Assessing climate change impacts on marine biodiversity conservation: The case study of mass mortality events in the NW Mediterranean basin
|Author(s)||Garrabou Joachim1, Bensoussan Nathaniel2, Pairaud Ivane3, Garreau Pierre3, Somot Samuel4, Linares Cristina5, Kersting Diego K.5, Cebrian Emma1, de Caralt Sonia1, Kipson Silvija1, Ledoux Jean-Baptiste1, Frleta-Valic Masa1|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : CSIC, Spain
2 : IPSO FACTO, France
3 : Ifremer, France
4 : CNRM, France
5 : University of Barcelona, Spain
|Note||CLIMCARES project CLimate Impacts on Mediterranean Coastal AREaS|
|Abstract||The Mediterranean is considered a biodiversity hot‐spot. The Mediterranean represents less than 1% of global ocean surface, but it hosts about 20% of marine biodiversity with a high level of endemic species. The Mediterranean is also considered a hot‐spot for climate change with expected warming over the average along with a very likely increase in the occurrence of heat waves in climate change. In fact Mediterranean waters have been already significantly warming up during the last decades, and this trend is expected to increase during the rest of the 21st century. Mediterranean marine ecosystems are already displaying clear responses to warming such as pelagic productivity, shifts in species’ geographical distributions, modifications of migratory patterns and mass mortality outbreaks.
The MedRecover group (Spanish Research Council –CSIC‐ and University of Barcelona), IFREMER and IPSO‐Facto with the funding of the TOTAL Foundation are working to produce sound information to help the conservation of the rich Mediterranean biodiversity. The expertise of the consortium allowed adopting a pluridisciplinary approach combining numerical simulations, field observations and experimental settings lead by specialists in the fields of physical oceanography modelisation, analysis of temperature regimes, benthic ecology, citizen science initiatives and conservation biology. The aim of the ClimCares project was to assess the climate change impacts in the NW Mediterranean. We used ocean models to obtain information on the expected warming conditions by the end of 21st century which were coupled with the expected biological responses to the new temperature conditions. The final output of the project were mass mortality risks maps for key benthic communities to inform managers of coastal habitats about the potential effects of climate change.