BRISBANE - Tropical fish are moving south as Australia's marine ecosystems begin to feel the heat of climate change, a study has found.
CSIRO researchers say there is striking evidence of tropical species moving south as sea temperatures rise quickly.
The scientists say large numbers of marine animals and plants are already dying off or migrating.
The Climate Adaptation Marine Report Card 2012, released on Friday, provides evidence of a large-scale redistribution of marine species in waters around the continent.
Dr Elvira Poloczanska, who led the study, says there's a lot of uncertainty about the long-term impacts.
"The potential is there for animals and plants to shift, but whether they do or not depends how well they can deal with changes in their current environment," she told AAP.