Global Seaweed Biogeography Under a Changing Climate: The Prospected Effects of Temperature

  • Inka Bartsch
  • Christian Wiencke
  • Thomas Laepple
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 219)


Temperature is one of the most important factors controlling the biogeography of seaweeds. To identify worldwide prospective distributional shifts of major biogeographical regions under a global change scenario, we applied a macroecological modeling approach. We compared the borders of biogeographical regions between present and end of the century sea surface temperatures (SST) taken from global climate model simulations and drew conclusions for distributional changes. All regions will extend towards the poles. As a consequence, the tropical region will widen considerably. However, there will be almost no change in the northern extent of the Antarctic region. According to the model data, the annual SST gradient will change along extensive coastlines creating broad transitional regions, some of which contain high seaweed genus diversity. As a consequence, the structure of the seaweed assemblages in these biogeographical regions will probably be reorganized.


Biogeographical Region Seaweed Species Western Antarctic Peninsula Kelp Species Eastern Equatorial Pacific 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We acknowledge the modeling group WCRP’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling (WGCM) for making available the WCRP CMIP3 multi-model dataset. Support of this dataset is provided by the Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy. The authors thank R. Müller and C. Buchholz for helpful advice on an earlier draft of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inka Bartsch
    • 1
  • Christian Wiencke
    • 1
  • Thomas Laepple
    • 2
  1. 1.Department Seaweed Biology, Section Functional EcologyAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Section Palaeoclimate Dynamics, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

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