Marine Biodiversity and Climate Change
Climate change involves shifts in environmental conditions which will affect the distribution and biological performance of species. Global patterns of marine biodiversity are strongly driven by ocean temperature. Rising ocean temperatures, in combination with other climate changes and human pressures, will have both direct and indirect effects on marine species, and there will be both “winners” and “losers.” On a global scale, biological communities and interactions within them will change as physiological demands increase and some species replace others. On a local scale, impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity will be greatest when foundation species are affected because the effects will cascade through associated communities within and between trophic levels. In many cases, climate change will reduce the resilience of marine communities to other human pressures. It is therefore important that effects of climate change on marine biodiversity are understood in combination with multiple stressors.
KeywordsGlobal warming Human impacts Ocean acidification Multiple stressors Habitat-forming species Ecosystem engineers Range-shifts Direct and indirect effects Interactions
TW and SDC were supported by Fellowships from the Australian Research Council.
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