Climate hindcasts: exploring the disjunct distribution of Diopatra biscayensis

Type Article
Date 2016-12
Language English
Author(s) Wethey David S.1, Woodin Sarah A.1, Berke Sarah K.2, Dubois StanislasORCID3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ South Carolina, Dept Biol Sci, Columbia, SC 29208 USA.
2 : Siena Coll, Loudonville, NY 12211 USA.
3 : IFREMER, DYNECO LEBCO, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Invertebrate Biology (1077-8306) (Wiley-blackwell), 2016-12 , Vol. 135 , N. 4 , P. 345-356
DOI 10.1111/ivb.12147
WOS© Times Cited 12
Keyword(s) climate change, biogeography, metapopulation, Diopatra, historical projections
Abstract The ecosystem engineer onuphid polychaete Diopatra biscayensis has a continuous population in the Bay of Biscay from the Cantabria coast in Spain to southern Brittany in France. A group of disjunct populations also are found in the English Channel, separated from the Biscay population by more than 400 coastal kilometers. It remains unclear whether D. biscayensis is native to the Bay of Biscay; it is also debated whether the disjunct populations in the English Channel are relics of a formerly continuous population, or the product of recent introductions through aquaculture. Here, we use climate hindcasts to explore hypotheses about the D. biscayensis historical distribution in Europe. If D. biscayensis is native, its range would have been restricted to southern Iberia and the Mediterranean during the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 BP). However, the species is completely absent from both regions today, further supporting its interpretation as a non-native species. If it was historically present in Europe, the climate hindcasts are congruent with range contraction in the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 BP), expansion in the Mid-Holocene Warm Period (6000 BP), and contraction again in the past 1000 years (850–1850), prior to the first reports of D. biscayensis on the Spanish and French Atlantic coasts. However, the simulations do not support there being climatic refugia along the English Channel coast that would account for the existence of relic populations. Taken together, the evidence suggests that D. biscayensis has been introduced to the Bay of Biscay, and that disjunct populations in the English Channel are the result of recent transport through human activities, perhaps aquaculture.
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