2024 . Article in a Journal

Carlos Veloy, Marta Coll, Maria Grazia Pennino, Encarnación Garcia, Antonio Esteban, Cristina García-Ruiz, Gregoire Certain, Sandrine Vaz, Angélique Jadaud, María González, Manuel Hidalgo

Understanding the response of the Western Mediterranean cephalopods to environment and fishing in a context of alleged winners of change

in: Marine Environmental Research . Volume 197:106478 (2024)


Increasing impacts of both fisheries and climate change have resulted in shifts in the structure and functioning of marine communities. One recurrent observation is the rise of cephalopods as fish recede. This is generally attributed to the removal of main predators and competitors by fishing, while mechanistic evidence is still lacking. In addition, climate change may influence cephalopods due to their high environmental sensitivity. We aim to unveil the effects of different anthropogenic and environmental drivers at different scales focusing on the cephalopod community of the Western Mediterranean Sea. We investigate several ecological indicators offering a wide range of information about their ecology, and statistically relating them with environmental, biotic and fisheries drivers. Our results highlight non-linear changes of indicators along with spatial differences in their responses. Overall, the environment drivers have greater effects than biotic and local human impacts with contrasting effects of temperature across the geographic gradient. We conclude that cephalopods may be impacted by climate change in the future while not necessary through positive warming influence, which should make us cautious when referring to them as generalized winners of current changes.