Past and future decline of tropical pelagic biodiversity

Moriaki Yasuhara, Chih Lin Wei, Michal Kucera, Mark J. Costello, Derek P. Tittensor, Wolfgang Kiessling, Timothy C. Bonebrake, Clay R. Tabor, Ran Feng, Andrés Baselga, Kerstin Kretschmer, Buntarou Kusumoto, Yasuhiro Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A major research question concerning global pelagic biodiversity remains unanswered: when did the apparent tropical biodiversity depression (i.e., bimodality of latitudinal diversity gradient [LDG]) begin? The bimodal LDG may be a consequence of recent ocean warming or of deep-time evolutionary speciation and extinction processes. Using rich fossil datasets of planktonic foraminifers, we show here that a unimodal (or only weakly bimodal) diversity gradient, with a plateau in the tropics, occurred during the last ice age and has since then developed into a bimodal gradient through species distribution shifts driven by postglacial ocean warming. The bimodal LDG likely emerged before the Anthropocene and industrialization, and perhaps ∼15,000 y ago, indicating a strong environmental control of tropical diversity even before the start of anthropogenic warming. However, our model projections suggest that future anthropogenic warming further diminishes tropical pelagic diversity to a level not seen in millions of years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12891-12896
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume117
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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