Large brown macroalgae are foundational threatened species in coastal ecosystems from the subtropical northeastern Atlantic, where they have exhibited a drastic decline in recent years. This study describes the potential habitat of Gongolaria abies-marina, its current distribution and conservation status, and the major drivers of population decline. The results show a strong reduction of more than 97% of G. abies-marina populations in the last thirty years and highlight the effects of drivers vary in terms of spatial heterogeneity. A decrease in the frequency of high waves and high human footprint are the principal factors accounting for the long-term decline in G. abies-marina populations. UV radiation and sea surface temperature have an important correlation only in certain locations. Both the methodology and the large amount of data analyzed in this study provide a valuable tool for the conservation and restoration of threatened macroalgae.
Although density-dependent processes and their impacts on population dynamics are key issues in ecology and conservation biology, empirical evidence of density-dependence remains scarce for species or populations with low densities, scattered distributions, and especially for managed populations where densities may vary as a result of extrinsic factors (such as harvesting or releases). Here, we explore the presence of density-dependent processes in a reinforced population of North African Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata undulata). We investigated the relationship between reproductive success and local density, and the possible variation of this relationship according to habitat suitability using three independent datasets. Based on eight years of nests monitoring (more than 7000 nests), we modeled the Daily Nest Survival Rate (DNSR) as a proxy of reproductive success. Our results indicate that DNSR was negatively impacted by local densities and that this relationship was approximately constant in space and time: (1) although DNSR strongly decreased over the breeding season, the negative relationship between DNSR and density remained constant over the breeding season; (2) this density-dependent relationship did not vary with the quality of the habitat associated with the nest location. Previous studies have shown that the demographic parameters and population dynamics of the reinforced North African Houbara bustard are strongly influenced by extrinsic environmental and management parameters. Our study further indicates the existence of density-dependent regulation in a low-density, managed population.