Climate change shifts European cephalopod distributions north-east

Study of cephalopods in regional waters suggests shifts in environmental suitability drive populations increases north—and decreases south—of the English Channel

Data resources used via GBIF : 7,191 species occurrences
Octopus vulgaris
Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 observed near Bastia, Corsica, France by Sylvain Le Bris (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Squid, octopuses and cuttlefish are important species in fisheries worldwide. This short-lived group is sensitive to changes in environmental conditions, so climate change may negatively influence their sustainable exploitation.

In this study, researchers aggregated species occurrences of Octopus vulgaris (common octopus), Sepia officinalis (common cuttlefish) and Loligo vulgaris (common squid) from OBIS, GBIF and SeaLifeBase to model their ecological niches in European waters.

The authors considered various environment parameters such as salinity and temperature applied in an ensemble modelling framework and combined several different algorithms that integrated machine learning and regression-based methods to produce predictions about the current and future environmental suitability and distribution for each species.

Overall, the models predicted increases in environmental suitability in all areas north of the English Channel, shifting the centers of the species' distributions north-eastward. The highest increases were observed in the North Sea for cuttlefish and squid and in the Baltic Sea for octopus. General decreases, however, were observed for all three species in the Bay of Biscay and across the Mediterranean.

Schickele A, Francour P and Raybaud V (2021) European cephalopods distribution under climate-change scenarios. Scientific Reports. Springer Science and Business Media LLC 11(1). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83457-w.

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  • France
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  • Climate change
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  • Data analysis