University of Lisbon; Faculty of Sciences (FCUL), partner
University of Algarve; Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences; Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), more, partner
: This project is intended to provide a baseline study on the inshore fish communities in portuguese waters. It is centred on the acquisition of basic knowledge and on the development of methodological procedures that in the future may be applicable on the detection and assessment of the effects of global warming in the marine communities. The project is based on the assumption that the effects of temperature change on coastal marine fishes may be analysed by comparative investigations of population structure and individual condition of populations and species living in different latitudes (i.e. under different temperature regimes). The main question to be asked is: How does climate mediates ecosystem structure and function of coastal marine fish populations? Fish communities will be monitored in selected sites located at the three different Portuguese regions where the work will be undertake (Azores, Madeira and mainland). The data collected will serve to build a comprehensive database concerning seasonal and latitudinal parameters of the ecology, distribution, reproduction, development, growth and trophodynamics of selected marine coastal fishes. The importance of pheno- and genotypic variability will be assessed in allopatric populations of key species. The role of environmental factors, especially temperature and photoperiod, in the control of the breeding cycle in populations of species whose breeding season is known to be strongly affected by temperature, will be experimentally examined. The data collected will be comparatively analysed taking in consideration data from other regions and other sources. Special attention will be given to the impact of environmental conditions on coastal fisheries. Historical data will be analysed. Physical and biochemical parameters of water masses will be routinely sampled and analysed, biochemical and oceanographic data from other sources (e.g. oceanographic cruises) will be compiled under the framework of the project. It is intended that the project will produce previsions on several aspects of the biodiversity, reproduction and growth, biogeography and fisheries of coastal fishes. The effects of climate change on the production and distribution of individual species and coastal fish assemblages will be especially considered, as it will be the impact of these changes on the local economy depending of those species.