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Impacts of climate change on coastal benthic ecosystems in the NW Mediterranean coastal areas: assessing potential risk of mortality from field, laboratory and numerical experiments

August 14, 2013

In order to assess the potential impact of climate change on coastal benthic ecosystems by the end of the 21st century at sub-regional scale in the North Western Mediterranean Sea, we developed an original strategy for the definition of warming scenarios in coastal habitats and their potential sub-lethal to lethal impacts on key benthic species. This was achieved by combining high resolution numerical simulations under IPCC scenarios with field observations and thermo-tolerance experiments. First, a model validation was conducted for the period 2001-2010 in contrasted sensitive coastal areas. Then, forecasts run were performed under IPCC scenarios in order to explore the expected changes in the
stratification. These simulations were qualified with species distribution and thermo-tolerance functions to explore the present risk level and potential impacts by the end of the century. This work was made in the framework of the CLIMCARES project funded by the TOTAL foundation and the MISTRALSMERMEX project.

Pairaud I, Bensoussan N, Garreau P, Somot S, Garrabou J, 2013, Impacts of climate change on coastal benthic ecosystems in the  NW Mediterranean coastal areas: assessing potential risk of  mortality from field, laboratory and numerical experiments,  OCEANS’13 MTS/IEEE Technical Program 23-26 September 2013 San Diego, USA. Article.

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