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Biodiversity: the marine biota of British Columbia
Tunnicliffe, V. (1993). Biodiversity: the marine biota of British Columbia, in: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. pp. 191-200
In: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) (1993). Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. The Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria. ISBN 0-7718-9355-8. XIII, 392 pp., more

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  • Tunnicliffe, V.

    There has been no formal assessment of biological diversity in the marine waters of British Columbia, either in terms of the species that occur, or in terms of the possible changes that could result from human activities. Based on published information, I estimate species richness in these waters. Considering major groups within the algae, marine mammals, fishes and invertebrates, I estimate that about 5,000 documented species, or 3-4% of the world's marine species, occur in B.C. Interestingly, B.C. also has a similar proportion of the world's coastline, so the provincial marine fauna is neither particularly enriched nor depauperate compared with the world average. The complexity of B.C. coastal habitats imposes limitations on sampling. As a result, numerous species remain unrecorded. Variability in habitat promotes high regional diversity. An unusual habitat near these coastal waters is that of the hydrothermal vents on the Juan de Fuca and Explorer Ridges; here, an endemic fauna of species (and higher taxa) occurs that is largely new to science. A complete analysis of the responsiveness and vulnerability of B.C.'s marine habitats is required before the effects of species or gene-pool loss can be assessed.

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