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Climate change impacts on coastal benthic ecosystems in the nw mediterranean sea: assessing potential risk from field, laboratory and numerical experiments

January 8, 2014

The Mediterranean Sea is extremely responsive to climate change anddramatic impacts are expected to occur in benthic coastal ecosystems which are among the most exposed to the current trends and extreme events [1]. In this semi enclosed microtidal sea with seasonal stratification up to 15°C, the influence of (sub)meso scale dynamics (eg. upwelling, downwelling) is crucial in modulating local thermal regimes and potential impacts of climate change at local scale [2,3]. Developing more precise/realistic scenarios of coastal habitats warming and potential impact on ecosystems is crucial for setting up sound management and conservation plans of the rich Mediterranean biodiversity and thus recognized as a priority theme of international programs (eg. CIESM, MEDPAN, MERMEX). Within the CLIMCARES project (http://climcares.medrecover.org), we specifically addressed the risk of mass mortality driven by thermal stress in rocky benthic ecosystems of the NW Mediterranean (NW Med) [4,5].

Bensoussan N, Pairaud I, Garreau P, Somot S, Garrabou J, 2013, Climate change impacts on coastal benthic ecosystems in the nw mediterranean sea: assessing potential risk from field, laboratory and numerical experiments. 40th CIESM congress, 28 october- 1 November, Marseille, France. Article.

 

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