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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versão On-line ISSN 2007-8706versão impressa ISSN 1870-3453


STRANGES, Silvia et al. Potential changes in the distribution of the genus Pocillopora (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) in the Eastern Tropical Pacific under climate change scenarios. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2019, vol.90, e902696.  Epub 27-Jun-2019. ISSN 2007-8706.

In the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), pocilloporids represent a key component of coral communities that develop under very limited environmental conditions. The objective of this study was to understand how climate change, in particular the increases in ocean temperature and acidification, could influence the distribution of these coral species. Ecological niche models were used to evaluate possible changes in the geographic distribution of 9 pocilloporid species, based on predictions of increasing temperature and decreasing pH under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5 by 2050. The projections, elaborated using the Maxent algorithm, show that the trend was towards the conservation of species' distribution areas in the RCP 2.6 scenario, while the favorable area increased for most species in the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios. By 2050, the optimal conditions for the presence of corals will be located at high latitudes and towards the equator. Finally, regions currently considered marginal for reef development are expected to persist and expand under future climate projections. These results have important implications for the future management and conservation of marginal reefs under a changing climate.

Palavras-chave : Acidification; Warming; Ecological niche models; Spatial distribution; Scleractinia; Marginal hábitat.

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