‘Trends with latitude are primarily indirect and so can be overcome by local variation of environmental factors.‘
This is the conclusion of a recent study investigating geographic patterns in European coastal marine macrobenthic communities, based on a pan-European harmonized monitoring by EMBOS partners (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System). Latitudinal trends and regional differences in diversity and densities appear to be merely the result of particular sets and ranges of environmental factors and location characteristics specific to certain areas. The diversity and densities of benthos were mostly positively correlated with environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, mud and organic matter content in sediment, or wave height, and related with location characteristics such as system type (lagoons, estuaries, open coast) or stratum (intertidal, subtidal).
The study with ‘Ecoauthor involvement‘ is published online in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK and available since september 14th, 2016. You can contact me for more information by using the contact form.