Life in a giant water bath: Consequences for ecological dynamics in the ocean
The same ecological and evolutionary processes operate across land and sea, and yet ocean life survives in a dramatically different fluid environment. The ocean is, in effect, a 1.3 sextillion liter water bath with muted thermal variation through time and space, limited oxygen, and intense convective and conductive processes. In this talk, I will trace some of the consequences for evolution, physiology, population dynamics, community assembly, and conservation at sea, including striking contrasts and similarities to patterns on land. I will present evidence that marine animals live closer to their upper thermal limits than do species on land, and that marine species have responded faster to temperature change across time-scales from seasons to decades. Finally, I will discuss some of the unique conservation challenges these dynamics create for ocean life and their potential solutions.
Host: Robert Arlinghaus