Potential distribution under climate change scenarios of corals of the genus Pocillopora (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) in the tropical eastern Pacific (in Spanish)

In the tropical eastern Pacific (POT), the pociloporids represent a key component of the coral communities, which develop in limiting environmental conditions. The objective of this study is to understand how climate change, in particular the increase in temperature and acidification, could influence the distribution of these coral species. Ecological niche models were used to evaluate possible changes in the geographical distribution of 9 species of pociloporides, based on predictions of temperature increase and pH decrease under the “representative concentration pathways” (CPR) scenarios. 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 for the year 2050. The projections made with Maxent show a tendency towards the conservation of the species distribution area in the CPR 2.6 scenario, while an increase in the favorable area for most of them was observed under the CPR 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 conditions. These results have important implications for the conservation of marginal reefs under a changing climate.

Stranges S., Cuervo-Robayo A. P., Martínez-Meyer E., Morzaria-Luna H. N. & Reyes-Bonilla H., 2019. Potential distribution under climate change scenarios of corals of the genus Pocillopora (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) in the tropical eastern Pacific. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 90: e902696. doi: 10.22201/ib.20078706e.2019.90.2696. Article.

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