Limits...
The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Kaschner K, Ben Rais Lasram F, Aguzzi J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovaro R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gasol JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guilhaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos MS, Koukouras A, Lampadariou N, Laxamana E, López-Fé de la Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Vafidis D, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea.Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth.This abstract has been translated to other languages (File S1).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institut de Ciències del Mar, Scientific Spanish Council (ICM-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain. mcoll@icm.csic.es

ABSTRACT
The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of Gibraltar and the adjacent Alboran Sea), western African coast, the Adriatic, and the Aegean Sea, which show high concentrations of endangered, threatened, or vulnerable species. The Levantine Basin, severely impacted by the invasion of species, is endangered as well. This abstract has been translated to other languages (File S1).

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Current and future threats to biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.We used published data on specific taxa and expert opinion. Threats to diversity were ranked from 0 to 5 for 13 taxonomic groups and results are shown as the percentage of the ranking to the maximum values (File S2).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2914016&req=5

pone-0011842-g010: Current and future threats to biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.We used published data on specific taxa and expert opinion. Threats to diversity were ranked from 0 to 5 for 13 taxonomic groups and results are shown as the percentage of the ranking to the maximum values (File S2).

Mentions: Recently, anthropogenic drivers and threats to diversity increased and further diversified in the Mediterranean, as observed elsewhere [285]. Published information and the opinion by experts identified and ranked current threats to diversity in the Mediterranean (Figure 10, and File S2). The sum of the ranking (0–5 for each threat) showed that for 13 large taxonomic groups, habitat loss and degradation are considered the primary impact on diversity, followed by exploitation, pollution, climate change, eutrophication and species invasions. These were the most conspicuous threats and also affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. Other threats to diversity were maritime traffic (collisions with vessels) and aquaculture. Within 10 years from now, habitat degradation and exploitation were predicted to retain the predominant roles, while pollution and climate change will likely increase in importance, followed by eutrophication. Of all current threats to biodiversity in the Mediterranean, climate change was predicted to show the largest growth in importance within the next 10 years (10.8%), followed by habitat degradation (9.2%), exploitation (6.2%), and pollution, eutrophication, and invasion of species (4.6% each) (Figure 10).


The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Kaschner K, Ben Rais Lasram F, Aguzzi J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovaro R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gasol JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guilhaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos MS, Koukouras A, Lampadariou N, Laxamana E, López-Fé de la Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Vafidis D, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E - PLoS ONE (2010)

Current and future threats to biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.We used published data on specific taxa and expert opinion. Threats to diversity were ranked from 0 to 5 for 13 taxonomic groups and results are shown as the percentage of the ranking to the maximum values (File S2).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2914016&req=5

pone-0011842-g010: Current and future threats to biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.We used published data on specific taxa and expert opinion. Threats to diversity were ranked from 0 to 5 for 13 taxonomic groups and results are shown as the percentage of the ranking to the maximum values (File S2).
Mentions: Recently, anthropogenic drivers and threats to diversity increased and further diversified in the Mediterranean, as observed elsewhere [285]. Published information and the opinion by experts identified and ranked current threats to diversity in the Mediterranean (Figure 10, and File S2). The sum of the ranking (0–5 for each threat) showed that for 13 large taxonomic groups, habitat loss and degradation are considered the primary impact on diversity, followed by exploitation, pollution, climate change, eutrophication and species invasions. These were the most conspicuous threats and also affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. Other threats to diversity were maritime traffic (collisions with vessels) and aquaculture. Within 10 years from now, habitat degradation and exploitation were predicted to retain the predominant roles, while pollution and climate change will likely increase in importance, followed by eutrophication. Of all current threats to biodiversity in the Mediterranean, climate change was predicted to show the largest growth in importance within the next 10 years (10.8%), followed by habitat degradation (9.2%), exploitation (6.2%), and pollution, eutrophication, and invasion of species (4.6% each) (Figure 10).

Bottom Line: Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea.Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth.This abstract has been translated to other languages (File S1).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institut de Ciències del Mar, Scientific Spanish Council (ICM-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain. mcoll@icm.csic.es

ABSTRACT
The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of Gibraltar and the adjacent Alboran Sea), western African coast, the Adriatic, and the Aegean Sea, which show high concentrations of endangered, threatened, or vulnerable species. The Levantine Basin, severely impacted by the invasion of species, is endangered as well. This abstract has been translated to other languages (File S1).

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus