Climate Change and Marine Benthic and Epibenthic fouling communities

by Marina de Castro Deus

The biological interactions between species that live in close relationship with the seabed strongly depend on competition for space. These fouling organisms have different population and individual growth rates depending on local environmental conditions, and temperature increases due to climate change can influence the distribution range and the competitive ability of these species causing different abundance patterns in the community. Due to the difficulty of measuring interactions of these species experimentally, studies often use the latitudinal temperature gradient in order to gather information on individual species populations growth rates in response to the variation of temperature. These results can be used as a good resource for information on species-specific thermal responses, but do not provide information on the possible changes that temperature shifts can have on competitive interactions between marine species. Continue reading