Ocean warming, shifts in species interactions and the tropicalisation of temperate reefs

Climate change is profoundly influencing the marine environment, and marine species are responding to these changes with rapid poleward shifts in their distribution. A particularly striking manifestation of these distributional shifts is the 'tropicalisation' of temperate coastlines, whereby tropical and subtropical species are becoming dominant in some regions previously dominated by cool water species. This is leading to profound transformations of some temperate reefs and major shifts in the dominant habitat-forming organisms, e.g. with tropical reef building corals taking over coastlines previously dominated by cool-water algal forests. This project investigates the causes of climate-mediated declines in temperate algal forests with a specific focus on the role of shifting species interactions in driving these changes. For more information contact Dr Adriana Vergés.

Adriana Tropicalization.jpeg