Alex D. Rogers, Ward Appeltans, Jorge Assis, Lisa T. Ballance, Philippe Cury, Carlos Duarte, Fabio Favoretto, Lisa A. Hynes, Joy A. Kumagai, Catherine E. Lovelock, Patricia Miloslavich, Aidin Niamir, David Obura, Bethan C. O’Leary, Eva Ramirez-Llodra, Gabriel Reygondeau, Callum Roberts, Yvonne Sadovy, Oliver Steeds, Tracey Sutton, Derek P. Tittensor, Enriqueta Velarde, Lucy Woodall, and Octavio Aburto-Oropeza
We review the current knowledge of the biodiversity of the ocean as well as the levels of decline and threat for species and habitats. The lack of understanding of the distribution of life in the ocean is identified as a significant barrier to restoring its biodiversity and health. We explore why the science of taxonomy has failed to deliver knowledge of what species are present in the ocean, how they are distributed and how they are responding to global and regional to local anthropogenic pressures. This failure prevents nations from meeting their international commitments to conserve marine biodiversity with the results that investment in taxonomy has declined in many countries. We explore a range of new technologies and approaches for discovery of marine species and their detection and monitoring. These include: imaging methods, molecular approaches, active and passive acoustics, the use of interconnected databases and citizen science. Whilst no one method is suitable for discovering or detecting all groups of organisms many are complementary and have been combined to give a more complete picture of biodiversity in marine ecosystems. We conclude that integrated approaches represent the best way forwards for accelerating species discovery, description and biodiversity assessment. Examples of integrated taxonomic approaches are identified from terrestrial ecosystems. Such integrated taxonomic approaches require the adoption of cybertaxonomy approaches and will be boosted by new autonomous sampling platforms and development of machine-speed exchange of digital information between databases.
Predicting Responses of Geo-ecological Carbonate Reef Systems to Climate Change: A Conceptual Model and Review
Nicola K. Browne, Michael Cuttler, Katie Moon, Kyle Morgan, Claire L. Ross, Carolina Castro-Sanguino, Emma Kennedy, Dan Harris, Peter Barnes, Andrew G. Bauman, Eddie Beetham, Joshua Bonesso, Yves-Marie Bozec, Christopher E. Cornwall, Shannon Dee, Thomas M. DeCarlo, Juan P. D'Olivo, Christopher Doropoulos, Richard D. Evans, Bradley Eyre, Peter Gatenby, Manuel Gonzalez, Sarah Hamylton, Jeff Hansen, Ryan Lowe, Jennie Mallela, Michael O'Leary, George Roff, Benjamin J. Saunders, and Adi Zweilfer
[Chapter Abstract] 230Coral reefs provide critical ecological and geomorphic (e.g. sediment production for reef-fronted shoreline maintenance) services, which interact in complex and dynamic ways. These services are under threat from climate change, requiring dynamic modelling approaches that predict how reef systems will respond to different future climate scenarios. Carbonate budgets, which estimate net reef calcium carbonate production, provide a comprehensive ‘snap-shot’ assessment of reef accretionary potential and reef stability. These budgets, however, were not intended to account for the full suite of processes that maintain coral reef services or to provide predictive capacity on longer timescales (decadal to centennial). To respond to the dual challenges of enhancing carbonate budget assessments and advancing their predictive capacity, we applied a novel model elicitation and review method to create a qualitative geo-ecological carbonate reef system model that links geomorphic, ecological and physical processes. Our approach conceptualizes relationships between net carbonate production, sediment transport and landform stability, and rates knowledge confidence to reveal major knowledge gaps and critical future research pathways. The model provides a blueprint for future coral reef research that aims to quantify net carbonate production and sediment dynamics, improving our capacity to predict responses of reefs and reef-fronted shorelines to future climate change.
Peter Croot, Osman Keh Kamara, Joseph Montoya, Tracey Sutton, and Michael Vecchione
Chapter Six - Population fluctuations of the fungiid coral Cycloseris curvata, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Joshua Feingold and Brandon A. Brule
Fungiid corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) occur at isolated locations scattered throughout the eastern tropical Pacific. They can be reef-associated but are often found on sand and rubble substrata distant from reef coral habitat. Cycloseris curvata is known in this region from the southern Gulf of California, through Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panamá, and with the southern-most populations occurring in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. During Archipelago-wide surveys (1988–2019), living individuals of Cycloseris curvata were observed at only two locations, Devil's Crown (near Floreana Island) and Xarifa Island (near Española Island). The Devil's Crown population was observed from 1988 to 2017, whereas living individuals in the Xarifa population were observed from 2005 to 2009. In 2012 a death assemblage (dead skeletons) was discovered at Darwin Island, at the northern-most extent of the Archipelago. At Devil's Crown, visual surveys were performed annually or biennially from 1990 to 2012, with two more surveys in 2017 and 2019. The living Cycloseris curvata population consisted of 15 individuals in 1990 that gradually increased to 78 individuals by 1995. Over 200 individuals were observed in 1996, and high numbers persisted through 1998 with 335 individuals. Live tissue surface area per polyp ranged from 0.5 to 95.0 cm2. The population decreased to 112 individuals in 1999 (following warming associated with the 1997–98 El Niño), with further declines to 20 in 2009 (following cooling associated with the 2007 La Niña) and a rebound to 91 in 2012. After a 5y break in data collection, only one individual (28.3 cm2) was observed in 2017, and in 2019 none were observed. Although undetected living Cycloseris curvata populations may exist, and renewed recruitment provides some hope for population reestablishment, it is possible that this fungiid coral species is now extirpated from the Galápagos Archipelago.
David L. Meyer, Margaret Veitch, Charles G. Messing, and Angela Stevenson
This section provides an overview of a newly proposed classification of arm postures for crinoids both living and extinct (Messing et al., in review) for the online, revised volume of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. The order of posture types in the video follows the submitted article, which includes many still images in color and black and white, as well as line drawings. The videos were gathered from a variety of sources and are mostly from deep water. Some of the crinoids featured have only recently been observed in the wild and photographed for the first time. Brief descriptions of each posture type, taxa, depth, location, and source follow for each clip.
Thomas J. Webb, Maria Jose Juan-Jordá, Hiroyuki Motomura, Franciso Navarrete-Mier, Henn Ojaveer, Hazel A. Oxenford, Chul Park, Clive Roberts, Mudjekeewis D. Santos, Tracey Sutton, and Michael Thorndyke
Geórgenes Cavalcante, Filipe Vieira, Jonas Mortensen, Radhouane Ben-Hamadou, Pedro Range, Elizabeth A. Goergen, Edmo Campos, and Bernhard M. Riegl
The coral reef ecosystems of the Arabian/Persian Gulf (the Gulf) are facing profound pressure from climate change (extreme temperatures) and anthropogenic (land-use and population-related) stressors. Increasing degradation at local and regional scales has already resulted in widespread coral cover reduction. Connectivity, the transport and exchange of larvae among geographically separated populations, plays an essential role in recovery and maintenance of biodiversity and resilience of coral reef populations. Here, an oceanographic model in 3-D high-resolution was used to simulate particle dispersion of “virtual larvae.” We investigated the potential physical connectivity of coral reefs among different regions in the Gulf. Simulations reveal that basin-scale circulation is responsible for broader spatial dispersion of the larvae in the central region of the Gulf, and tidally-driven currents characterized the more localized connectivity pattern in regions along the shores in the Gulf's southern part. Results suggest predominant self-recruitment of reefs with highest source and sink ratios along the Bahrain and western Qatar coasts, followed by the south eastern Qatar and continental Abu Dhabi coast. The central sector of the Gulf is suggested as recruitment source in a stepping-stone dynamics. Recruitment intensity declined moving away from the Straits of Hormuz. Connectivity varied in models assuming passive versus active mode of larvae movement. This suggests that larval behaviour needs to be taken into consideration when establishing dispersion models, and establishing conservation strategies for these vulnerable ecosystems.
Chapter 15: A tropical eastern Pacific invasive brittle star species (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) reaches southeastern Florida
Peter W. Glynn, Renata Alitto, Joshua Dominguez, Ana B. Christensen, Phillip Gillette, Nicolas Martinez, Bernhard M. Riegl, and Kyle Dettloff
The invasive brittle star Ophiothela mirabilis (family Ophiotrichidae), a tropical Indo-Pacific endemic species, first reported in Atlantic waters off southern Brazil in 2000, has extended its range northward to the Caribbean Sea, to the Lesser Antilles in 2011, and was first reported in south Florida in January 2019. Its occurrence in southeast Florida extends along nearly 70 km of coastline, from near the Port of Miami, Miami-Dade County, northward to Deerfield Beach, Broward County. It occurs abundantly as an epizoite on octocorals, attaining population densities of 25 individuals and more per 10-cm long octocoral stem. The surface texture of octocoral hosts (rough, smooth) did not affect the densities of the ophiuroid epizoites, and there were significantly greater abundances on octocorals during two winter sampling periods than in the summer. Beige and orange-coloured morphs are sometimes present on the same octocoral stem. Gut content analysis supported a suspension feeding mode, revealing essentially identical ingested items in both colour morphs with a preponderance of amorphous detritus and filamentous algae. Molecular genetic evidence (COI & 16s) has established the identity of O. mirabilis and its relationship to invasive Brazilian populations. The orange and beige morphs form two distinct, but closely related lineages that may represent two separate introductions. The orange morph shares haplotypes with Brazilian and Caribbean specimens suggesting a further range expansion of the ‘original’ invasion. The beige morph, however, shares haplotypes with specimens from the Mexican Pacific and Peru and potentially represents a secondary introduction. Traits promoting dispersal and establishment of this species in new habitats are manifold: vagility and ability to cling tightly to diverse host taxa (e.g. sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, and echinoderms), frequent asexual reproduction (fissiparity), suspension feeding, including a wide range of dietary items, possession of integument-covered ossicles and arm spines offering protection from predators, and an effective competitive edge over associated microbiota for substrate space.
Elizabeth A. Goergen, Kathleen Semon Lunz, and David S. Gilliam
Little to no recovery in Acropora cervicornis populations has been documented since the 1970s and 1980s widespread disease events, and disease and predation appear to remain significant drivers of mortality. However, to date, demographic studies of A. cervicornis lack data temporally or spatially sufficient to quantify factors limiting recovery. Acropora cervicornis populations in three regions [Broward County (BWD), Middle Keys (MDK), and Dry Tortugas (DRTO)] of the Florida Reef Tract were surveyed up to three times per year from 2011 to 2015. Temporal and spatial differences were evaluated for colony size, live tissue volume, and prevalence and impact of disease and predation. Significantly larger colonies were reported in BWD, and at relatively deeper or more sheltered sites. At least 43% of colonies in each region were of reproductively capable size. Mean relative change in colony size between surveys (3–5 months) ranged from − 20% to 19%. Disease and predation were consistently present in all regions, but levels varied significantly across space and time. Disease prevalence was the most variable condition (ranging from 0% to 28% per survey), increasing after periods of elevated temperatures and environmental disturbances, and caused significantly more partial mortality than fireworm (Hermodice carunculata) or snail (Coralliophila spp.) predation. Recovery potential and long-term persistence of this species may be limited due to the persistent presence of disease and predation, and reproductive limitations. However, there is still potential at sites of greater depth and/or more protection hosted larger and healthier colonies creating potential refugia for this species.
Christy Linardich, Tracey Sutton, Imants G. Priede, and David A. Keith
Chiara Pisapia, Peter J. Edmunds, Holly V. Moeller, Bernhard M. Riegl, Mike McWilliam, Christopher D. Wells, and Morgan S. Pratchett
Changes in the size structure of coral populations have major consequences for population dynamics and community function, yet many coral reef monitoring projects do not record this critical feature. Consequently, our understanding of current and future trajectories in coral size structure, and the demographic processes underlying these changes, is still emerging. Here, we provide a conceptual summary of the benefits to be gained from more comprehensive attention to the size of coral colonies in reef monitoring projects, and we support our argument through the use of case-history examples and a simplified ecological model. We neither seek to review the available empirical data, or to rigorously explore causes and implications of changes in coral size, we seek to reveal the advantages to modifying ongoing programs to embrace the information inherent in changing coral colony size. Within this framework, we evaluate and forecast the mechanics and implications of changes in the population structure of corals that are transitioning from high to low abundance, and from large to small colonies, sometimes without striking effects on planar coral cover. Using two coral reef locations that have been sampled for coral size, we use demographic data to underscore the limitations of coral cover in understanding the causes and consequences of long-term declining coral size, and abundance. A stage-structured matrix model is used to evaluate the demographic causes of declining coral colony size and abundance, particularly with respect to the risks of extinction. The model revealed differential effects of mortality, growth and fecundity on coral size distributions. It also suggested that colony rarity and declining colony size in association with partial tissue mortality and chronic declines in fecundity, can lead to a demographic bottleneck with the potential to prolong the existence of coral populations when they are characterized by mostly very small colonies. Such bottlenecks could have ecological importance if they can delay extinction and provide time for human intervention to alleviate the environmental degradation driving reductions in coral abundance.
Bernhard M. Riegl and Peter W. Glynn
An unequivocal link exists between human population density and environmental degradation, both in the near field (local impacts) and far field (impacts due to teleconnections). Human population is most widely predicted to reach 9–11 billion by 2100, when the demographic transition is expected in all but a handful of countries. Strongest population growth is in the tropics, where coral reefs face dense human population and concomitant heavy usage. In most countries, > 50% will be urbanized but growth of rural population and need for food in urban centres will not alleviate pressure on reef resources. Aquaculture will alleviate some fishing pressure, but still utilizes reef surface and is also destructive. Denser coastal populations and greater wealth will lead to reef degradation by coastal construction. Denser populations inland will lead to more runoff and siltation. Effects of human perturbations can be explored with metapopulation theory since they translate to increases in patch-mortality and decreases in patch-colonization (= regeneration). All such changes will result in a habitat with overall fewer settled patches, so fewer live reefs. If rescue effects are included, bifurcations in system dynamics will allow for many empty patches and, depending on system state relative to stable and unstable equilibria, a part-empty system may either trend towards stability at higher patch occupancy or extinction. Thus, unless the disturbance history is known, it may be difficult to assess the direction of system trajectory—making management difficult. If habitat is decreased by destruction, rescue effects become even more important as extinction-debt, accumulated by efficient competitors with weaker dispersal ability, is realized. Easily visible trends in human population dynamics combined with well-established and tested ecological theory give a clear, intuitive, yet quantifiable guide to the severity of survival challenges faced by coral reefs. Management challenges and required actions can be clearly shown and, contrary to frequent claims, no scientific ambiguity exists with regards to the serious threat posed to coral reefs by humankind's continued numerical increase.
The Scientific Explorations for Deep-Sea Fishes in Brazil: The Known Knowns, the Known Unknowns, and the Unknown Unknowns
Marcelo Roberto Souto de Melo, Rodridgo Antunes Caires, and Tracey Sutton
The deep sea is the largest and one of the most extreme environments on Earth. It is estimated that 10–15% of all fish species are dwelling in the deep sea, most of which have unique morphological and physiological adaptations. Biological expeditions to sample the deep ocean off Brazil started with the British HMS Challenger Expedition (1872–1876), followed by a few fishery stations made by the German RV Ernst Haeckel (1966) and the North-American MIV Oregon II (1957–1975), the cruises of the French RVs Marion Dufresne (1987) and Thalassa (1999, 2000), the Brazilian RV Atlântico Sul (1996–1999), the FV Diadorim and FV Soloncy Moura (1996–2002), OSB Astro Garoupa (2003), and, more recently, the American RV Luke Thomas and Seward Johnson (2009, 2011), the French RV Antea (2015, 2017), and the Brazilian RV Alpha Crucis. A total of 712 species of deep-sea fishes were recorded, including five species of Myxini, six species of Holocephali, 81 species of Elasmobrachii, and 620 species of Actinopteri. As in other parts of the world, the Brazilian deep-sea ichthyofauna struggles under severe anthropogenic impacts caused by the commercial fishing, and the extraction of oil and gas. The deep ocean is a delicate environment and its recovery is considerably slower than an equivalent in shallow water habitat. Therefore, increasing the research efforts is needed to avoid that part of its diversity disappear without our accurate knowledge.
Chapter 14: Octocoral populations and connectivity in continental Ecuador and Galápagos, Eastern Pacific
Sascha C.C. Steiner, Priscilla Martínez, Fernando Rivera, Matthew Johnston, and Bernhard M. Riegl
Octocorals are important zoobenthic organisms, contributing to structural heterogeneity and species diversity on hardgrounds. Their persistence amidst global coral reef degradation and ocean acidification, has prompted renewed interest in this taxon. Octocoral assemblages at 52 sites in continental Ecuador and Galápagos (23 species, 3742 colonies) were examined for composition, size distributions within and among populations, and connectivity patterns based on ocean current models. Species richness varied from 1 to 14 species per site, with the richest sites on the continent. Three assemblage clusters were recognised based on species richness and population size, one with a mix of sites from the mainland and Galápagos (defined by Muricea fruticosa and Leptogorgia alba, Muricea plantaginea and Pacifigorgia darwinii), the second from Santa Elena in southern Ecuador (defined by M. plantaginea and L. alba) and the third from the northernmost sites on the continent, in Esmeraldas (defined by Muricea fruticosa, Heterogorgia hickmani, Leptogorgia manabiensis). Based on biophysical larval flow models with 30, 60, 90-day Pelagic Larval Duration, good connectivity existed along the South American mainland, and from the continent to Galápagos. Connectivity between Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo and the Colombian mainland may explain the wide distribution of L. alba. Muricea plantaginea had the densest populations with the largest colonies and therewith was an important habitat provider both in continental Ecuador and Galápagos. Continental Ecuador harbours the most speciose populations of octocorals so far recorded in the southern Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Most species were uncommon and possibly vulnerable to local extirpation. The present study may serve as a base line to determine local and regional impacts of future disturbances on ETP octocorals.
As Gulf Oil Extraction Goes Deeper, Who Is at Risk? Community Structure, Distribution, and Connectivity of the Deep-Pelagic Fauna
Tracey Sutton, Tamara Frank Dr., Heather Judkins, and I. C. Romero
The habitat and biota most affected by ultra-deep oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) will necessarily be in the deep-pelagic domain. This domain represents ~91% of the GoM’s volume and almost certainly contains the majority of its metazoan inhabitants. Ultra-deep oil spills may or may not reach the surface or the seafloor but will occur entirely within the deepwater column domain at some point and likely for the longest duration. Recent research has shown the deep-pelagic GoM to be extremely rich in biodiversity, both taxonomic and functional. Indeed, the GoM is one of the four “hyperdiverse” midwater ecosystems in the World Ocean. This biodiversity is functionally important. For example, well over half (58%) of all fish species known to exist in the GoM spend all or part of their lives in the oceanic domain. Recent research has also shown the deep-pelagic GoM to be highly connected vertically, as well as horizontally (onshore-offshore). This vertical connectivity provides an increasingly valued ecosystem service in the form of atmospheric carbon sequestration via the “biological pump.” In this chapter, we summarize the GoM deep-pelagic nekton (fishes, macrocrustaceans, and cephalopods) that have been, and would be, affected by ultra-deep oil spills. We also discuss key aspects of distribution and behavior (e.g., vertical migration). These behaviors and distributions are key elements of ecosystem assessments before and after oil spills. For example, some deep-pelagic taxa show affinities for oceanic rim habitats (i.e., continental slopes), where ultra-deep drilling is most intense. Lastly, we summarize what is known about hydrocarbon contamination in the deep-pelagic biota and its possible ecosystem consequences.
Kate E. Watermeyer, Eduard J. Gregr, Ryan R. Rykaczewski, Imants G. Priede, Tracey Sutton, and David A. Keith
Kate E. Watermeyer, Ryan R. Rykaczewski, Imants G. Priede, Tracey Sutton, and David A. Keith
Spatial and Temporal Variability of Seawater Chemistry in Coastal Ecosystems in the Context of Global Change
Tyler Cyronak, Andrea J. Fassbender, Yuichiro Takeshita, Raquel Vaquer-Sunyer, Iris Eline Hendriks, and David Koweek
Coastal systems provide a range of goods and services that are under threat from anthropogenic stressors such as ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and eutrophication. Accurately projecting future chemical conditions in these socioeconomically important regions remains difficult due to the natural spatiotemporal variability in seawater chemistry. In coastal regions, complex processes including riverine and groundwater inputs, intense benthic and pelagic metabolism, and air-sea gas exchange act in combination with physical processes affecting mixing, water column depth, and local residence times. These biogeochemical and physical processes interact over timescales of minutes to years and on spatial scales from millimeters to kilometers to drive variability in seawater chemistry. The complex, local drivers of seawater chemistry in coastal systems make it increasingly difficult to predict how seawater chemistry will change in response to anthropogenic pollutants on regional (e.g., nutrient run off) and global (e.g., carbon dioxide emissions) scales. Importantly, certain oceanographic areas and ecosystems could act as refuges from processes such as de-oxygenation and ocean acidification by elevating dissolved oxygen and pH relative to surrounding waters.
This topic invites contributions seeking to understand temporal and spatial variability of seawater chemistry in coastal systems in the context of global change. We encourage submissions that aim to elucidate drivers of seawater chemistry variability in coastal ecosystems, including how those processes might change in the future, and that highlight the effects of seawater chemistry variability on marine organisms and ecosystems. We welcome submissions that use a range of approaches to tackle these problems including in situ biogeochemical measurements, manipulative experiments, paleo perspectives, and modeling studies.
Chapter 40: Perspectives of Biophysical Modelling with Implications on Biological Connectivity of Mediterranean Cold-Water Corals
Matt Johnston and Ann I. Larsson
Biological connectivity of marine organisms that reproduce via planktonic larvae, such as cold-water corals, is regulated by the reproductive and life history traits of the organism and by physical characteristics of the marine environment into which offspring are released. Connectivity across vast seascapes enables the persistence of metapopulations over ecological and evolutionary timescales and is important when planning the conservation and management of vulnerable species impacted by overfishing, habitat destruction, or invasive species. To study marine connectivity of these organisms, researchers typically measure genetic population structure or use computer modeling, the latter often using biophysical models which integrate both the physical processes of the ocean and the biological traits of the study species. Herein, a broad overview of biophysical modeling topics will be presented including source-sink dynamics and model parameterisation, paradigms, uses, and examples. Unfortunately, there is limited availability of basic life history data on Mediterranean cold-water corals, which are required to implement such models. Known biological traits that are important for dispersal and connectivity are therefore here summarised for cold-water corals found in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. The traits are discussed in context of dispersal potential and their potential use as parameters in biophysical modeling studies of dispersal. Very few such studies of cold-water corals have to date been performed and none of them in the Mediterranean, therefore as a complement global modeling examples will be given for species that reproduce in a similar fashion. It is hoped that these examples can provide insight into the future usage of biophysical modeling to study Mediterranean cold-water corals as their characteristics and the physical influences that shape their population connectivity are better understood.
Tracey Sutton and Rosanna Milligan
The deep sea, comprising approximately 95% of the world ocean volume, is by far the largest cumulative habitat on earth. It has historically been understudied and represents the largest data gap in ecology. The deep sea is home to an enormous diversity of ecosystems, from the three-dimensional fluid space of the pelagic realm to the seamounts, trenches and vast plains of the seafloor. Despite the high pressures, almost perpetual darkness, and low food availability that characterizes much of the deep sea, it nonetheless harbors an incredible abundance and diversity of specialized animal life. Technological developments made in recent decades are increasing our access to the deep sea and are delivering exciting new insights into the dynamic nature of deep-sea ecosystems, and their role in connecting the oceans to coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. However, the increasing human footprint in the deep sea is also increasingly apparent. In this article, we provide a general summary of the main ecological divisions of the deep-pelagic and benthic realms; discuss some of the major morphological, sensory and trophic adaptions shown by the deep-sea metazoan fauna, and conclude with a discussion of ecosystem functioning and human threats to deep-sea ecosystems.
Juan J. Alvarado, Stuart Banks, Jorge Cortes, Joshua Feingold, Carlos Jimenez, James E. Maragos, Priscilla Martinez, Juan L. Mate, Diana A. Moanga, Sergio Navarrete, Hector Reyes-Bonilla, Bernhard Riegl, Fernando Rivera, Bernardo Vargas-Angel, Evie A. Wieters, and Fernando A. Zapata
Advances in our knowledge of eastern tropical Pacific (ETP) coral reef biogeography and ecology during the past two decades are briefly reviewed. Fifteen ETP subregions are recognized, including mainland and island localities from the Gulf of California (Mexico) to Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile). Updated species lists reveal a mean increase of 4.2 new species records per locality or an overall increase of 19.2 % in species richness during the past decade. The largest increases occurred in tropical mainland Mexico, and in equatorial Costa Rica and Colombia, due mainly to continuing surveys of these under-studied areas. Newly discovered coral communities are also now known from the southern Nicaraguan coastline. To date 47 zooxanthellate scleractinian species have been recorded in the ETP, of which 33 also occur in the central/south Pacific, and 8 are presumed to be ETP endemics. Usually no more than 20–25 zooxanthellate coral species are present at any given locality, with the principal reef-building genera being Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona, and Gardineroseris. This compares with 62–163 species at four of the nearest central/south Pacific localities. Hydrocorals in the genus Millepora also occur in the ETP and are reviewed in the context of their global distributions. Coral community associates engaged in corallivory, bioerosion, and competition for space are noted for several localities. Reef framework construction in the ETP typically occurs at shallow depths (2–8 m) in sheltered habitats or at greater depths (10–30 m) in more exposed areas such as oceanic island settings with high water column light penetration. Generally, eastern Pacific reefs do not reach sea level with the development of drying reef flats, and instead experience brief periods of exposure during extreme low tides or drops in sea level during La Niña events. High rates of mortality during El Niño disturbances have occurred in many ETP equatorial areas, especially in Panama and the Galápagos Islands during the 1980s and 1990s. Remarkably, however, no loss of resident, zooxanthellate scleractinian species has occurred at these sites, and many ETP coral reefs have demonstrated significant recovery from these disturbances during the past two decades.
Bryan Costa, Brian K. Walker, and Jennifer Dijkstra
Seascape Ecology provides a comprehensive look at the state-of-the-science in the application of landscape ecology to the seas and provides guidance for future research priorities. The first book devoted exclusively to this rapidly emerging and increasingly important discipline, it is comprised of contributions from researchers at the forefront of seascape ecology working around the world. It presents the principles, concepts, methodology, and techniques informing seascape ecology and reports on the latest developments in the application of the approach to marine ecology and management.
A growing number of marine scientists, geographers, and marine managers are asking questions about the marine environment that are best addressed with a landscape ecology perspective. Seascape Ecology represents the first serious effort to fill the gap in the literature on the subject. Key topics and features of interest include:
- The origins and history of seascape ecology and various approaches to spatial patterning in the sea
- The links between seascape patterns and ecological processes, with special attention paid to the roles played by seagrasses and salt marshes and animal movements through seascapes
- Human influences on seascape ecology—includes models for assessing human-seascape interactions
- A special epilogue in which three eminent scientists who have been instrumental in shaping the course of landscape ecology offer their insights and perspectives
Seascape Ecology is a must-read for researchers and professionals in an array of disciplines, including marine biology, environmental science, geosciences, marine and coastal management, and environmental protection. It is also an excellent supplementary text for university courses in those fields.
Andrew Bruckner and Bernhard Riegl
Coral disease is quickly becoming a crisis to the health and management of the world’s coral reefs. There is a great interest from many in preserving coral reefs. Unfortunately, the field of epizootiology is disorganized and lacks a standard vocabulary, methods, and diagnostic techniques, and tropical marine scientists are poorly trained in wildlife pathology, veterinary medicine, and epidemiology. Diseases of Coral will help to rectify this situation.
Sophie A. M. Elliott, Rosanna Milligan, Michael R. Heath, William R. Turrell, and David M. Bailey
Fishing and other anthropogenic impacts have led to declines in many sh stocks and modication of the seabed. As a result, efforts to restore marine ecosystems have become increasingly focused on spatially explicit management methods to protect sh and the habitats they require for survival. This has led to a proliferation of investigations trying to map ‘habitats’ vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts and identify sh resource requirements to meet conservation and management needs. A wide range of habitat-related concepts, with different uses and understandings of the word ‘habitat’ itself has arisen as a consequence. Inconsistencies in terminology can cause confusion between studies, making it difcult to investigate and understand the ecology of sh and the factors that affect their survival. Ultimately, the inability to discern the relationships between sh and their environment clearly can hinder conservation and management measures for sh populations. This review identies and addresses the present ambiguity surrounding denitions of habitat and habitatrelated concepts currently used in spatial management of demersal marine sh populations. The role of spatial and temporal scales is considered, in addition to examples of how to assess sh habitat for conservation and management purposes.
Jeroen Ingels, Malcolm Clark, Michael Vecchione, Jose A. A. Perez, Lisa A. Levin, Imants G. Priede, Tracey Sutton, Ashley Rowden, C. R. Smith, Moriaki Yasuhara, Andrew K. Sweetman, Thomas Soltwedel, R. S. Santos, Bhavani Narayanaswamy, Henry A. Ruhl, Katsunori Fujikura, Linda Amaral-Zettler, Daniel Jones, Andrew Gates, P. V. R. Snelgrove, Patricio Bernal, and Saskia van Gaever
The deep sea comprises the seafloor, water column and biota therein below aspecified depth contour. There are differences in views among experts and agencies regarding the appropriate depth to delineate the “deep sea”. This chapter uses a 200 metre depth contour as a starting point, so that the “deep sea” represents 63 per cent of the Earth’s surface area and about 98.5 per cent of Earth’s habitat volume (96.5 per cent of which is pelagic). However, much of the information presented in this chapter focuses on biodiversity of waters substantially deeper than 200 m. Many of the other regional divisions of Chapter 36 include treatments of shelf and slope biodiversity in continental-shelf and slope areas deeper than 200m. Moreover Chapters 42 and 45 on coldwater corals and vents and seeps, respectively, and 51 on canyons, seamounts and other specialized morphological habitat types address aspects of areas in greater detail. The estimates of global biodiversity of the deep sea in this chapter do include all biodiversity in waters and the seafloor below 200 m. However, in the other sections of this chapter redundancy with the other regional chapters is avoided, so that biodiversity of shelf, slope, reef, vents, and specialized habitats is assessed in the respective regional or thematic chapters.
AB - The deep sea comprises the seafloor, water column and biota therein below aspecified depth contour. There are differences in views among experts and agencies regarding the appropriate depth to delineate the “deep sea”. This chapter uses a 200 metre depth contour as a starting point, so that the “deep sea” represents 63 per cent of the Earth’s surface area and about 98.5 per cent of Earth’s habitat volume (96.5 per cent of which is pelagic). However, much of the information presented in this chapter focuses on biodiversity of waters substantially deeper than 200 m. Many of the other regional divisions of Chapter 36 include treatments of shelf and slope biodiversity in continental-shelf and slope areas deeper than 200m. Moreover Chapters 42 and 45 on coldwater corals and vents and seeps, respectively, and 51 on canyons, seamounts and other specialized morphological habitat types address aspects of areas in greater detail. The estimates of global biodiversity of the deep sea in this chapter do include all biodiversity in waters and the seafloor below 200 m. However, in the other sections of this chapter redundancy with the other regional chapters is avoided, so that biodiversity of shelf, slope, reef, vents, and specialized habitats is assessed in the respective regional or thematic chapters.