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Combinations of biological attributes predict temporal dynamics of fish species in response to environmental changes

Abstract : Assessing species vulnerability to environmental changes is a major challenge for conservation. Combinations of biological attributes have already been successfully used for this purpose, allowing large-scale prediction of inter-specific differences in demographic parameters (e.g. abundance) or endangered status. However, studies investigating whether biological attributes could be used to predict the temporal demographic responses of species in a changing environment are still scarce. In this work, we tackled this issue by taking advantage of a multi-decadal survey of concomitant changes in fish communities and environmental conditions within the Terminos lagoon (Mexico). Based on this rare dataset, we first characterized changes in abiotic parameters that occurred in this ecosystem since the 80s. Then, we adapted a multivariate index accounting for changes in both species abundance and occurrence to assess concomitant demographic changes for the 25 dominant fish species in the lagoon, classifying them into five various types of trajectories ("Increasing", "Decreasing", "Constant", "Hump-shape" and "U-shape"). Finally, we assessed the accuracy in prediction of these temporal responses for all possible combinations of 15 biological attributes including taxonomy, ecological and life-history traits. Our results showed that fish specific demographic changes over the last 30 years could be accurately predicted (72% accuracy) using a combination of five biological attributes (spawning season, order, maximum salinity, width of salinity range, oocyte size) among which three could be related to the increase in average salinity occurred in the lagoon over this period. Appropriate sets of complementary biological attributes could similarly allow prediction of inter-specific differences in demographic changes in other areas, thereby offering an additional pragmatic tool for ecosystem managers to identify vulnerable species at the local scale.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-01840060
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Soumis le : lundi 16 juillet 2018 - 12:41:16
Dernière modification le : samedi 16 octobre 2021 - 13:30:50

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C. Sirot, S. Villéger, D. Mouillot, Audrey M. Darnaude, J. Ramos-Miranda, et al.. Combinations of biological attributes predict temporal dynamics of fish species in response to environmental changes. Ecological Indicators, Elsevier, 2015, 48, pp.147--156. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.07.038⟩. ⟨hal-01840060⟩

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