TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL CHANGES IN FISH BIODIVERSITY ALONG THE SOUTHEASTERN ATLANTIC COAST OF THE UNITED STATES
Baker, Nathan Joseph
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There is increasing concern over biodiversity loss during this age of rapid global change, an issue referred to as a global biodiversity crisis. Though most studies find that global species richness is declining, studies done on the extent to which richness changes on smaller regional scales are controversial. Part of the reason for this may be because there are multiple aspects of biodiversity, and that biodiversity trends are dependent on scale. Using a new framework to break down biodiversity into its components across scale, we study the fish community off the southeast Atlantic coast. We examine both the changes between the historic and modern communities, as well as differences between the state regions in the modern community. Though we did not observe much change in species richness, we found that other key aspects are changing, specifically number of individuals, evenness, and patchiness.