Benthic Ecoregionalization based on echinoid fauna of the Southern Ocean supports current proposals of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas under IPCC scenarios of climate change

Type Article
Date 2020-04
Language English
Author(s) Fabri-Ruiz SalomeORCID1, 2, Danis B2, Navarro N1, 3, Koubbi Philippe4, 5, Laffont R1, Saucède T1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Biogéosciences, UMR CNRS/EPHE 6282 Université Bourgogne Franche‐Comté 6 Boulevard Gabriel2 1000 Dijon, France
2 : Laboratoire de Biologie Marine Université Libre de Bruxelles 50 avenue FD RooseveltB‐1050 Brussels , Belgium
3 : EPHE ,PSL University 4‐14 rue Ferrus 75014 Paris ,France
4 : UFR 918 Terre Environnement et Biodiversité Sorbonne Université 4, place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex ,France
5 : IFREMER ,Centre Manche mer du Nord. Laboratoire HMMN 150 quai Gambetta 62321 Boulogne‐sur‐Mer ,France
Source Global Change Biology (1354-1013) (Wiley), 2020-04 , Vol. 26 , N. 4 , P. 2161-2180
DOI 10.1111/gcb.14988
WOS© Times Cited 14
Keyword(s) climate change, echinoids, ecological niche modeling, ecoregionalization, Marine Protected Areas

The Southern Ocean (SO) is among the regions on Earth that are undergoing regionally the fastest environmental changes. The unique ecological features of its marine life make it particularly vulnerable to the multiple effects of climate change. A network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has started to be implemented in the SO to protect marine ecosystems. However, considering future predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the relevance of current, static, MPAs may be questioned under future scenarios. In this context, the ecoregionalization approach can prove promising in identifying well‐delimited regions of common species composition and environmental settings. These so‐called ecoregions are expected to show similar biotic responses to environmental changes and can be used to define priority areas for the designation of new MPAs and the update of their current delimitation. In the present work, a benthic ecoregionalization of the entire SO is proposed for the first time based on abiotic environmental parameters and the distribution of echinoid fauna, a diversified and common member of Antarctic benthic ecosystems. A novel two‐step approach was developed combining species distribution modelling with Random Forest and Gaussian Mixture modelling from species probabilities to define current ecoregions and predict future ecoregions under IPCC scenarios RCP 4.5 and 8.5. The ecological representativity of current and proposed MPAs of the SO are discussed with regards to the modeled benthic ecoregions. Twelve benthic ecoregions were determined under Present conditions, they are representative of major biogeographic patterns already described. Our results show that the most dramatic changes can be expected along the Antarctic Peninsula, in East Antarctica and the sub‐Antarctic islands under both IPCC scenarios. Our results advocate for a dynamic definition of MPAs, they also argue for improving the representativity of Antarctic ecoregions in proposed MPAs and support current proposals of CCAMLR for the creation of Antarctic MPAs.

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Fabri-Ruiz Salome, Danis B, Navarro N, Koubbi Philippe, Laffont R, Saucède T (2020). Benthic Ecoregionalization based on echinoid fauna of the Southern Ocean supports current proposals of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas under IPCC scenarios of climate change. Global Change Biology, 26(4), 2161-2180. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :