Session 5: How do marine key species respond to a rapidly changing environment?

Host: Jan Phillipp Geißel

Climate change and anthropogenic stressors pose a variety of threats and challenges to key species forming ecosystems, food webs and creating habitats. In our rapidly changing world sea surface temperature rises, sea ice cover declines, CO2 partial pressure rises, ocean pH gets reduced, and many more changes emerge. Other relevant stressors possibly discussed in this session are light and noise pollution, and hypoxia.

Understanding how key species are affected by these changes and might respond and adapt to them is crucial to predict ecosystem changes, to understand cascading effects following from these changes and to allow informed mitigation and advice decision-makers.

Therefore, this sessions aim is to collect contributions from the disciplines that investigate the effects of environmental alterations on the first line of response in animals, namely: physiology, ecophysiology, behavioural physiology, conservation physiology and neuroecology. Getting a better understanding of the underlying physiological mechanisms (e.g. acid-base regulation, metabolic regulation, respiration, acclimation and adaptation) in response to environmental stressors will allow a better base for modelling and understanding trends in population abundance, stock and population declines.

This stated it appears crucial to highlight current research on these topics conducted not in model species but key species of respective ecosystems. Work presented in this session can cover key species from all animal taxa and all ecosystems.