Rocky shores are areas of high diversity and productivity providing goods and services. Since humans are altering nature at an unprecedented rate, producing shifts in important parameters for life such as temperature, habitat availability, water quality, among others, it is expected that species will respond by changing their natural distributions and/or abundances. To understand how species will respond to such changes, it is necessary to learn the processes that determine these patterns. The South American Research Group on Coastal Ecosystems was established to assess marine diversity and biomass along both coasts of South America through an international collaboration. The main goals of SARCE are to: (1) Test hypotheses about latitudinal gradients and patterns of local and regional biodiversity, (2) Identify the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, (3) Assess the effect of environmental gradients and anthropogenic stressors, (4) Carry out capacity building and training activities aimed to solve environmental problems for the benefit of society. The SARCE network has sampled the coasts of nine countries around South America with a standardized protocol in more than 150 sites (2010-2014), ranging from 11° North to 55° South. This chapter provides a description of the biodiversity of the sites sampled by SARCE, along with a review of the uses and services that these ecosystems provide to human populations and the main threats and impacts these uses have caused.
|Title of host publication||Marine Benthos|
|Subtitle of host publication||Biology, Ecosystem Functions and Environmental Impact|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||55|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2016|