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MEPS 636:47-61 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13209

Response of copepod communities to ocean warming in three time-series across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

Ernesto Villarino1,2,3,*, Xabier Irigoien1,4, Fernando Villate5, Arantza Iriarte6, Ibon Uriarte5, Soultana Zervoudaki7, Jacob Carstensen8, Todd D. O’Brien9, Guillem Chust1

1AZTI, Marine Research Division, Herrera Kaia, Portualdea z/g 20110 - Pasaia, Spain
2College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97330, USA
3Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive 0218 La Jolla, CA 92093 0218, USA
4IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
5Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country, PO Box 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
6Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of the Basque Country, Paseo de la Universidad 7, 01006 Gasteiz, Spain
7Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, PO 712, 46.7 km Avenue Athens-Sounio, 19013 Anavyssos, Athens, Greece
8Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
9Marine Ecosystems Division, Office of Science Technology, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The rapid warming of the world’s oceans during the last few decades has affected distributional patterns of marine planktonic communities. Here, we analyse links between sea warming and changes in copepod community composition over the last 3 decades (1980-2012). We used zooplankton time-series data which included 79 species of copepods collected at 3 sites in the eastern North Atlantic (Bay of Biscay and the Kattegat Sea) and the Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Saronikos). First, using community β-diversity metrics, we analysed temporal patterns of copepod community composition changes over time and its relation to local environmental conditions. Second, to test whether the changes in copepod community composition correspond to community thermal preferences, we used the community temperature index (CTI) and compared CTI interannual changes with local temperature trends. The β-diversity analysis reveals a high temporal turnover in the copepod community composition at the 3 sites (30-45%), with a significant similarity decrease over time (‘decay’) associated with both niche descriptors and demographic stochastic processes. CTI results reveal that both in the Kattegat and Saronikos, where the ocean warming rate was the highest amongst sites, copepod community changes are linked to temperature variability, suggesting that the community is tracking their thermal niche over time. Our findings unveil the fundamental role of abiotic factors structuring copepod biodiversity over time and reveal that the local velocity of ocean warming and the species thermal thresholds are key to rearranging copepod community composition in coastal ecosystems.


KEY WORDS: Community structure · Warm-adapted · Cold-adapted · β-diversity


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Cite this article as: Villarino E, Irigoien X, Villate F, Iriarte A and others (2020) Response of copepod communities to ocean warming in three time-series across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 636:47-61. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13209

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