Marine biodiversity and climate change

Since temperature is a major factor determining the distribution and diversity of life in the oceans, climate change is fundamentally changing marine biodiversity on a global scale. In this updated chapter in the 3rd Edition of Climate and Global Change: Observed Impacts on Planet Earth” ( edited by T. Letcher ), we review observed and predicted effects of climate change on the diversity of marine species. An increasing number of studies demonstrate that climate change effects are already apparent from local to global scales, and future projections highlight climate-driven changes in marine biomass and likely diversity from low to high trophic levels. The conservation of biological diversity can provide insurance and resilience in the face of rapid global change, but conservation strategies need to be adapted to take shifting species distributions into account.

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