Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Spatial and body-size dependent response of marine pelagic communities to projected global climate change

Publication Year


  • Lefort, Stelly
  • Aumont, Olivier
  • Bopp, Laurent
  • Arsouze, Thomas
  • Gehlen, Marion
  • Maury, Olivier
GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Volume: 21 Issue: 1 Pages: 154-164 Published: 2015
1354-1013 eISSN: 1365-2486

Temperature, oxygen, and food availability directly affect marine life. Climate models project a global warming of the ocean's surface (similar to+3 degrees C), a de-oxygenation of the ocean's interior (similar to-3%) and a decrease in total marine net primary production (similar to-8%) under the business as usual' climate change scenario (RCP8.5). We estimated the effects of these changes on biological communities using a coupled biogeochemical (PISCES) - ecosystems (APECOSM) model forced by the physical outputs of the last generation of the IPSL-CM Earth System Model. The APECOSM model is a size-structured bio-energetic model that simulates the 3D dynamical distributions of three interactive pelagic communities (epipelagic, mesopelagic, and migratory) under the effects of multiple environmental factors. The PISCES-APECOSM model ran from 1850 to 2100 under historical forcing followed by RCP8.5. Our RCP8.5 simulation highlights significant changes in the spatial distribution, biomass, and maximum body-size of the simulated pelagic communities. Biomass and maximum body-size increase at high latitude over the course of the century, reflecting the capacity of marine organisms to respond to new suitable environment. At low- and midlatitude, biomass and maximum body-size strongly decrease. In those regions, large organisms cannot maintain their high metabolic needs because of limited and declining food availability. This resource reduction enhances the competition and modifies the biomass distribution among and within the three communities: the proportion of small organisms increases in the three communities and the migrant community that initially comprised a higher proportion of small organisms is favored. The greater resilience of small body-size organisms resides in their capacity to fulfill their metabolic needs under reduced energy supply and is further favored by the release of predation pressure due to the decline of large organisms. These results suggest that small body-size organisms might be more resilient to climate change than large ones.

Author Keyword(s)
  • biogeochemical model
  • body-size of organisms
  • climate change
  • climate scenario
  • high trophic level model
  • pelagic communities
  • trophic transfer
KeyWord(s) Plus
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Environment/Ecology
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences

[Lefort, Stelly; Bopp, Laurent; Gehlen, Marion] CEA, LSCE, IPSL CNRS, UVSQ, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette, France; [Aumont, Olivier] IRD, LPO, UMR6539, F-29280 Plouzane, France; [Arsouze, Thomas] ENSTA ParisTech, F-91762 Palaiseau, France; [Arsouze, Thomas] Ecole Polytech, LMD X, F-91128 Palaiseau, France; [Maury, Olivier] CRH, IRD, UMR EME 212, F-34203 Sete, France; [Maury, Olivier] Univ Cape Town, Dept Oceanog, Int Lab ICEMASA, ZA-7701 Cape Town, South Africa

Reprint Adress

Lefort, S (reprint author), CEA, LSCE, IPSL CNRS, UVSQ, Point Courrier 132,Bat 712, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette, France.

  • France
  • South Africa
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), FR636
  • Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (LMD), UMR8539
  • Laboratoire des sciences de l'environnement marin (LEMAR), UMR6539
  • Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l'environnement (LSCE), UMR8212
Accession Number
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