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Response of copepod communities to ocean warming in three time-series across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

TitleResponse of copepod communities to ocean warming in three time-series across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsVillarino E., Irigoien X., Villate F., Iriarte A., Uriarte I., Zervoudaki S., Carstensen J., O'Brien T.D, Chust G.
Date Published2020/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0171-8630
Accession NumberWOS:000521739200004
Keywordsbeta-diversity; biogeography; climate-change; Cold-adapted; community structure; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; long-term trends; marine; Marine & Freshwater Biology; oceanography; populations; regression; southeastern bay; Surface temperature; variability; Warm-adapted; Zooplankton

The rapid warming of the world's oceans during the last few decades has affected distributional patterns of marine planktonic communities. Here, we analyse links between sea warming and changes in copepod community composition over the last 3 decades (1980-2012). We used zooplankton time-series data which included 79 species of copepods collected at 3 sites in the eastern North Atlantic (Bay of Biscay and the Kattegat Sea) and the Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Saronikos). First, using community beta-diversity metrics, we analysed temporal patterns of copepod community composition changes over time and its relation to local environmental conditions. Second, to test whether the changes in copepod community composition correspond to community thermal preferences, we used the community temperature index (CTI) and compared CTI interannual changes with local temperature trends. The beta-diversity analysis reveals a high temporal turnover in the copepod community composition at the 3 sites (30-45%), with a significant similarity decrease over time ('decay') associated with both niche descriptors and demographic stochastic processes. CTI results reveal that both in the Kattegat and Saronikos, where the ocean warming rate was the highest amongst sites, copepod community changes are linked to temperature variability, suggesting that the community is tracking their thermal niche over time. Our findings unveil the fundamental role of abiotic factors structuring copepod biodiversity over time and reveal that the local velocity of ocean warming and the species thermal thresholds are key to rearranging copepod community composition in coastal ecosystems.

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