The future of marine biodiversity and marine ecosystem functioning in UK coastal and territorial waters (including UK Overseas Territories) – with an emphasis on marine macrophyte communities

Küpper, F. C. and Kamenos, N. A. (2018) The future of marine biodiversity and marine ecosystem functioning in UK coastal and territorial waters (including UK Overseas Territories) – with an emphasis on marine macrophyte communities. Botanica Marina, 61(6), pp. 521-535. (doi:10.1515/bot-2018-0076)

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Abstract

Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning – including seaweed communities – in the territorial waters of the UK and its Overseas Territories are facing unprecedented pressures. Key stressors are changes in ecosystem functioning due to biodiversity loss caused by ocean warming (species replacement and migration, e.g. affecting kelp forests), sea level rise (e.g. loss of habitats including salt marshes), plastic pollution (e.g. entanglement and ingestion), alien species with increasing numbers of alien seaweeds (e.g. outcompeting native species and parasite transmission), overexploitation (e.g. loss of energy supply further up the food web), habitat destruction (e.g. loss of nursery areas for commercially important species) and ocean acidification (e.g. skeletal weakening of ecosystem engineers including coralline algal beds). These stressors are currently affecting biodiversity, and their impact can be projected for the future. All stressors may act alone or in synergy. Marine biodiversity provides crucial goods and services. Climate change and biodiversity loss pose new challenges for legislation. In particular, there are implications of climate change for the designation and management of Marine Protected Areas and natural carbon storage by marine systems to help control the global climate system. The UK currently has legal obligations to protect biodiversity under international and European law.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through Oceans 2025 (WP4.5), Funder Id: 10.13039/501100000270, Grant Number: Oceans 2025 – WP 4.5 and the MASTS pooling initiative (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and contributing institutions; grant reference HR09011) is gratefully acknowledged.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Dr Nick
Authors: Küpper, F. C., and Kamenos, N. A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Botanica Marina
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0006-8055
ISSN (Online):1437-4323
Published Online:20 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Frithjof C. Küpper, et al.
First Published:First published in Botanica Marina 61(6):521-535
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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