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The Mediterranean Sea
14; Page: 479 - 498

Future Trends of Mediterranean Biodiversity

José Templado

Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain


This chapter focuses on analysing the current biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea and the changes that are taking place on a human time scale (decades). Some of the changes observed may be sometimes interpreted as natural changes (cyclical, episodic or catastrophic), but most of them are of human origin. Each of the main anthropogenic impacts (habitat fragmentation and loss, overfishing and exploitation of living resources, pollution, species introductions and others) are analysed separately, although it is noted that predictions of how all the impacts interact synergistically are necessary. Furthermore, the effects of the so called “global change” (including both global warming and ocean acidification) on Mediterranean biodiversity are highlighted. It also deals about some episodic events (mass mortalities, jellyfish blooms, noxious algal blooms, proliferation of mucilages) caused by a combination of different impacts. Finally, some predictions are done about the near future of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea and some suggestions to address the problem are given.

Keywords: Mediterranean Sea; Biodiversity; Natural changes; Anthropogenic impacts; Global change; Episodic events

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