Climate change is projected to increase ocean temperatures and modify circulation patterns, with potential widespread implications on planktonic larvae of marine organisms. Understanding the impact of climate driven changes in larval dispersal is crucial to predict future species distributions, anticipate ecosystem shifts, and design effective management strategies. This study examines the variability in the circulation along the southeast coast of Australia in the past 30 years and the effect of future climate driven changes in circulation and temperature in the region on lobster larval dispersal. We use velocity and temperature fields from eddy-resolving ocean models to explore past circulation variability, and simulate lobster larval transport and survival under a contemporary and future (A1B carbon emissions) scenario. Our results show that the currents and meso-scale eddy activity along southeastern Australia have intensified, and that the effect of changes in circulation and temperature can counter each other: ocean warming is favourable for the survival of lobster larvae, whereas a strengthened western boundary current reduces the total amount of larvae that reach the coast.


Paulina Cetina Heredia

Research Area

ARC Center for Excellence in Climate System Science, University of New South Wales


RC-4082, The Red Centre, UNSW


RC-M032, Red Centre, UNSW