Washington State University scientists have developed a new way to classify the ocean’s diverse environments, shedding new light on how marine biomes are defined and changed by nature and humans.
Newly published in Global Ecology and Biogeography, research by
Alli Cramer, a 2020 doctoral graduate of WSU’s School of the Environment, now at the University of California Santa Cruz, and WSU SoE Professor Stephen Katz revealed a new approach which sorts biomes based on their life-supporting potential and stability of the sea floor.
“This means that energy flow and mobility are common organizing forces across a wide variety of marine ecosystems,” Cramer said. “Despite their differences, coral reefs and deep-sea deserts respond to the same processes.”
The new method could help scientists, fisheries managers, and conservationists reconsider the richness and diversity of ocean biomes as well as the value of high productivity regions being impacted by humans.
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