Physiology, ecological niches and species distribution

Helaouët, P; Beaugrand, G. 2009 Physiology, ecological niches and species distribution. Ecosystems, 12 (8). 1235-1245.

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Although many studies have debated the theoretical links between physiology, ecological niches and species distribution, few studies have provided evidence for a tight empirical coupling between these concepts at a macroecological scale. We used an ecophysiological model to assess the fundamental niche of a key-structural marine species. We found a close relationship between its fundamental and realized niche. The relationship remains constant at both biogeographical and decadal scales, showing that changes in environmental forcing propagate from the physiological to the macroecological level. A substantial shift in the spatial distribution is detected in the North Atlantic and projections of range shift using IPCC scenarios suggest a poleward movement of the species of one degree of latitude per decade for the 21st century. The shift in the spatial distribution of this species reveals a pronounced alteration of polar pelagic ecosystems with likely implications for lower and upper trophic levels and some biogeochemical cycles.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:11

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