▪ Abstract Marine biodiversity encompasses all levels of complexity of life in the sea, from within species to across ecosystems. At all levels, marine biodiversity has naturally exhibited a general, slow trajectory of increase, punctuated by mass extinctions at the evolutionary scale and by disturbances at the ecological scale. In historical times, a synergy of human threats, including overfishing, global warming, biological introductions, and pollution, has caused a rapid decline in global marine biodiversity, as measured by species extinctions, population depletions, and community homogenization. The consequences of this biodiversity loss include changes in ecosystem function and a reduction in the provision of ecosystem services. Global biodiversity loss will continue and likely accelerate in the future, with potentially more frequent ecological collapses and community-wide shifts. However, the timing and magnitude of these catastrophic events are probably unpredictable.
Annual Review of Environment and Resources – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 21, 2006
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