Assessment of climate change impact on Southern European macroalgal assemblages
Muguerza Latorre, Naiara
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Ongoing global environmental change is expected to drive drastic alterations in community structure, biodiversity patterns and ecosystem services. One major concern is the loss of canopy-forming macroalgae that provide habitat, shelter and food for a plethora of organisms in temperate coastal rocky habitats.The phytobenthos of the southernmost part of the NE Atlantic is likely to be one of the areas most affected by the warming process around the world. This thesis contributes knowledge on recent changes in subtidal assemblages in that geographical area, predicts future shifts in their spatial distribution and identifies the influence of some key environmental drivers.The information provided here on rocky subtidal communities in Southern Europe extends understanding of the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems, which is crucial to ensure good environment management. To draw up appropriate adaptation and conservation policies with effective actions at global and local scales to safeguardecosystem functioning and to restore marine biodiversity, it is necessary to know how the ecosystem responds to climate change and what the drivers of change are.