Conservation Physiology of Marine Fishes

Integrating physiology into forecasting

See the ‘meetings’ tab for minutes and information about training schools and workshops held by this WG during the course of the Action

This WG will foster communication between physiologists, community ecologists and forecast modellers to (1) integrate data and ideas and improve forecasting of impacts of climate change on populations and (2) ensure that conservation physiology is focussed on achievable and definable forecasting objectives.


Specific objectives are to:

  • Foster communication between physiologists and ecologists, thereby allowing: physiologists to develop deeper understanding of how physiological processes are currently (implicitly or explicitly) formulated within ecological forecast models and;
    ecologists to develop deeper understanding of critical physiological processes that should be explicitly incorporated into ecological forecast models.
  • Evaluate current and forecast future species distributions with models that explicitly incorporate physiological processes
  • Explore the linkages between physiology, population dynamics, ecology and distribution.
  • Evaluate potential ‘winners’ (including invasive species) and ‘losers’ (local extinctions) in climate change scenarios, with emphasis on keystone and indicator species, and food web effects. Use these species to evaluate the physiological biomarkers (WG 1)
  • Evaluate potential effects of environmental change on fish assemblages composition and structure, using European Marine Protected Areas as “natural laboratories” and “data-providers”, where effects of climate change can be assessed in the absence of other anthropogenic stressors (e.g. fishing pressure).
  • Specifically, the effect of AGCC on distribution shifts of some local or invasive species will focus on key MPAs spanning the European Seas that represent relevant boundaries for species ranges, e.g. latitudinal boundaries.
  • Identify research priorities for conservation physiology in European marine waters, and propose suitable research projects.

Deliverables for WG 2

  • At least 3 literature reviews based upon the integration of data and ideas, to incorporate physiological processes into modelling climate change effects on fishes. Topics include (1) modelling fish growth and population dynamics (2) species distributions and (3) multi-species interactions and ecosystem dynamics.
  • Report identifying gaps in scientific knowledge and further research needs in these areas.
  • At least 10 STSMs.
  • Joint research proposals.
  • 1 technical workshop on approaches to incorporating physiological processes into forecasting climate change impacts on fishes.
  • 1 training course for young scientists on developing ecological models to implement these modelling approaches.