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Type: Journal article
Title: Ecological complexity buffers the impacts of future climate on marine consumers
Author: Goldenberg, S.
Nagelkerken, I.
Marangon, E.
Bonnet, A.
Ferreira, C.
Connell, S.
Citation: Nature Climate Change, 2018; 8(3):229-233
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1758-678X
Statement of
Silvan U. Goldenberg, Ivan Nagelkerken, Emma Marangon, Angélique Bonnet, Camilo M. Ferreira and Sean D. Connell
Abstract: Ecological complexity represents a network of interacting components that either propagate or counter the effects of environmental change on individuals and communities. Yet, our understanding of the ecological imprint of ocean acidification (elevated CO₂) and climate change (elevated temperature) is largely based on reports of negative effects on single species in simplified laboratory systems. By combining a large mesocosm experiment with a global meta-analysis, we reveal the capacity of consumers (fish and crustaceans) to resist the impacts of elevated CO₂. While individual behaviours were impaired by elevated CO₂, consumers could restore their performances in more complex environments that allowed for compensatory processes. Consequently, consumers maintained key traits such as foraging, habitat selection and predator avoidance despite elevated CO₂ and sustained their populations. Our observed increase in risk-taking under elevated temperature, however, predicts greater vulnerability of consumers to predation. Yet, CO₂ as a resource boosted the biomass of consumers through species interactions and may stabilize communities by countering the negative effects of elevated temperature. We conclude that compensatory dynamics inherent in the complexity of nature can buffer the impacts of future climate on species and their communities.
Keywords: Biooceanography; climate-change ecology; community ecology; marine biology
Rights: © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0086-0
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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