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WIREs Clim Change
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Climate change and marine benthos: a review of existing research and future directions in the North Atlantic

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There is growing evidence that climate change could affect marine benthic systems. This review provides information of climate change‐related impacts on the marine benthos in the North Atlantic. We cover a number of related research aspects, mainly in connection to two key issues. First, is the relationship between different physical aspects of climate change and the marine benthos. This section covers: (a) the responses to changes in seawater temperature (biogeographic shifts and phenology); (b) altered Hydrodynamics; (c) ocean acidification (OA); and (d) sea‐level rise‐coastal squeeze. The second major issue addressed is the possible integrated impact of climate change on the benthos. This work is based on relationships between proxies for climate variability, notably the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, and the long‐term marine benthos. The final section of our review provides a series of conclusions and future directions to support climate change research on marine benthic systems. WIREs Clim Change 2015, 6:203–223. doi: 10.1002/wcc.330

Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.

Conceptual diagram of the effects of climate change and benthic interactions illustrating the influence of increased CO2 and temperature (left panel) and how these factors could directly affect biotic and abiotic components (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2009 ICES [BEWG]).
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Time‐series anomalies of macrofauna in the central western North Sea. Anomalies of (a) standardized winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) with March and September total abundance 0.1 m2, (b) standardized winter NAO with March and September genera richness 0.1 m2. Observations for the period 1972–2005 (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2009 Elsevier).
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Example of the relationship between (a) average density and (b) numbers of taxa across the annually sampled stations off the Tyne (UK) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index for the preceding year (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2006 Cambridge University Press).
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Summary of effects of acidification among key taxonomic groups. Effects are represented as either mean percent (+) increase or percent (−) decrease in a given response. Percent change estimates were back transformed from the mean LnRR, and represent geometric means, that are conservative of the arithmetic means (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2013 Wiley).
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Interannual variability in the peak seasonal development of echinoderm larvae (an indicator of plankton phenology) in the North Sea. The general trend through time is toward an earlier seasonal cycle (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2009 SAHFOS).
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