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Individual-based model of population dynamics in a sea urchin of the Kerguelen Plateau (Southern Ocean), Abatus cordatus, under changing environmental conditions
Arnould-Pétré, M.; Guillaumot, C.; Danis, B.; Féral, J.-P.; Saucède, T. (2021). Individual-based model of population dynamics in a sea urchin of the Kerguelen Plateau (Southern Ocean), Abatus cordatus, under changing environmental conditions. Ecol. Model. 440: 109352.
In: Ecological Modelling. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Lausanne; New York; Oxford; Shannon; Tokyo. ISSN 0304-3800; e-ISSN 1872-7026
Peer reviewed article  

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    Abatus cordatus (Verrill, 1876) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Ecological modelling; Kerguelen; Climate change; Model sensitivity;Endemic echinoderm; Dynamic energy budget; Individual-based model

Authors  Top 
  • Arnould-Pétré, M.
  • Guillaumot, C.
  • Danis, B., more
  • Féral, J.-P.
  • Saucède, T.

    The Kerguelen Islands are part of the French Southern Territories, located at the limit of the Indian and Southern oceans. They are highly impacted by climate change, and coastal marine areas are particularly at risk. Assessing the responses of species and populations to environmental change is challenging in such areas for which ecological modelling can constitute a helpful approach. In the present work, a DEB-IBM model (Dynamic Energy Budget – Individual-Based Model) was generated to simulate and predict population dynamics in an endemic and common benthic species of shallow marine habitats of the Kerguelen Islands, the sea urchin Abatus cordatus. The model relies on a dynamic energy budget model (DEB) developed at the individual level. Upscaled to an individual-based population model (IBM), it then enables to model population dynamics through time as a result of individual physiological responses to environmental variations. The model was successfully built for a reference site to simulate the response of populations to variations in food resources and temperature. Then, it was implemented to model population dynamics at other sites and for the different IPCC climate change scenarios RCP 2.6 and 8.5. Under present-day conditions, models predict a more determinant effect of food resources on population densities, and on juvenile densities in particular, relative to temperature. In contrast, simulations predict a sharp decline in population densities under conditions of IPCC scenarios RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5 with a determinant effect of water warming leading to the extinction of most vulnerable populations after a 30-year simulation time due to high mortality levels associated with peaks of high temperatures. Such a dynamic model is here applied for the first time to a Southern Ocean benthic and brooding species and offers interesting prospects for Antarctic and sub-Antarctic biodiversity research. It could constitute a useful tool to support conservation studies in these remote regions where access and bio-monitoring represent challenging issues.

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