Mljet National Park Public Institution invites you to the presentation “Marine Biodiversity in Mljet NP – Current State and Vulnerability” by the author Assoc. Prof. Petar Kružić, PhD, head of the coral research study in the Mljet National Park from 1995.
Presentation will be held on Sunday, August 11 at 8 pm at the “Stara skula” Gallery in the Goveđari Village.
There are lots of proofs that climate change is already reducing marine biodiversity in world oceans and seas and this may worsen in the future. Climate warming has already triggered responses such as shifts in species distributions, mass mortalities, extinctions and invasions.
Annual variation in sea temperature in the last 40 years increased over the entire period for the water layer down to depth of 45 m. Summer conditions have become much more prolonged in recent decades causing that warm-water native and alien species richness increased during the warming summer periods. The presence of warm-water species in the Adriatic Sea (northward expansions of the geographical range of warm-water species, especially in the northern and central part) greatly increased during the last decade, suggesting establishment of quite stable populations there.
The diversity of species in the Mljet NP is constantly endangered by many factors (primarily anthropogenic impacts and climate change). A fish species once restricted to the southern Adriatic but now moving towards the north are the parrotfish Sparisoma cretense and the ornate wrasse Thalassoma pavo. On the other hand, some species, like well-studied colonial coral Cladocora caespitosa or red coral Corallium rubrum were exposed to different combinations of temperature and food concentration that cause mass mortalities of their populations.
Because of the increased occurrence of warm-water biota and present mass mortalities of certain species, the whole Mediterranean Sea is under a process of, like some scientists like to say, “tropicalisation”.
Photo: P. Kružić (1, 4, 5), M. Marukić (2), J. Kružić (3, 6)