Temperature is a major factor shaping the distribution of marine species given its influence on biological processes," said Jon Hare, lead author of the new study and director of the center’s Narragansett Laboratory in R.I. "Many fish species are expected to shift poleward or northward as a result of climate change, but we don’t fully understand the mechanics of how temperature interacts with a species life history, especially differences between juvenile and adult stages."

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