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Our research focuses on understanding the processes that shape marine communities, and what conditions and interactions support or erode their diversity and resilience to climate variability.

drawing of internal waves in kelp forest

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Local oceanographic variability influences the performance of juvenile abalone under climate change

Climate change is causing warming, deoxygenation, and acidification of the global ocean. However, manifestation of climate change may vary at local scales due to oceanographic conditions. Variation in stressors, such as high temperature and low oxygen, at local scales may lead to variable biological responses and spatial refuges from climate impacts. We conducted outplant experiments at two locations separated by ~2.5 km and two sites at each location separated by ~200 m in the nearshore of Isla Natividad, Mexico to assess how local ocean conditions (warming and hypoxia) may affect juvenile abalone performance. Here, we show that abalone growth and mortality mapped to variability in stress exposure across sites and locations. These insights indicate that management decisions aimed at maintaining and recovering valuable marine species in the face of climate change need to be informed by local variability in environmental conditions.

Nature: Scientific Reports

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