Uses of GBIF in scientific research

Peer-reviewed research citing GBIF as a data source, with at least one author from Tunisia.
For all researches, please visit our "Peer-reviewed publications" page.

List of publications

  • Halouani G, Ben Rais Lasram F, Shin Y, Velez L, Verley P, Hattab T et al. (2016)

    Modelling food web structure using an end-to-end approach in the coastal ecosystem of the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia)

    Ecological Modelling 339 45-57.

    Given the ecological importance and high socio-economic value of the fishery of the Gulf of Gabes, an end-to-end model was applied to its continental shelf ecosystem to characterize the structure of the food web in the 2000s. This approach consisted in forcing a high trophic level model (OSMOSE) with an existing biogeochemical model (Eco3M-MED) representing the seasonal dynamics of the low trophic levels. The two models were linked through trophic interactions to represent the ecosystem dynamics from primary producers to top predators. In this study, we developed the multispecies, individual-based model OSMOSE in the Gulf of Gabes (OSMOSE-GoG). This model aims to capture the main processes that influence species life cycle and simulate the functioning of the ecosystem according to opportunistic predation process based on size selection and spatio-temporal co-occurrence between a predator and its prey. The spatial distribution of the eleven modelled species was derived from a Multi-Scale Species Distribution Modelling approach. We calibrated OSMOSE-GoG model with available data of biomass and fishing yield, using an optimization method based on evolutionary algorithms which is suitable for complex and stochastic models. Finally, OSMOSE-GoG was validated against independent data sets at different hierarchical levels: the individual (diet composition), population (mean size of commercial catch) and community levels (mean trophic level) following the Pattern-Oriented Modelling approach. The model outputs were overall consistent with the diet compositions and mean trophic levels derived from the ECOPATH model of the Gulf of Gabes (ECOPATH-GoG) and the observations of mean size of catches. The OSMOSE-GoG can be considered as a baseline model to investigate ecosystem responses to environmental changes and fishing management measures in the Gulf of Gabes.

    Keywords: Ecosystem model, End-to-end modelling, Food web, Gulf of Gabes, Mediterranean Sea, OSMOSE

  • Hattab T, Leprieur F, Lasram F, Gravel D, Loc'h F, Albouy C (2016)

    Forecasting fine-scale changes in the food-web structure of coastal marine communities under climate change


    Climate change is inducing deep modifications in local communities worldwide as a consequence of individualistic species range shifts. Understanding how complex interaction networks will be reorganized under climate change represents a major challenge in the fields of ecology and biogeography. However, forecasting the potential effects of climate change on local communities, and more particularly on food-web structure, requires the consideration of highly structuring processes, such as trophic interactions. A major breakthrough is therefore expected by combining predictive models integrating habitat selection processes, the physiological limits of marine species and their trophic interactions. In this study, we forecasted the potential impacts of climate change on the local food-web structure of the highly threatened Gulf of Gabes ecosystem located in the south of the Mediterranean Sea. We coupled the climatic envelope and habitat models to an allometric niche food web model, hence taking into account the different processes acting at regional (climate) and local scales (habitat selection and trophic interactions). Our projections under the A2 climate change scenario showed that future food webs would be composed of smaller species with fewer links, resulting in a decrease of connectance, generality, vulnerability and mean trophic level of communities and an increase of the average path length, which may have large consequences on ecosystem functioning. The unified framework presented here, by connecting food-web ecology, biogeography and seascape ecology, allows the exploration of spatial aspects of interspecific interactions under climate change and improves our current understanding of climate change impacts on local marine food webs.

    Keywords: Ecosystem model, End-to-end modelling, Food web, Gulf of Gabes, Mediterranean Sea, OSMOSE

  • Hattab T, Albouy C, Lasram F, Somot S, Le Loc'h F, Leprieur F (2014)

    Towards a better understanding of potential impacts of climate change on marine species distribution: a multiscale modelling approach

    Global Ecology and Biogeography 23(12) 1417-1429.

    Aim: In this paper, we applied the concept of ‘hierarchical filters’ in community ecology to model marine species distribution at nested spatial scales. Location: Global, Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia). Methods: We combined the predictions of bioclimatic envelope models (BEMs) and habitat models to assess the current distribution of 20 exploited marine species in the Gulf of Gabes. BEMs were first built at a global extent to account for the full range of climatic conditions encountered by a given species. Habitat models were then built using fine-grained habitat variables at the scale of the Gulf of Gabes.We also used this hierarchical filtering approach to project the future distribution of these species under both climate change (the A2 scenario implemented with the Mediterranean climatic model NEMOMED8) and habitat loss (the loss of Posidonia oceanica meadows) scenarios. Results: The hierarchical filtering approach predicted current species geographical ranges to be on average 56% smaller than those predicted using the BEMs alone. This pattern was also observed under the climate change scenario. Combining the habitat loss and climate change scenarios indicated that the magnitude of range shifts due to climate change was larger than from the loss of P. oceanica meadows. Main conclusions: Our findings emphasize that BEMs may overestimate current and future ranges of marine species if species–habitat relationships are not also considered.A hierarchical filtering approach that accounts for fine-grained habitat variables limits the uncertainty associated with model-based recommendations, thus ensuring their outputs remain applicable within the context of marine resource management.

    Keywords: climate change, correspondence, exploited species, habitat loss, hierarchical filtering, mediterranean sea, spatial scale, species distribution modelling, tarek hattab, ur 03agro1

  • Katsanevakis S, Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Ben Rais Lasram F, Zenetos A et al. (2014)

    Invading the Mediterranean Sea: biodiversity patterns shaped by human activities

    Frontiers in Marine Science 1 32.

    Human activities, such as shipping, aquaculture, and the opening of the Suez Canal, have led to the introduction of nearly 1,000 alien species into the Mediterranean Sea. We investigated how human activities, by providing pathways for the introduction of alien species, may shape the biodiversity patterns in the Mediterranean Sea. Richness of Red Sea species introduced through the Suez Canal (Lessepsian species) is very high along the eastern Mediterranean coastline, reaching a maximum of 129 species per 100 km2, and declines towards the north and west. The distribution of species introduced by shipping is strikingly different, with several hotspot areas occurring throughout the Mediterranean basin. Two main hotspots for aquaculture-introduced species are observed (the Thau and Venice lagoons). Certain taxonomic groups were mostly introduced through specific pathways – fish through the Suez Canal, macrophytes by aquaculture, and invertebrates through the Suez Canal and by shipping. Hence, the local taxonomic identity of the alien species was greatly dependent on the dominant maritime activities/interventions and the related pathways of introduction. The composition of alien species differs among Mediterranean ecoregions; such differences are greater for Lessepsian and aquaculture-introduced species. The spatial pattern of native species biodiversity differs from that of alien species: the overall richness of native species declines from the north-western to the south-eastern regions, while the opposite trend is observed for alien species. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea is changing, and further research is needed to better understand how the new biodiversity patterns shaped by human activities will affect the Mediterranean food webs, ecosystem functioning, and the provision of ecosystem services.

    Keywords: Lessepsian migrants, alien species, aquaculture, biodiversity patterns, biological invasions, pathways, shipping