Predator control of marine communities increases with temperature across 115 degrees of latitude

Gail V. Ashton, Amy L. Freestone, J. Emmett Duffy, Mark E. Torchin, Brent J. Sewall, Brianna Tracy, Mariano Albano, Andrew H. Altieri, Luciana Altvater, Rolando Bastida-Zavala, Alejandro Bortolus, Antonio Brante, Viviana Bravo, Norah Brown, Alejandro H. Buschmann, Edward Buskey, Rosita Calderón Barrera, Brian Cheng, Rachel Collin, Ricardo CoutinhoLuis De Gracia, Gustavo M. Dias, Claudio DiBacco, Augusto A.V. Flores, Maria Angélica Haddad, Zvi Hoffman, Bruno Ibañez Erquiaga, Dean Janiak, Analí Jiménez Campeán, Inti Keith, Jean Charles Leclerc, Orlando Pedro Lecompte-Pérez, Guilherme Ortigara Longo, Helena Matthews-Cascon, Cynthia H. McKenzie, Jessica Miller, Martín Munizaga, Lais P.D. Naval-Xavier, Sergio A. Navarrete, Carlos Otálora, Lilian A. Palomino-Alvarez, Maria Gabriela Palomo, Chris Patrick, Cormack Pegau, Sandra V. Pereda, Rosana M. Rocha, Carlos Rumbold, Carlos Sánchez, Adolfo Sanjuan-Muñoz, Carmen Schlöder, Evangelina Schwindt, Janina Seemann, Alan Shanks, Nuno Simoes, Luis Skinner, Nancy Yolimar Suárez-Mozo, Martin Thiel, Nelson Valdivia, Ximena Velez-Zuazo, Edson A. Vieira, Bruno Vildoso, Ingo S. Wehrtmann, Matt Whalen, Lynn Wilbur, Gregory M. Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Early naturalists suggested that predation intensity increases toward the tropics, affecting fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes by latitude, but empirical support is still limited. Several studies have measured consumption rates across latitude at large scales, with variable results. Moreover, how predation affects prey community composition at such geographic scales remains unknown. Using standardized experiments that spanned 115° of latitude, at 36 nearshore sites along both coasts of the Americas, we found that marine predators have both higher consumption rates and consistently stronger impacts on biomass and species composition of marine invertebrate communities in warmer tropical waters, likely owing to fish predators. Our results provide robust support for a temperature-dependent gradient in interaction strength and have potential implications for how marine ecosystems will respond to ocean warming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1219
Number of pages5
Issue number6598
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


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