Are marine macroalgae physiologically adapted to global warming?

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
Marine macroalgae are the foundational organisms of kelp forest and intertidal rocky systems of temperate coasts. In the north of the Iberian Peninsula, in southern Europe, ecologists have observed that seaweed species of great importance for the survival of marine communities are disappearing. This Master proyect will investigate whether algae are expected to survive in future climate change scenarios using a predictive biogeographical approach. For this, the student will investigate whether the thresholds of temperature tolerance allows them to be adapted to increasing ocean temperatures at their southern limits of distribution, or if instead algae in warmer areas are maladapted and thus predicted to become extinct. The former would suggest the existence of ecophysiological ecotypes of different thermal tolerance in different parts of the latitudinal distribution of the species. To test this hypothesis of ecotypic differentiation in macroalgae, and other major hypothesis related to the fate of this species in global warming scenarios to be discussed with the student, he will review the physiological tolerance of species to construct a macroecolgical database, and gather the de distribution records of the dominant european macroalgae. The final aim is to explain and predict the forecasted distribution of macroalgae of ecological importance in european shores.
Number of students: 
academic year: 
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Brezo Martínez
Other people involved: 
Miguel Olalla- Rey Juan Carlos Univesity, Spain Ignacio Morales- McGill University, Canada Bradford Hawkins- California University Irvine, EEUU
Reference Number: RP-39721