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State of knowledge of coastal and marine biodiversity of Indian Ocean countries
Wafar, M.; Venkataraman, K.; Ingole, B.; Khan, S.A.; LokaBharathi, P. (2011). State of knowledge of coastal and marine biodiversity of Indian Ocean countries. PLoS One 6(1): e14613.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Wafar, M.
  • Venkataraman, K.
  • Ingole, B.
  • Khan, S.A.
  • LokaBharathi, P.

    The Indian Ocean (IO) extends over 30% of the global ocean area and is rimmed by 36 littoral and 11 hinterland nations sustaining about 30% of the world's population. The landlocked character of the ocean along its northern boundary and the resultant seasonally reversing wind and sea surface circulation patterns are features unique to the IO. The IO also accounts for 30% of the global coral reef cover, 40,000 km2 of mangroves, some of the world's largest estuaries, and 9 large marine ecosystems. Numerous expeditions and institutional efforts in the last two centuries have contributed greatly to our knowledge of coastal and marine biodiversity within the IO. The current inventory, as seen from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, stands at 34,989 species, but the status of knowledge is not uniform among countries. Lack of human, institutional, and technical capabilities in some IO countries is the main cause for the heterogeneous level of growth in our understanding of the biodiversity of the IO. The gaps in knowledge extend to several smaller taxa and to large parts of the shelf and deep-sea ecosystems, including seamounts. Habitat loss, uncontrolled developmental activities in the coastal zone, overextraction of resources, and coastal pollution are serious constraints on maintenance of highly diverse biota, especially in countries like those of the IO, where environmental regulations are weak.

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