Marine phylogeographic structuring during climate change:

the signature of leading and rear edge of range shifting populations


The present project aims to monitor, sample and genotype a number of target species in predetermined rocky-shore stations in the Mediterranean and along West Europe, with special attention to species having distributional limits within this area.

The project will use both mitochondrial and nuclear markers as well as standard phylogeographic, historical demographic and food web related tools to compare the patterns detected in retreating edges and leading edges of cold temperate and warm water organisms respectively. The genetic study will be replicated for a subset of species in two different years in order to assess the reproducibility (i.e. temporal stability) of the results.

At the same time the project will search for changes in distributional records that might, specially at the range limits of the target species which may suggest changes in abundance during the study period. In addition, the trophic ecology of each target species will be investigated in order to detect trophodynamic changes and adaptations along the latitudinal gradient.

Apart from the main objectives this study will help to define the geographical limits of populations that are distinct, thus helping policy makers to develop conservation schemes and marine protected areas.

Images were provided by project members and institutions

The Project Aims

Project funded by: