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Climate change may have minor impact on zooplankton functional diversity in the Mediterranean Sea

Benedetti, F., Ayata, S.‐D., Irisson, J.‐O., Adloff, F. and Guilhaumon, F. (2019) Climate change may have minor impact on zooplankton functional diversity in the Mediterranean Sea. Diversity and Distributions, 25 (4). pp. 568-581. ISSN 1472-4642

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12857


Aim To assess the impact of climate change on the functional diversity of marine zooplankton communities. Location The Mediterranean Sea. Methods We used the functional traits and geographic distributions of 106 copepod species to estimate the zooplankton functional diversity of Mediterranean surface assemblages for the 1965–1994 and 2069–2098 periods. Multiple environmental niche models were trained at the global scale to project the species habitat suitability in the Mediterranean Sea and assess their sensitivity to climate change predicted by several scenarios. Simultaneously, the species traits were used to compute a functional dendrogram from which we identified seven functional groups and estimated functional diversity through Faith's index. We compared the measured functional diversity to the one originated from null models to test if changes in functional diversity were solely driven by changes in species richness. Results All but three of the 106 species presented range contractions of varying intensity. A relatively low decrease of species richness (−7.42 on average) is predicted for 97% of the basin, with higher losses in the eastern regions. Relative sensitivity to climate change is not clustered in functional space and does not significantly vary across the seven copepod functional groups defined. Changes in functional diversity follow the same pattern and are not different from those that can be expected from changes in richness alone. Main conclusions Climate change is not expected to alter copepod functional traits distribution in the Mediterranean Sea, as the most and the least sensitive species are functionally redundant. Such redundancy should buffer the loss of ecosystem functions in Mediterranean zooplankton assemblages induced by climate change. Because the most negatively impacted species are affiliated to temperate regimes and share Atlantic biogeographic origins, our results are in line with the hypothesis of increasingly more tropical Mediterranean communities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:88166


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