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Seminar: Dr. Fernando Lima, Univserity of Porto, Portugal
February 17, 2016 @ 3:35 pm - 4:35 pm
Understanding the mechanistic link between environmental heterogeneity and physiology to forecast the effects of climate change at continental scales (Host: Karl Castillo) The intertidal is strongly influenced by meteorological conditions, providing a direct link between climate and biodiversity. Yet, the mechanisms translating small-scale, individual thermal stress patterns into large-scale invasions and range shifts remain virtually unknown. To tackle this issue, we have been collecting data from a unique network of biomimetic sensors deployed along the European coast. Coupled with in-situ measurements of sub-lethal thermal stress (via heat shock protein expression and cardiac activity), our data suggest that intertidal habitats are a mosaic of contrasting microclimates and shed light on the mechanisms by which microclimate effects are scaled up, eventually determining species’ distributions. Of central interest is the degree to which environmental variability modulates (exacerbating or buffering) the long-term effects of global warming.