The intertidal community in West Greenland: Large-scale patterns and small-scale variation on ecosystem dynamics along a climate gradient

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

See relations at Aarhus University

Jakob Thyrring - Lecturer

Global warming occurs at elevated rates in the Arctic. Continued warming is predicted to suppress endemic Arctic species while facilitating a northward expansion of temperate species. However, in Greenland, current species distribution and knowledge of drivers affecting population dynamics are largely unknown. The West Greenland coast is north - south orientated. This provides an ideal setting to study the impact of climate change on marine species population dynamics and distribution. We investigated the latitudinal changes in the rocky intertidal community along 18° latitudes (59-77°N) in West Greenland. Using cleared quadrats we quantified patterns in abundance, biomass and species richness in the intertidal zone. We use this data to disentangle patterns in Arctic intertidal communities at different scales. We describe the effects of different environmental drivers and species interactions on distribution and dynamics of intertidal species. Our results indicate that changes in distribution and abundance of foundation species can have large effects on the ecosystem. We also show that the importance of small-scale variation may be of same magnitude as large-scale variation. Only by merging complex species interactions with large-scale processes and small-scale variation, can we understand how climate change is affecting species now and in the future.
17 Mar 2016

Event (Conference)

TitleBenthic Ecology Meeting
Abbreviated titleBEM
LocationBowdoin College
CityPortland, Maine
CountryUnited States
Degree of recognitionInternational event

ID: 98699828