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Community structure and biodiversity patterns in coralligenous communities over spatial and temporal scales

AuthorsCasas, Edgar CSIC; Teixidó, Nuria CSIC ORCID; Cebrian, Emma CSIC ORCID ; Garrabou, Joaquim CSIC ORCID
Issue Date12-Jul-2012
PublisherSocietat Catalana de Biologia
CitationI CIBICAT: 335 (2012)
AbstractCoralligenous communities are “hot spots” of Mediterranean marine biodiversity. Most of the benthic species constituting these communities are long-lived and slow-growing and, therefore especially vulnerable to global change (e.g. global warming, invasive species, and habitat loss). In fact, coralligenous communities in the North Western Mediterranean are already affected by several disturbances derived from global change, which may be accentuated if other disturbances act synergistically. However, assessing the scale and effects of these disturbances on coralligenous biodiversity may prove to be particularly difficult as very little baseline data are currently available. A necessary step in scaling up such information is to describe patterns at local and also at large spatial and temporal scales. To assess the natural variability of coralligenous biodiversity at both, spatial (3 regions and 2 sites within each region) and temporal scales (5 years), photo-quadrats of 25 x 25 cm were sampled and macro-species (> 1cm) were identified at each site. Significant differences among regions were found regarding the specific composition of coralligenous outcrops. However, no significant differences were found over the temporal scale. Regarding species growth forms they did not differ between regions and years being the encrusting the most common growth form observed. Similarly, biodiversity values of alfa and gamma did not differ across time and regions. Significative lineal relationship between local and regional species richness was found supporting the regional enrichment hypothesis in the coralligenous community. Under the climate change scenario, the final purpose of this study is provide baseline information on natural variability in order to manage future impacts and to identify sites with particularly high conservation value which may need specific protection
DescriptionI Congrés Internacional de Biologia de Catalunya (CIBICAT): Global Questions on Advanced Biology. An international conference on interdisciplinary frontiers in biology. As part of the first Centenary of the Societat Catalana de Biologia. 9-12 July 2012, Barcelona
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Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos

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