Changes in the distribution of intertidal macroalgae along a longitudinal gradient in the northern coast of Spain

Abstract: The distribution of macroalgal species along the north and northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula is in a period of change, during which mostly cold-temperate species have decreased in cover and others have disappeared. On the other hand, other species have increased in abundance. These shifts could be related with the modification of environmental factors that determine species distribution caused by climate change. A standardised sampling methodology was applied at 18 sites along the north coast of Spain in 2011 and 2017. The relationship between the coverage of intertidal macroalgal species and abiotic variables (sea surface temperature, air temperature and significant wave height) was analysed in order to detect possible changes in the historical data. Results suggest a modification in the communities in the inner part of the Bay of Biscay, mostly related to an increase in water and air temperature. Each seaweed group (warm-temperate, cold-temperate, opportunistic and exotic species) showed a different pattern of modification. Coralline algae, Bifurcaria bifurcata and Cystoseira baccata have increased, which may be related to the warming trend. The exotic species Asparagopsis armata has also increased, particularly in the Lower Rias. On the other hand, there was a drastic decrease of the cold-temperate species Himanthalia elongata. Data obtained support the relationship of macroalgae species communities and environment in the context of climate change in this particular area.

 Fuente: Marine Environmental Research Volume 157, May 2020, 104930

Editorial: Elsevier Ltd

 Fecha de publicación: 01/05/2020

Nº de páginas: 11

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.104930

ISSN: 0141-1136,1879-0291

Proyecto español: CTM2015-68244-R

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.104930