EGU23-17215, updated on 14 Sep 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Mediterranean biodiversity gradient initiated by basin restriction

Konstantina Agiadi1, Niklas Hohmann2, Elsa Gliozzi3, Danae Thivaiou4, Alberto Collareta5, Francesca Bosellini6, Giovanni Bianucci5, Laurent Londeix7, Francesca Bulian8, Francesca Lozar9, Alan Maria Mancini9, Stefano Dominici10, Pierre Moissette4, Ildefonso Bajo Campos11, Enrico Borghi12, George Kontakiotis4, Stergios Zarkogiannis13, Mathias Harzhauser14, Angelo Camerlenghi15, and Daniel Garcia-Castellanos16
Konstantina Agiadi et al.
  • 1University of Vienna
  • 2Utrecht University
  • 3Università Roma 3
  • 4National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • 5Università di Pisa
  • 6Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
  • 7Université de Bordeaux
  • 8University of Groningen
  • 9University of Torino
  • 10Universita degli Studi Firenze
  • 11Museo de Alcalá de Guadaíra
  • 12Società Reggiana di Scienza Naturali
  • 13University of Oxford
  • 14Vienna Natural History Museum
  • 15OGS Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
  • 16Geosciences Barcelona, CSIC

Physical connectivity between marine basins facilitates population exchange and hence controls biodiversity. The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-restricted basin with only a small two-way connection to the global ocean, and it is a region heavily impacted by climate change and biological invasions today. The massive migration of non-indigenous species into the basin through the Suez Canal, driven and enabled by climate warming, is drastically changing Mediterranean biodiversity. Understanding therefore the origin and cause(s) of pre-existing biodiversity patterns is crucial for predicting future impacts of climate change. Mediterranean biodiversity exhibits a west-to-east decreasing gradient in terms of species richness, but the processes that resulted in this gradient have only been hypothesized. By examining the fossil record, we provide evidence that this gradient developed 5.33 million years ago at the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis, and it was therefore caused by the re-population of the basin by marine species with a dominating western source at the Mediterranean–Atlantic gateway.

How to cite: Agiadi, K., Hohmann, N., Gliozzi, E., Thivaiou, D., Collareta, A., Bosellini, F., Bianucci, G., Londeix, L., Bulian, F., Lozar, F., Mancini, A. M., Dominici, S., Moissette, P., Campos, I. B., Borghi, E., Kontakiotis, G., Zarkogiannis, S., Harzhauser, M., Camerlenghi, A., and Garcia-Castellanos, D.: Mediterranean biodiversity gradient initiated by basin restriction, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17215,, 2023.