Impacts and effects of ocean warming on intertidal rocky habitats.
Authors: Hawkins, S.J., Herbert, R.J.H. et al.
Editors: Laffoley, D. and Baxter, J.M.
Place of Publication: Gland, Switzerland
- Intertidal rocky habitats comprise over 50% of the shorelines of the world, supporting a diversity of marine life and providing extensive ecosystem services worth in the region of US$ 5-10 trillion per year.
- They are valuable indicators of the impacts of climate change on the wider marine environment and ecosystems.
- Changes in species distributions, abundance and phenology have already been observed around the world in response to recent rapid climate change.
- Species-level responses will have considerable ramifications for the structure of communities and trophic interactions, leading to eventual changes in ecosystem functioning (e.g. less primary producing canopy-forming algae in the North-east Atlantic).
- Whilst progress is made on the mitigation1 required to achieve goals of a lower-carbon world, much can be done to enhance resilience to climate change. Managing the multitude of other interactive impacts on the marine environment, over which society has greater potential control (e.g. overfishing, invasive non-native species, coastal development, and pollution), will enable adaptation1 in the short and medium term of the next 5-50 years.