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Biodiversity and global change in Mediterranean benthic communities: perspectives over large spatial and long temporal scales
Teixidó Ullod, Núria
Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca; Universitat de Barcelona. Departament d’Ecologia
Many terrestrial and marine systems are experiencing accelerating decline due to the effects of global change. This situation has raised concern about the consequences of biodiversity losses for ecosystem function, ecosystem service provision, and human well-being. Coastal marine habitats are a main focus of attention because they harbour a high biological diversity, are among the most productive systems of the world and present high anthropogenic interaction levels. The accelerating degradation of many terrestrial and marine systems highlights the urgent need to evaluate the consequence of biodiversity loss. Because marine biodiversity is a dynamic entity and this study was interested global change impacts, this study focused on benthic biodiversity trends over large spatial and long temporal scales. The main aim of this project was to investigate the current extent of biodiversity of the high diverse benthic coralligenous community in the Mediterranean Sea, detect its changes, and predict its future changes over broad spatial and long temporal scales. These marine communities are characterized by structural species with low growth rates and long life spans; therefore they are considered particularly sensitive to disturbances. For this purpose, this project analyzed permanent photographic plots over time at four locations in the NW Mediterranean Sea. The spatial scale of this study provided information on the level of species similarity between these locations, thus offering a solid background on the amount of large scale variability in coralligenous communities; whereas the temporal scale was fundamental to determine the natural variability in order to discriminate between changes observed due to natural factors and those related to the impact of disturbances (e.g. mass mortality events related to positive thermal temperatures, extreme catastrophic events). This study directly addressed the challenging task of analyzing quantitative biodiversity data of these high diverse marine benthic communities. Overall, the scientific knowledge gained with this research project will improve our understanding in the function of marine ecosystems and their trajectories related to global change.
2013-06-27
Bentos
Conservació de la diversitat biològica
Dinàmica de poblacions
Perturbacions naturals
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11 p.
Report
Els ajuts de l'AGAUR;2009BP_B00263
         

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