Human-induced climate change is affecting ecosystems in many different ways.

In the ocean, these changes include warming, habitat destruction, fishing, nutrient inputs and changes in the acidity of seawater. The way these changes impact ecosystems depend on the connections between species.

In this work, CLEX researchers and colleagues discovered which species are most important in transferring these impacts through the ecosystem.

We used a model that simulated the southeast Australian ecosystem through to 2050 and focused on the impacts of ocean warming and acidification. Depending on the type of impact, either upper-ocean or bottom-dwelling species were identified as the most important.

These results will help resource managers make decisions in the future.