Tropical fish threaten kelp and algae


Plant-eating tropical fish species are causing serious damage to algae and kelp forests in sub-tropical and temperate regions around the world, an international team of experts warn. The findings come from a review published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, which suggests that climate change is leading to ‘tropicalisation’ – the movement of tropical species towards the poles – as waters get warmer and ocean currents strengthen. It reveals how algae and kelp-eating tropical fish such as rabbitfish have already led to the collapse of kelp forests – and their associated abalone fisheries – in Japan, and decimated the canopy-forming algae forests in the Mediterranean.

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