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Land-ocean connections
Date:2/27/2012

n of OMZs in different parts of the oceans is of great concern among oceanographers, and it is thought to be one of the main effects related to climate/ocean warming". De Leo attended the annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City last week and reports that the expansion of these low oxygen ocean layers was one of the hot topics discussed at the meeting. "We should definitely keep track of near future and long term effects of expansion of low oxygen zones and how this will affect a variety of marine organisms, including fish."

In hopes of understanding what other factors lead to an increase in the number and diversity of marine animals inside these abrupt topographic features, De Leo and colleagues are analyzing data on the abundance and diversity of macro-invertebrates that live associated with the seafloor in six other submarine canyons around Hawaii. There is an increasing body of evidence that suggests that canyons are a special type of topographic feature in the seafloor no matter in what oceanographic background they are located (i.e., highly productive continental margins or in a low productivity setting, such as an island margin like Hawaii). "With the goal of protecting ecologically important habitat and preserving biodiversity, this information is crucial when performing marine spatial planning and designing networks of Marine Protected Areas," says De Leo.


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Contact: Marcie Grabowski
mworkman@hawaii.edu
808-956-3151
University of Hawaii ‑ SOEST
Source:Eurekalert  

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