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Homogenization and miniaturization of habitat structure in temperate marine forests

AuthorsPessarrodona, Albert; Filbee-Dexter, Karen; Alcoverro, Teresa CSIC ORCID ; Boada, Jordi CSIC ORCID ; Feehan, Colette J.; Fredriksen, Stein; Grace, Sean P.; Nakamura, Yohei; Narváez, Carla A.; Norderhaug, Kjell Magnus; Wernberg, Thomas
KeywordsRegime shift
Algal turf
Climate change
Epilithic algal matrix
Foundation species
Habitat change
Kelp forests
Issue Date2021
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationGlobal Change Biology : doi:10.1111/gcb.15759 (2021)
AbstractHumans are rapidly transforming the structural configuration of the planet's eco systems, but these changes and their ecological consequences remain poorly quantified in underwater habitats. Here, we show that the loss of forest-forming seaweeds and the rise of ground-covering ‘turfs’ across four continents consistently resulted in the miniaturization of underwater habitat structure, with seascapes converging towards flattened habitats with smaller habitable spaces. Globally, turf seascapes occupied a smaller architectural trait space and were structurally more similar across regions than marine forests, evidencing habitat homogenization. Surprisingly, such habitat convergence occurred despite turf seascapes consisting of vastly different species richness and with different taxa providing habitat archi tecture, as well as across disparate drivers of marine forest decline. Turf seascapes contained high sediment loads, with the miniaturization of habitat across 100s of km in mid-Western Australia resulting in reefs retaining an additional ~242 million tons of sediment (four orders of magnitude more than the sediments delivered flu vially annually). Together, this work demonstrates that the replacement of marine forests by turfs is a generalizable phenomenon that has profound consequences for the ecology of temperate reefs.
DescriptionEste artículo contiene 14 páginas, 6 figuras, 1 tabla.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15759
ISSN1354-1013 1365-2486
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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