Mouillot D., Albouy C., Guilhaumon F., Lasram F.B.R., Coll M., Devictor V., Meynard C.N., Pauly D., Tomasini J.A., Troussellier M., Velez L., Watson R., Douzery E.J.P. and Mouquet N. (2011).

Current Biology, 21,1044-1050, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.05.005

Key message :The Mediterranean Sea (0.82% of the global oceanic surface) holds 4%-18% of all known marine species, with a high proportion of endemism. This exceptional biodiversity is under severe threats but benefits from a system of 100 marine protected areas (MPAs). Surprisingly, the spatial congruence of fish biodiversity hot spots with this MPA system and the areas of high fishing pressure has not been assessed. Moreover, evolutionary and functional breadth of species assemblages has been largely overlooked in marine systems. Here we adopted a multifaceted approach to biodiversity by considering the species richness of total, endemic, and threatened coastal fish assemblages as well as their functional and phylogenetic diversity. We show that these fish biodiversity components are spatially mismatched. The MPA system covers a small surface of the Mediterranean (0.4%) and is spatially congruent with the hot spots of all taxonomic components of fish diversity. However, it misses hot spots of functional and phylogenetic diversity. In addition, hot spots of endemic species richness and phylogenetic diversity are spatially congruent with hot spots of fishery impact. Our results highlight that future conservation strategies and assessment efficiency of current reserve systems will need to be revisited after deconstructing the different components of biodiversity.

Range maps for 282 coastal species, among which 81 are endemic and 45 are on the IUCN Red List, were digitalized on a regular grid (8186 cells) covering the continental shelf. Nonnative, migratory large pelagic species as well as those mainly occurring beyond the continental shelf (60% or more of their total range) were also excluded because they do not benefit from MPAs situated on the continental shelf. From a dated phylogeny and a functional dendrogram built using 15 functional traits, phylogenetic and functional diversity of fish assemblages contained in each grid cell were respectively computed using a standardized effect size estimation to provide a diversity value independent of species richness.

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OTHER TOPICS: Aesthetics of Biodiversity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning, Biogeography, Macroecology & Ecophylogenetics, Experimental Evolution, Functional Biogeography, Functional Rarity, Metacommunities, Metaecosystems, Reviews and Synthesis, Trophic Biogeography & Metaweb