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Latitudinal patterns in intertidal ecosystem structure in West Greenland suggest resilience to climate change

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Latitudinal patterns in intertidal ecosystem structure in West Greenland suggest resilience to climate change. / Thyrring, Jakob; Wegeberg, Susse; Blicher, Martin E.; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Hogslund, Signe; Olesen, Birgit; Jozef, Wiktor; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Peck, Lloyd S.; Sejr, Mikael K.

In: Ecography, Vol. 44, No. 8, 08.2021, p. 1156-1168.

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@article{893c6d578ea54324afbf2a72d4931efc,
title = "Latitudinal patterns in intertidal ecosystem structure in West Greenland suggest resilience to climate change",
abstract = "Climate change has ecosystem-wide cascading effects. Little is known, however, about the resilience of Arctic marine ecosystems to environmental change. Here we quantify and compare large-scale patterns in rocky intertidal biomass, coverage and zonation in six regions along a north-south gradient of temperature and ice conditions in West Greenland (60–72°N). We related the level and variation in assemblage composition, biomass and coverage to latitudinal-scale environmental drivers. Across all latitudes, the intertidal assemblage was dominated by a core of stress-tolerant foundation species that constituted > 95% of the biomass. Hence, canopy-forming macroalgae, represented by Fucus distichus subsp. evanescens and F. vesiculosus and, up to 69°N, also Ascophyllum nodosum, together with Semibalanus balanoides, occupied > 70% of the vertical tidal range in all regions. Thus, a similar functional assemblage composition occurred across regions, and no latitudinal depression was observed. The most conspicuous difference in species composition from south to north was that three common species (the macroalgae Ascophyllum nodosum, the amphipod Gammarus setosus and the gastropod Littorina obtusata) disappeared from the mid-intertidal, although at different latitudes. There were no significant relationships between assemblage metrics and air temperature or sea ice coverage as obtained from weather stations and satellites, respectively. Although the mean biomass decreased > 50% from south to north, local biomass in excess of 10 000 g ww m −2 was found even at the northernmost site, demonstrating the patchiness of this habitat and the effect of small-scale variation in environmental characteristics. Hence, using the latitudinal gradient in a space-for-time substitution, our results suggest that while climate modification may lead to an overall increase in the intertidal biomass in north Greenland, it is unlikely to drive dramatic functional changes in ecosystem structure in the near future. Our dataset provides an important baseline for future studies to verify these predictions for Greenland's intertidal zone. ",
keywords = "Arctic, benthos, biogeography, climate change, range shifts, space-for-time, SEA-ICE COVER, COMMUNITY COMPOSITION, FREEZING TOLERANCE, MYTILUS-EDULIS, ARCTIC FJORD, BLUE MUSSELS, SHIFTS, ZONE, TEMPERATURE, PERFORMANCE",
author = "Jakob Thyrring and Susse Wegeberg and Blicher, {Martin E.} and Dorte Krause-Jensen and Signe Hogslund and Birgit Olesen and Wiktor Jozef and Mouritsen, {Kim N.} and Peck, {Lloyd S.} and Sejr, {Mikael K.}",
year = "2021",
month = aug,
doi = "10.1111/ecog.05381",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "1156--1168",
journal = "Ecography",
issn = "0906-7590",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.",
number = "8",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Latitudinal patterns in intertidal ecosystem structure in West Greenland suggest resilience to climate change

AU - Thyrring, Jakob

AU - Wegeberg, Susse

AU - Blicher, Martin E.

AU - Krause-Jensen, Dorte

AU - Hogslund, Signe

AU - Olesen, Birgit

AU - Jozef, Wiktor

AU - Mouritsen, Kim N.

AU - Peck, Lloyd S.

AU - Sejr, Mikael K.

PY - 2021/8

Y1 - 2021/8

N2 - Climate change has ecosystem-wide cascading effects. Little is known, however, about the resilience of Arctic marine ecosystems to environmental change. Here we quantify and compare large-scale patterns in rocky intertidal biomass, coverage and zonation in six regions along a north-south gradient of temperature and ice conditions in West Greenland (60–72°N). We related the level and variation in assemblage composition, biomass and coverage to latitudinal-scale environmental drivers. Across all latitudes, the intertidal assemblage was dominated by a core of stress-tolerant foundation species that constituted > 95% of the biomass. Hence, canopy-forming macroalgae, represented by Fucus distichus subsp. evanescens and F. vesiculosus and, up to 69°N, also Ascophyllum nodosum, together with Semibalanus balanoides, occupied > 70% of the vertical tidal range in all regions. Thus, a similar functional assemblage composition occurred across regions, and no latitudinal depression was observed. The most conspicuous difference in species composition from south to north was that three common species (the macroalgae Ascophyllum nodosum, the amphipod Gammarus setosus and the gastropod Littorina obtusata) disappeared from the mid-intertidal, although at different latitudes. There were no significant relationships between assemblage metrics and air temperature or sea ice coverage as obtained from weather stations and satellites, respectively. Although the mean biomass decreased > 50% from south to north, local biomass in excess of 10 000 g ww m −2 was found even at the northernmost site, demonstrating the patchiness of this habitat and the effect of small-scale variation in environmental characteristics. Hence, using the latitudinal gradient in a space-for-time substitution, our results suggest that while climate modification may lead to an overall increase in the intertidal biomass in north Greenland, it is unlikely to drive dramatic functional changes in ecosystem structure in the near future. Our dataset provides an important baseline for future studies to verify these predictions for Greenland's intertidal zone.

AB - Climate change has ecosystem-wide cascading effects. Little is known, however, about the resilience of Arctic marine ecosystems to environmental change. Here we quantify and compare large-scale patterns in rocky intertidal biomass, coverage and zonation in six regions along a north-south gradient of temperature and ice conditions in West Greenland (60–72°N). We related the level and variation in assemblage composition, biomass and coverage to latitudinal-scale environmental drivers. Across all latitudes, the intertidal assemblage was dominated by a core of stress-tolerant foundation species that constituted > 95% of the biomass. Hence, canopy-forming macroalgae, represented by Fucus distichus subsp. evanescens and F. vesiculosus and, up to 69°N, also Ascophyllum nodosum, together with Semibalanus balanoides, occupied > 70% of the vertical tidal range in all regions. Thus, a similar functional assemblage composition occurred across regions, and no latitudinal depression was observed. The most conspicuous difference in species composition from south to north was that three common species (the macroalgae Ascophyllum nodosum, the amphipod Gammarus setosus and the gastropod Littorina obtusata) disappeared from the mid-intertidal, although at different latitudes. There were no significant relationships between assemblage metrics and air temperature or sea ice coverage as obtained from weather stations and satellites, respectively. Although the mean biomass decreased > 50% from south to north, local biomass in excess of 10 000 g ww m −2 was found even at the northernmost site, demonstrating the patchiness of this habitat and the effect of small-scale variation in environmental characteristics. Hence, using the latitudinal gradient in a space-for-time substitution, our results suggest that while climate modification may lead to an overall increase in the intertidal biomass in north Greenland, it is unlikely to drive dramatic functional changes in ecosystem structure in the near future. Our dataset provides an important baseline for future studies to verify these predictions for Greenland's intertidal zone.

KW - Arctic

KW - benthos

KW - biogeography

KW - climate change

KW - range shifts

KW - space-for-time

KW - SEA-ICE COVER

KW - COMMUNITY COMPOSITION

KW - FREEZING TOLERANCE

KW - MYTILUS-EDULIS

KW - ARCTIC FJORD

KW - BLUE MUSSELS

KW - SHIFTS

KW - ZONE

KW - TEMPERATURE

KW - PERFORMANCE

U2 - 10.1111/ecog.05381

DO - 10.1111/ecog.05381

M3 - Journal article

VL - 44

SP - 1156

EP - 1168

JO - Ecography

JF - Ecography

SN - 0906-7590

IS - 8

ER -