Marine Ecosystem Functioning and Food Webs under Climate Change

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 2019

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Marine Biology Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281/S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: marine biodiversity; benthic ecology; climate change impacts; meiofauna; nematodes; species interactions; stable isotope ecology; trophic ecology; food webs

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food webs are a critical, well-studied concept in ecology as they illustrate the various trophic connections among taxa in ecological communities, which, in turn, represent the energy and nutrient flows through living organisms. Food web dynamics have been used as a measure of the functional complexity of communities or as an indication in terms of stability of ecosystems. There is strong empirical evidence that the warming and acidification of the oceans may result in major structural changes within marine food webs, leading to severe biodiversity loss and reducing ecosystem stability and resilience. Accurate predictions of species and communities’ responses to climate change are crucial for decision-making on conservation of natural habitats within marine ecosystems. Therefore, it is important to investigate the responses to climate change from individual organisms to trophic interactions and ecosystem functions.

For this Special Issue on “Marine Ecosystem Functioning and Food Webs Under Climate Change”, we invite submissions that address all aspects of food web ecology addressing species interactions within food webs and their response to climate change in a wide range of marine habitats (estuarine, coastal, polar ecosystems), highlighting new research especially related to: i) trophic links and trophic interactions in marine food webs; ii) the dynamics and energy flow in marine ecosystems; and iii) the link between food webs and ecosystem functioning in marine ecosystems, in relation to climate change.

Dr. Anna-Maria Vafeiadou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • trophic interactions
  • food webs
  • marine ecosystems
  • climate change
  • energy dynamics
  • ecosystem functions

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

18 pages, 8505 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Impact of Biodiversity Loss in a Marine Antarctic Food Web
by Vanesa Salinas, Georgina Cordone, Tomás I. Marina and Fernando R. Momo
Diversity 2024, 16(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16010063 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
The consequences of climate change and anthropogenic stressors, such as habitat loss and overexploitation, are threatening the subsistence of species and communities across the planet. Therefore, it is crucial that we analyze the impact of environmental perturbations on the diversity, structure and function [...] Read more.
The consequences of climate change and anthropogenic stressors, such as habitat loss and overexploitation, are threatening the subsistence of species and communities across the planet. Therefore, it is crucial that we analyze the impact of environmental perturbations on the diversity, structure and function of ecosystems. In this study, in silico simulations of biodiversity loss were carried out on the marine food web of Caleta Potter (25 de Mayo/King George Island, Antarctica), where global warming has caused critical changes in the abundance and distribution of benthic and pelagic communities over the last 30 years. We performed species removal, considering their degree and trophic level, and including four different thresholds on the occurrence of secondary extinctions. We examined the impact of extinctions on connectance, modularity and stability of the food web. We found different responses for these properties depending on the extinction criteria used, e.g., large increase in modularity and rapid decrease in stability when the most connected and relatively high-trophic-level species were removed. Additionally, we studied the complexity–stability relationship of the food web, and found two regimes: (1) high sensitivity to small perturbations, suggesting that Potter Cove would be locally unstable, and (2) high persistence to long-range perturbations, suggesting global stability of this ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Ecosystem Functioning and Food Webs under Climate Change)
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