Mapping global functional diversity of marine fish and its redistribution under global environmental change

Dr Mireia Valle1,2, Dr.  Benjamin Halpern2, Mr.  Casey O’Hara2, Dr. Kristin Kaschner3

1BC3, Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa/Bilbao, Spain, 2National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis, Santa Barbara, United States of America, 3Department of Biometry and Environmental Systems Analysis, Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating loss of species diversity which is increasingly impairing the ocean’s capacity to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover for perturbations. This is already having and will continue to have major global repercussions on human well-being; moreover, the impacts will not be evenly distributed as some societies are more vulnerable than others to such perturbations. With this research, we aim to map global functional diversity of marine fish and its redistribution under global change in order to get a comprehensive picture of the ocean’s adaptability and infer future consequences to human societies. To do so we are first developing an ecological trait-based approach based on the occurrence data from more than 12,000 marine fish species; and will finalize with a participatory scenario modelling approach to envision sustainability transition pathways at a relevant local policy level. Thus we will show how and where global functional diversity will shift under different climate scenarios and will discuss the potential implications of these shifts for both ecosystem function and the benefits people derive from them. Obtained results will be used for developing future scenarios that could help moving towards adaptive ecosystem management and lead to new insights for adaptive ecosystem management towards better marine spatial planning aiming at fostering resilient social-ecological seascape systems.


Mireia Valle is an environmental scientist studying social-ecological systems within the marine environment; her research focuses on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services; with a special interest in climate change impacts. She got her PhD in the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning and Management with International Mention distinction in 2014, which was awarded an excellent-Cum Laude and the PhD. Extraordinary Award 2016/2017. Currently, she is postdoctoral research at BC3- Basque Center for Climate Change doing a research stage of two years at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in the University of California Santa Barbara. Mireia has contributed to Chapter 5 “Current and Future Interactions between Nature and Society” of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Regional Assessment of the Americas. The objective of IPBES work programs is to provide relevant data to support decision making for conservation policy and management worldwide.

Species on the Move

An International Conference Series

The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.

Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

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