MIDAS at World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 2014

News date: 
April 11, 2014

We are proud to announce that 3rd World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (WCMB2014; 12-16 October 2014, Qingdao, China) will host a MIDAS-related session on “Anthropogenic impacts on deep-sea biodiversity and their consequences”. Speakers are invited to submit abstracts before 30 May 2014 to disseminate their recent scientific work regarding current and future threats to deep-sea biodiversity, techniques for assessing diversity changes and their functional consequences, as well as measures to mitigate adverse impacts of human activities in the deep ocean.

 

Topics of expected contributions

The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on Earth. It harbours high biodiversity and provides a great variety of important direct and indirect goods and services such as food resources, oil, gas and minerals, and climate regulation. It is now well recognized that many areas of the deep sea are in deep trouble mainly due to the rapid depletion of their fish resources and consequent damage to sessile habitat-building organisms caused by destructive fishing gears. Additionally, the remoteness of most areas of the deep sea has promoted the disposal of residues and litter. The increased demand for natural and mineral resources, fuelled by rapid technological development, opened the exploitation of previously inaccessible areas leading to a sharp expansion of human activities toward deeper areas. Therefore, it is expected that increased industrial activities will emerge in the deep sea and will likely include deeper fishing, the extraction of gas hydrates, mining, carbon sequestration, and harvesting of genetic resources, among others. These new activities, along with the cumulative effects of ocean acidification and climate change, will further impact deep-sea biodiversity and, consequently, ecosystem functioning and the services these functions provide. Recent work has identified high risk to benthic communities on sedimentary upper slopes, cold-water corals, canyon benthic communities and seamount pelagic and benthic communities as a function of human impact. Therefore, assessing the impacts of existing and future human activities on deep-sea marine ecosystems is one of the major challenges for future research aiming at informing sustainable management and conservation of our deep ocean.

Within the session “Anthropogenic impacts on deep-sea biodiversity and their consequences” we will promote the dissemination of recent scientific work regarding current and future threats to deep-sea biodiversity, techniques for assessing diversity changes and their functional consequences, as well as measures to mitigate adverse impacts of human activities in the deep ocean. We expect to generate discussion that will explore how best to approach future challenges in this realm.

 

Session chairs:

  • Telmo Morato; IMAR University of the Azores, Portugal
  • Eva Ramirez-Llodra; Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Norway
  • Kristina Gjerde; International Union for Conservation of Nature, USA
  • Lisa Levin; University California San Diego, USA

 

Session information:

  • Main Theme 6: Deep-sea Biodiversity
  • Session: Anthropogenic impacts on deep-sea biodiversity and their consequences
  • For more information please visit the conference website.