|Marine biodiversity: the benthos|
Fautin, D.G. (2012). Marine biodiversity: the benthos. Biol. int. 51: 36-48
In: Biology International. International Union of Biological Sciences: Paris. ISSN 0253-2069, more
Keywords: biodiversity, climate change, global change, oceans
The oceans constitute at least 90% of the earth's biosphere; the marine benthic environment is at least twice as large as the terrestrial environment. The aqueous environment quenches light, so most of the marine environment is invisible to humans and lacks organisms that photosynthesize. Much of the marine environment is hostile to human life, but supports a huge diversity of living organisms, although the number of marine species is highly uncertain. New technologies are improving the inventory of marine life at the same time that we are in danger of losing much of it. Overfishing, trawling, ghost-fishing, run-off of nutrients from the land, global warming, introduced alien species, and ocean acidification are among the threats to the oceans and its inhabitants.