New publication: Patterns of landscape and assemblage structure along a latitudinal gradient in ocean climate

Along the beautiful coast of Portugal, there is a neat latitudinal gradient in ocean climate, e.g. SST and primary production. Within the framework of the OCEANKELP project, we aimed to determine whether this gradient in ocean climate may affect affinities in biogenic landscape structure of subtidal shallow reefs (the abundance of patch habitats, e.g. kelp beds), as well as in the assemblage structure of macroalgae and associated fishes, between each of three regions: Viana do Castelo, Peniche and Sines. We dived up and down the cold and harsh onshore waters of this coast during the last year. Our results revealed an abrupt macroecological change from northern Portugal to central and southern Portugal, e.g. Viana do C. was the only region with conspicuous kelp forests, while Peniche and Sines were dominated by patches of foliose turf-forming and filamentous algae. These results suggest a possible biogeographical reconfiguration through recognition of a wider transitional area from the Atlantic into Mediterranean waters.  Please, feel free to download the paper from the “publications” section.

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