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Titre du Document
A riot of species in an environmental calm: The paradox of the species-rich deep-sea floor
Auteur(s)
SNELGROVE Paul V. R. ; SMITH Craig R.
Résumé
Deep-sea ecosystems are the most extensive and remote ecosystems on Earth. Perception of the deep-sea benthic environment has changed dramatically in the last century from one of an azoic, or at least species-poor habitat to one that is rich in species. The early misconception was created, in part, by evidence of vast, monotonous expanses of cold, dark sediment plains with little obvious spatial or temporal heterogeneity. Given that many species-rich ecosystems on Earth are obviously heterogeneous, it is surprising that some estimates of species numbers in the deep sea (e.g. ∼107 macrofaunal species) rival those for tropical rainforests. Although other estimates are more conservative (e.g. 5 x 105 macrofaunal species), it is clear that deep-sea benthic habitats contain many species. The paradox of high deep-sea diversity has generated a number of explanatory hypotheses, including some that are currently difficult to test and others that are the focus of ongoing study. Approaches include analyses of local, regional, and global patterns, and experimental manipulations within habitats. Mechanistic generalisations are difficult to make because experimentation and sampling coverage are spatially and temporally limited, but evidence to date suggests that small-scale habitat variability and patchy disturbance, as well as global and regional variability, may play roles in maintaining deep-sea diversity. The importance of small-scale habitat variability and patchy distur
Editeur
Aberdeen University Press
Identifiant
ISSN : 0078-3218 CODEN : OCMBAT
Source
Oceanography and Marine Biology A. 2002, vol. 40, pp. 311-342 [32 pages] [bibl. : 7 p.]
Langue
Anglais
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