Standard Presentation (15 mins) Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

A Snapshot into Future Warming: In situ Warming Drives Big Changes in Benthic Communities (#104)

Jessica B Moffitt 1 , Miles Lamare 1
  1. The University of Otago, Dunedin, OTAGO, New Zealand

In order to better understand the ecological consequences of ocean warming on marine ecosystems, manipulation experiments must strive for ecological relevance. This research aims to assess the response of benthic marine communities to in situ warming, without eliminating the impact of natural variation.  Heated settlement panels that can be deployed in situ, allow for controlled manipulation of temperatures within the boundary layer, have been used to assess the response of the benthic community at the individual, species and community level. Providing novel insight into how communities respond to warming under natural conditions allows us to better address the broader research question: How will climate change impact the dynamics of benthic communities, through changes in growth, survival, competition and physiological tolerance of species under warming.  Here we will discuss how in situ warming in a temperature marine environment alters individual performance and community dynamics of benthic ecosystem under temperature treatments equivalent to  2050 and 2100 (i.e. +1°C and +2°C above ambient).