‘Effect of Global Warming on Coastal Trophic Interactions with the Mediterranean Sea (InterBioClima)’

Grants for research teams

Ecology and Conservation Biology

2017

The Spanish Mediterranean is an important region in terms of marine climate change. How is this phenomenon affecting marine ecosystems? This project will help answer that question, which is one of the greatest challenges for ecologists.

DIRECTOR

Núria Marbà Bordalba, Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA-CSIC)

 

RESEARCH TEAM

Julia Santana Garcon y Marlene Wesselmann, IMEDEA (CSIC); Teresa Alcoverro, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes (CEAB-CSIC); Rohan Arthur, Nature Conservation Foundation; Elena Pastor Gracia, Laboratorio de Investigaciones Marinas i Acuicultura (LIMIA)

COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS

Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA-CSIC)

 

DESCRIPTION

The Spanish Mediterranean is an important region in terms of marine climate change. How is this phenomenon affecting marine ecosystems? This project will help answer that question, which is one of the greatest challenges for ecologists.

The impact of climate change on marine systems in Europe is particularly significant. Isotherms (lines of equal temperature) in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea are shifting northward at over 50 kilometers per decade; in other words, between two and three times faster than in the Earth’s oceans as a whole. The Spanish Mediterranean is therefore a significant area in terms of marine climate change. How is this phenomenon affecting marine species and their ecosystems? The InterBioClima project will help answer that question, which is currently one of the greatest challenges facing ecologists. Only by better understanding the response to global warming by marine ecosystems will it be possible to design impact management and mitigation strategies.

InterBioClima is focused on studying the effects of climate change on interactions between species. Global warning may give rise to new interactions as new species from warmer climes join an ecosystem (a process referred to as ‘topicalization’) or may even alter interactions that are already present due to a different response by each species to the increasing temperature.

It is now widely accepted that climate change is having a significant impact on ecosystem services; in other words, socio-economic consequences that will doubtlessly become more serious as global warming increases. Ecosystem services depend on balance within ecosystems, which in turn is directly related to the type of relationships established between species. It is therefore essential to gain in-depth knowledge of the effect of climate change on inter-species interactions.