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Advances of marine biogeography in China: species distribution model and its applications

Yunwei Dong1, Menghuan Bao1, Jiao Cheng2, Yiyong Chen3, Jianguo Du4, Yangchun Gao5, Lisha Hu1, Xincheng Li6, Chunlong Liu1, Geng Qin7, Jin Sun8, Xin Wang7, Guang Yang2, Chongliang Zhang1, Xiong Zhang9, Yuyang Zhang1, Zhixin Zhang7, Aibin Zhan3, Qiang He6, Jun Sun10, 11, Bin Chen4, Zhongli Sha2, Qiang Lin7   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Mariculture of Ministry of Education, Fisheries College, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong 266001

    2 Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266071

    3 Research Center of Eco-Environment Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085

    4 Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xiamen, Fujian 361005

    5 Institute of Zoology, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510260

    6 MOE Key Laboratory of Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438

    7 Institute of Oceanography of South China Sea, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301

    8 Institute of Evolution & Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong 266001

    9 School of Ecology, Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518107

    10 Institute for Advanced Marine Research, China University of Geosciences, Guangzhou 511462

    11 State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geoscience, Wuhan 430074

  • Received:2023-11-30 Revised:2024-02-15 Online:2024-03-02 Published:2024-03-02
  • Contact: Yunwei Dong


Background & Aim: Marine biogeography is a field investigating the spatiotemporal distributions of marine organisms, as well as the process and drivers of the changes in species distributions. Research in the field of marine biogeography is not only promising for the conservation of marine biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem functioning but also crucial for the sustainability of utilizing marine resources. Species distribution models (SDMs) are an important tool for assessing and predicting the biogeographical changes of marine species’ distributions, providing an unparalleled impetus to the development of marine biogeography.

Progresses: This review consists of three main parts: (1) the development process and current status of marine biogeography studies in China; (2) the commonly used approaches to answer the questions related to marine biogeography with a special focus on SDMs; (3) the research trends and hotspots of marine biogeography studies in China, mainly concerning the shifts in species distribution under global changes, phylogeography of marine species, population connectivity, marine conservation planning, marine ecological restoration and recovery, adaptation of marine species to extreme environments, as well as management of marine fisheries and mariculture planning.

Prospects: In this review, we further outlined the prospects for the future development of marine biogeography and emphasized the importance of optimizing SDMs. We also called for developing comprehensive databases of marine environments and organisms to strengthen the integration of marine biogeography with other disciplines. We hope this review could provide useful insights for the studies of marine biogeography in China.

Key words: marine species distribution, marine biota, correlative models, mechanistic models, global changes, biogeography