Realized niche width of a brackish water submerged aquatic vegetation under current environmental conditions and projected influences of climate change.

Kotta, Jonne, Möller, Tiia, Orav-Kotta, Helen and Pärnoja, Merli (In Press / Accepted) Realized niche width of a brackish water submerged aquatic vegetation under current environmental conditions and projected influences of climate change. Marine Environmental Research . DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.05.002.

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Abstract

Little is known about how organisms might respond to multiple climate stressors and this lack of knowledge limits our ability to manage coastal ecosystems under contemporary climate change. Ecological models provide managers and decision makers with greater certainty that the systems affected by their decisions are accurately represented. In this study Boosted Regression Trees modelling was used to relate the cover of submerged aquatic vegetation to the abiotic environment in the brackish Baltic Sea. The analyses showed that the majority of the studied submerged aquatic species are most sensitive to changes in water temperature, current velocity and winter ice scour. Surprisingly, water salinity, turbidity and eutrophication have little impact on the distributional pattern of the studied biota. Both small and large scale environmental variability contributes to the variability of submerged aquatic vegetation. When modelling species distribution under the projected influences of climate change, all of the studied submerged aquatic species appear to be very resilient to a broad range of environmental perturbation and biomass gains are expected when seawater temperature increases. This is mainly because vegetation develops faster in spring and has a longer growing season under the projected climate change scenario.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Baltic Sea; Climate change; Models; Soft bottom; Species distribution; Submerged aquatic vegetation
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.05.002
ISSN: 0141-1136
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 07:15
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2014 07:15
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/25664

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