Ridouan Bani

McGill University
Can pelagic phase plasticity maintain the marine metapopulation stability and offset negative effects of climate change on adults’ phase?

With ongoing climate rapid change, we expect habitat’s suitability to degrade forcing species to move to new suitable habitats, evolve and adapt to the habitat new conditions, or to go extinct. For marine benthic and some fish species characterized with a sedentary adult phase and a pelagic phase, climate change affects both phases as well as ocean circulations; climate change will affect the demographic rates during adults’ phase but also behavioral traits during pelagic phase such as larval duration (LD) and spawning time (ST). However, we still don’t know how the combined effects on adults and pelagic phases is expected to affect reginal stability. In this study, we use biophysical connectivity simulated during two time periods one representing the actual (1998-2007) and the other forecasted (2068-2077) to quantify and compare how stability (Bani et al., 2018) changes between present and future connectivity when combined with a shift in pelagic traits. Our results suggest. Our results suggest that the reduction in LD will have important impact in metapopulation stability compare to the shift in ST. Moreover, compare the insignificant effect of ocean currents, reduction of LD may reduce stability up to 20 % for species with shorter LD.