Impacts of Climate Change on Marine Foundation Species

Wernberg, T, Thomsen, MS, Baum, JK, Bishop, MJ, Bruno, JF, Coleman, MA, Filbee-Dexter, K, Smale, DA and Gagnon, K 2024 Impacts of Climate Change on Marine Foundation Species. Annual Review of Marine Science, 16. 247-282.

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Marine foundation species are the biotic basis for many of the world's coastal ecosystems, providing structural habitat, food, and protection for myriad plants and animals as well as many ecosystem services. However, climate change poses a significant threat to foundation species and the ecosystems they support. We review the impacts of climate change on common marine foundation species, including corals, kelps, seagrasses, salt marsh plants, mangroves, and bivalves. It is evident that marine foundation species have already been severely impacted by several climate change drivers, often through interactive effects with other human stressors, such as pollution, overfishing, and coastal development. Despite considerable variation in geographical, environmental, and ecological contexts, direct and indirect effects of gradual warming and subsequent heatwaves have emerged as the most pervasive drivers of observed impact and potent threat across all marine foundation species, but effects from sea level rise, ocean acidification, and increased storminess are expected to increase. Documented impacts include changes in the genetic structures, physiology, abundance, and distribution of the foundation species themselves and changes to their interactions with other species, with flow-on effects to associated communities, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning. We discuss strategies to support marine foundation species into the Anthropocene, in order to increase their resilience and ensure the persistence of the ecosystem services they provide.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: corals, kelps, seagrasses, salt marsh plants, mangroves, bivalves, oyster reefs, ocean warming, marine heatwaves, sea level rise, ocean acidification, storms, mitigation, resilience
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Coastal Ecology
Depositing User: Ms Kristina Hixon
Date made live: 05 Apr 2024 08:45
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 08:45

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