Albert Pessarrodona

Albert Pessarrodona
University of Western Australia | UWA · Oceans Institute

Doctor of Philosophy

About

32
Publications
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Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Full-text available
Net primary productivity (NPP) plays a pivotal role in the global carbon balance but estimating the NPP of underwater habitats remains a challenging task. Seaweeds (marine macroalgae) form the largest and most productive underwater vegetated habitat on Earth. Yet, little is known about the distribution of their NPP at large spatial scales, despite...
Article
Communities inhabiting biogeographic transition zones are shifting in composition as a result of progressive warming and heatwaves. In the marine environment, corals are expanding onto higher latitude reefs historically dominated by temperate kelp forests, initiating a shift towards warm‐affinity coral dominated states. Although these coral expansi...
Article
Algal turfs are the most abundant benthic covering on reefs in many shallow-water marine ecosystems. The particulates and sediments bound within algal turfs can influence a multitude of functions within these ecosystems. Despite the global abundance and importance of algal turfs, comparison of algal turf-bound sediments is problematic due to a lack...
Article
Full-text available
The potential contribution of kelp forests to blue carbon sinks is currently of great interest but interspecific variance has received no attention. In the temperate Northeast Atlantic, kelp forest composition is changing due to climate‐driven poleward range shifts of cold temperate Laminaria digitata and L. hyperborea and warm temperate L. ochrole...
Preprint
The paper — Seaweed ecosystems may not mitigate CO2 emissions (Gallagher et al., 2022) — claims that seaweed ecosystems are carbon sources rather than carbon sinks because ‘respiration subsidies’ (from inputs of allochthonous organic carbon) create negative net ecosystem production. That is, that seaweed ecosystems produce more CO2 than they draw d...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Macroalgal habitats are believed to be the most extensive and productive of all coastal vegetated ecosystems. In stark contrast to the growing attention on their contribution to carbon export and sequestration, understanding of their global extent and production is limited and these have remained poorly assessed for decades. Here we report a fi...
Article
Full-text available
Algal turfs are expected to increasingly dominate the benthos of coral reefs in the Anthropocene, becoming important sources of reef productivity. The sediments trapped within algal turfs are known to determine turf condition and influence a range of key ecological processes, particularly the feeding behavior of fishes. Yet, our understanding of th...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Temperate reefs are increasingly affected by the direct and indirect effects of climate change. At many of their warm range edges, cool‐water kelps are decreasing, while seaweeds with warm‐water affinities are increasing. These habitat‐forming species provide different ecological functions, and shifts to warm‐affinity seaweeds are expected...
Article
Extreme climatic events can reshape the functional structure of ecological communities, potentially altering ecological interactions and ecosystem functioning. While these shifts have been widely documented, evidence of their persistence and potential flow-on effects on ecosystem structure following relaxation of extreme events remains limited. Her...
Article
The structure of ecological communities is rapidly changing across the globe due to climate‐mediated shifts in species distributions, with novel ecosystem states emerging as new species become dominant. While it is clear that such changes restructure habitat properties and their associated assemblages, how new nutritional resources and consumers ma...
Article
Full-text available
Kelp forests are highly productive coastal habitats and are emerging as important sources of organic matter for other ecosystems. Although their high rates of productivity and detritus release are expected to lead to substantial export of carbon, few studies have actually quantified rates of export or the persistence of detritus. We addressed this...
Preprint
Full-text available
The potential contribution of kelp to blue carbon sinks is currently of great interest. In the Northeast Atlantic, kelp forest composition is changing due to climate-driven poleward range shifts of cold temperate Laminaria digitata and L. hyperborea and warm temperate L. ochroleuca. To understand how this might affect carbon sequestration potential...
Preprint
The potential contribution of kelp forests to blue carbon sinks is currently of great interest but interspecific variance has received no attention. In the Northeast Atlantic, kelp forest composition is changing due to climate-driven poleward range shifts of cold temperate Laminaria digitata and L. hyperborea and warm temperate L. ochroleuca . To u...
Preprint
Full-text available
Net primary productivity (NPP) plays a pivotal role in the global carbon balance, but estimating the NPP of underwater habitats remains a challenging task. Seaweeds (marine macroalgae) form the largest and most productive underwater vegetated habitat on Earth. Yet, little is known about the distribution of their NPP at large spatial scales, despite...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are rapidly transforming the structural configuration of the planet's ecosystems, but these changes and their ecological consequences remain poorly quantified in underwater habitats. Here, we show that the loss of forest‐forming seaweeds and the rise of ground‐covering ‘turfs’ across four continents consistently resulted in the miniaturizati...
Article
Full-text available
Kelp forests are extensive, widely distributed and highly productive. However, despite their importance, reliable estimates of net primary productivity (NPP) are currently unknown for most species and regions. In particular, how performance and subsequent NPP change throughout a species range is lacking. Here, we attempted to resolve this by examin...
Article
Full-text available
Rates and drivers of primary productivity are well understood for many terrestrial ecosystems, but remain poorly resolved for many marine ecosystems, particularly those within in coastal benthic environments. We quantified net primary productivity (NPP) using two methods as well as carbon standing stock within kelp forests (Laminaria hyperborea) at...
Article
Full-text available
Predators exert a strong influence on ecological communities by reducing the abundance of prey (consumptive effects) and shaping their foraging behavior (non‐consumptive effects). Although the prevalence of trophic cascades triggered by non‐consumptive effects is increasingly recognized in a wide range of ecosystems, how its relative strength chang...
Article
Climate change is driving a redistribution of species and the reconfiguration of ecological communities at a global scale. Persistent warming in many regions has caused species to extend their geographical ranges into new habitats, with thermally tolerant species often becoming competitively dominant over species with colder affinities. Although th...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change is affecting carbon cycling by driving changes in primary productivity and rates of carbon fixation, release and storage within Earth's vegetated systems. There is, however, limited understanding of how carbon flow between donor and recipient habitats will respond to climatic changes. Macroalgal-dominated habitats, such as kel...
Article
Full-text available
Predicting where state-changing thresholds lie can be inherently complex in ecosystems characterized by nonlinear dynamics. Unpacking the mechanisms underlying these transitions can help considerably reduce this unpredictability. We used empirical observations, field and laboratory experiments, and mathematical models to examine how differences in...
Article
Full-text available
The northeast Atlantic has warmed significantly since the early 1980s, leading to shifts in species distributions and changes in the structure and functioning of communities and ecosystems. This study investigated the effects of increased temperature on two co-existing habitat-forming kelps: Laminaria digitata, a northern boreal species, and Lamina...
Poster
This poster was presented at the 11th International Temperate Reefs Symposium in Pisa, Italy.

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Underwater macroalgal forests are among the most important ecosystems in our oceans. Their fronds and branches create a rich canopy, which harbors a diversity of species that are critical to nearshore trophic networks. Additionally, macroalgal forests offer a wide range of goods and services to populations living on the coast. They help ensure high water quality, provide refuge to species of commercial interest and are an important tourist attraction for divers, to list just a few of their critical functions. Macroalgal forests face a growing threat and we may be losing them at a rapid rate. One of the reasons for this loss is overgrazing effect by sea urchin herbivores. Normally, sea urchins would be naturally controlled by predatory fish, but with rampant overfishing, populations of sea urchins can grow to outbreak proportions allowing them to completely overgraze underwater forests. In addition, some areas (such as the Eastern Mediterranean) have suffered major losses of macroalgal forests because of herbivorous fish that enter through the Suez Canal. To add to these threats, other factors, like heat waves (that are increasing with climate change) can also cause dramatic collapses of these precious underwater forests. As a result, areas that were once abundant macroalgal forests are being rapidly replaced by underwater deserts – barrens – dominated by overgrazed rocks rather than macroalgae. These alternate habitats are very poor, low productive ecosystems with very little biodiversity. A group of researchers from different institutions have joint efforts to study the collapse of the underwater macroalgal forests and the expansion of barrens. In particular, we are interested in understanding what characterises these new barrens in order to isolate the factors that determine their creation. We also believe that monitoring already existing deserts is essential to prevent and predict the creation of new barrens along the coastline and will help us evaluate the possibilities of recovering lost underwater forests. For this reason, we launched a citizen science project within the www.seawatchers.org platform to discover the barrens worldwide. We need help in identifying new barrens to monitor. Barrens are areas where the bare rock is completely clean of all erect algal cover and is typically covered over with encrusting algae. How big these bare areas are, depends on the pressure the ecosystem receives but it normally ranges in sizes from several square meters to large expansions of hundreds of square meters. If you spot a barren, you can make a valuable contribution to this study, and to the conservation of macroalgal forests. All we need is information on the position of the barren (its GPS coordinates), the depth at which you saw it, and a photograph. If you see sea urchins or fish around the barren, please note them down, because it is very relevant information. Sea urchins and other herbivores are key species in generating and maintaining underwater deserts. www.seawatchers.org for more information