SOMBEE: Scenarios Of Marine Biodiversity and Evolution under Exploitation and climate change

Akoğlu E. (Executive), Salihoğlu B., Fach Salihoğlu B. A. , Arkın Ş. S.

TÜBİTAK International Multi-Cooperation Project, 2019 - 2022

  • Project Type: TÜBİTAK International Multi-Cooperation Project
  • Begin Date: April 2019
  • End Date: April 2022

Project Abstract

Global change scenarios are invaluable to guide long-term strategic policies, prompt
management actions and increase public awareness of future trends in biodiversity.
Although the degree of realism of scenarios and marine ecosystem models developed in
support of an ecosystem approach to fisheries has greatly improved, in most cases, the
Darwinian evolution of fish populations is still neglected in future projections. Evidence
indicates that populations adapt to global change, either via phenotypic plasticity or
genetic processes, leading to modifications in their life-history and physiology. Such
adaptation can mitigate the impacts of global change on fish populations and prevent
their extirpation, an evolutionary rescue, but it can also push them towards evolutionary
traps due to the erosion of their genetic diversity and thus reduction of their evolutionary
potential and resilience. SOMBEE addresses the role of eco-evolutionary dynamics and
their consequences for the sustainable exploitation of fish resources in the future. To this
end, we will build and test scenarios of the combined pressure of fishing and climate
change on both intra- and inter-specific marine biodiversity, by explicitly modelling the
phenotypic plasticity of fish life-history traits, their selection and adaptive evolution, and
their genetic drift for multiple interacting species. The objectives are to: i) develop a
cutting edge evolutionary ecosystem model with primary focus on fish; ii) apply it to a set
of 6 contrasting ecosystems to better understand the selective pressures exerted by
fishing and climate change; iii) project future changes in intra- and inter-specific
biodiversity and related fishing production and economic profit under combined climate
and fishing scenarios and iv) quantify the synergistic and antagonistic ecological,
evolutionary and economic impacts of these drivers. SOMBEE will advance knowledge
on the capacity of fish communities to adapt to global change and our ability to forecast
their persistence and the future sustainability of fisheries and food production.