Biodiversity loss in the oceans can be reversed through habitat restoration

phys.org | 3/26/2019 | Staff
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Activities such as laying gas pipelines, trawling for fish, drilling for oil, and even burying internet cables in the deep sea, are destroying marine ecosystems. But studies have shown that reintroducing seaweed and corals to these habitats could ward off the worst effects – and recover marine life.

Biodiversity loss is considered to be one of the most severe global environmental problems. In our oceans, this decline is heavily influenced by habitat degradation stemming from human activities.

Action - Half - World - Marine - Species

Without action, more than half of the world's marine species could be on the brink of extinction by the year 2100, according to UNESCO.

Marine biodiversity loss hinders the ocean's ability to provide food for our growing population, with an estimated three billion people dependent on fish as their primary source of dietary protein.

Oceans - World - Wide - Fund - Nature

We're also economically dependent on healthy oceans. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the ocean provides the world with goods and services worth at least €2.2 trillion every year.

Some effects of biodiversity loss are less tangible. Many of the chemicals used in medical drugs and industrial compounds today came from marine plants and animals. With less known about the oceans than the moon, potentially useful marine organisms could be wiped out or seriously depleted before they are even discovered.

Biodiversity - Opportunity - Compounds - Professor - Roberto

"If we lose biodiversity, we lose the opportunity to discover these crucially important compounds," said Professor Roberto Danovaro, president of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples, Italy.

The good news is that in the oceans, ecosystem restoration can cause species that disappeared from a particular region to return, says Prof. Danovaro.

Concept - Biodiversity - Loss - Marine - Ecosystems

"The concept of biodiversity loss is different in marine and in terrestrial ecosystems. Because of the dimension of connection between seas and oceans, it's difficult to have a complete loss of biodiversity, an extinction," said Prof. Danovaro.

"But, at the regional and the local...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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