Biodiversity

Healthy, productive and resilient marine ecosystems are essential to us as they provide economic, scientific, environmental, cultural and ecological benefits to the global human population. Each species has a vital role to play and altering this balance can have serious and sometimes unforeseen implications for the functioning, productivity and ability to withstand stress of the entire ecosystem.

Intensifying pressures from resource exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change are driving widespread declines in marine biodiversity. We are using our expertise to measure and investigate biodiversity across a range of biological scales, and explore the ecological processes and interactions that support biologically diverse and productive marine ecosystems. This will enable us to understand how and why marine ecosystems change through space and time and what drives their resilience or sensitivity to environmental stress.

Our research is also expanding understanding of the links between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the huge range of services and benefits that we derive from marine ecosystems, ranging from food provision to climate regulation and recreational opportunities.

Making a difference

Before we can identify the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems we first need to appreciate the extent to which marine biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem processes vary naturally through space and time. PML scientists are expanding this knowledge-base which will increase our ability to predict and ameliorate the consequences of human impacts on the marine environment and potentially help to incorporate the economic value of biodiversity into mainstream decision-making.

Projects

ChAOS

The Changing Arctic Ocean Seafloor (ChAOS) - how changing sea ice conditions impact biological communities, biogeochemical processes and ecosystems

Contact: Professor Steve Widdicombe

The ChAOS project will focus on how climate change and diminishing sea ice affects impact biological communities, biogeochemical processes and...

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA)
Completed

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA)

Contact: Dr Carol Turley

The 5 year UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA) worked alongside international partner programmes as the UK’s response to...

ACCORD

Addressing Challenges of Coastal Communities through Ocean Research for Developing Economies (ACCORD)

Contact: Professor Icarus Allen

The coastal and marine environments of South East Asia and the Western Indian Ocean (the regional foci of ACCORD) are rich and diverse, possessing...

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News

Is valuing biodiversity a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources

Intensifying pressures from resource exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change are driving widespread declines in marine biodiversity. Concurrently, valuing ‘ecosystem services’, the benefits that people gain from ecosystems, is gaining popularity as a c...

News

Developing innovative tools to understand marine biodiversity and good environmental status

PML scientists are involved in a new EU funded project DEVOTES which aims to improve our knowledge about how human activities and global change impact marine biodiversity.

News

Southern Ocean Atlas

A new biogeographic atlas was released yesterday, providing a comprehensive audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean.

Related publications

  1. Janssen, ABG; Arhonditsis, GB; Beusen, A; Bolding, K; Bruce, L; Bruggeman, J; Couture, RM; Downing, AS; Alex Elliott, J; Frassl, MA; Gal, G; Gerla, DJ; Hipsey, MR; Hu, F; Ives, SC; Janse, JH; Jeppesen, E; Jöhnk, KD; Kneis, D; Kong, X; Kuiper, JJ; Lehmann, MK; Lemmen, C; Özkundakci, D; Petzoldt, T; Rinke, K; Robson, BJ; Sachse, R; Schep, SA; Schmid, M; Scholten, H; Teurlincx, S; Trolle, D; Troost, TA; Van Dam, AA; Van Gerven, LPA; Weijerman, M; Wells, SA; Mooij, WM. 2015 Exploring, exploiting and evolving diversity of aquatic ecosystem models: a community perspective. Aquatic Ecology, 49 (4). 513-548. 10.1007/s10452-015-9544-1
    View publication

  2. Pettorelli, N; Schulte to Bühne, H; Tulloch, A; Dubois, G; Macinnis-Ng, C; Queiros, AM; Keith, DA; Wegmann, M; Schrodt, F; Stellmes, M; Sonnenschein, R; Geller, GN; Roy, S; Somers, B; Murray, N; Bland, L; Geijzendorffer, I; Kerr, JT; Broszeit, S; Leitão, PJ; Duncan, C; El Serafy, G; He, KS; Blanchard, JL; Lucas, R; Mairota, P; Webb, TJ; Nicholson, E; Rowcliffe, M; Disney, M. 2017 Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. 10.1002/rse2.59
    View publication

  3. Scales, KL; Schorr, GS; Hazen, EL; Bograd, SJ; Miller, PI; Andrews, RD; Zerbini, AN; Falcone, EA. 2017 Should I stay or should I go? Modelling year-round habitat suitability for fin whales in the California Current. Diversity and Distributions, 23 (10). 1204-1215. 10.1111/ddi.12611
    View publication

  4. Raitsos, DE; Brewin, RJW; Zhan, P; Dreano, D; Pradhan, Y; Nanninga, GB; Hoteit, I. 2017 Sensing coral reef connectivity pathways from space. Scientific Reports, 7. 10.1038/s41598-017-08729-w
    View publication

  5. Broszeit, S; Beaumont, NJ; Uyarra, MC; Heiskanen, AS; Frost, MT; Somerfield, PJ; Rossberg, AG; Teixeira, H; Austen, MC. 2017 What can indicators of good environmental status tell us about ecosystem services?: Reducing efforts and increasing cost-effectiveness by reapplying biodiversity indicator data. Ecological Indicators, 81. 409-442. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.05.057
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