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The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: Climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts

AutorVergés, Adriana ; Ballesteros, Enric ; Tomàs, Fiona ; Wilson, Shaun K.
Palabras clavefunctional diversity
macroalgae
range shift
western boundary currents
ecosystem impacts
climate change
Fecha de publicación22-ago-2014
EditorRoyal Society (Great Britain)
CitaciónProceedings of the Royal Society. Biological sciences 281(1789): 20140846 (2014)
ResumenClimate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to 'barrens' when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
DescripciónAdriana Vergés et al.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0846
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/128072
DOI10.1098/rspb.2014.0846
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0846
issn: 1471-2954
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