Publications by authors named "Chih-Lin Wei"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The BenBioDen database, a global database for meio-, macro- and megabenthic biomass and densities.

Sci Data 2020 06 29;7(1):206. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, and Utrecht University, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC, Yerseke, The Netherlands.

Benthic fauna refers to all fauna that live in or on the seafloor, which researchers typically divide into size classes meiobenthos (32/64 µm-0.5/1 mm), macrobenthos (250 µm-1 cm), and megabenthos (>1 cm). Benthic fauna play important roles in bioturbation activity, mineralization of organic matter, and in marine food webs. Evaluating their role in these ecosystem functions requires knowledge of their global distribution and biomass. We therefore established the BenBioDen database, the largest open-access database for marine benthic biomass and density data compiled so far. In total, it includes 11,792 georeferenced benthic biomass and 51,559 benthic density records from 384 and 600 studies, respectively. We selected all references following the procedure for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and report biomass records as grams of wet mass, dry mass, or ash-free dry mass, or carbon per m and as abundance records as individuals per m. This database provides a point of reference for future studies on the distribution and biomass of benthic fauna.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0551-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324384PMC
June 2020

Climate change considerations are fundamental to management of deep-sea resource extraction.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 09 6;26(9):4664-4678. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

School of Biological Sciences and Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Climate change manifestation in the ocean, through warming, oxygen loss, increasing acidification, and changing particulate organic carbon flux (one metric of altered food supply), is projected to affect most deep-ocean ecosystems concomitantly with increasing direct human disturbance. Climate drivers will alter deep-sea biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, and may interact with disturbance from resource extraction activities or even climate geoengineering. We suggest that to ensure the effective management of increasing use of the deep ocean (e.g., for bottom fishing, oil and gas extraction, and deep-seabed mining), environmental management and developing regulations must consider climate change. Strategic planning, impact assessment and monitoring, spatial management, application of the precautionary approach, and full-cost accounting of extraction activities should embrace climate consciousness. Coupled climate and biological modeling approaches applied in the water and on the seafloor can help accomplish this goal. For example, Earth-System Model projections of climate-change parameters at the seafloor reveal heterogeneity in projected climate hazard and time of emergence (beyond natural variability) in regions targeted for deep-seabed mining. Models that combine climate-induced changes in ocean circulation with particle tracking predict altered transport of early life stages (larvae) under climate change. Habitat suitability models can help assess the consequences of altered larval dispersal, predict climate refugia, and identify vulnerable regions for multiple species under climate change. Engaging the deep observing community can support the necessary data provisioning to mainstream climate into the development of environmental management plans. To illustrate this approach, we focus on deep-seabed mining and the International Seabed Authority, whose mandates include regulation of all mineral-related activities in international waters and protecting the marine environment from the harmful effects of mining. However, achieving deep-ocean sustainability under the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require integration of climate consideration across all policy sectors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496832PMC
September 2020

Past and future decline of tropical pelagic biodiversity.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 06 26;117(23):12891-12896. Epub 2020 May 26.

Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, 903-0213 Okinawa, Japan.

A major research question concerning global pelagic biodiversity remains unanswered: when did the apparent tropical biodiversity depression (i.e., bimodality of latitudinal diversity gradient [LDG]) begin? The bimodal LDG may be a consequence of recent ocean warming or of deep-time evolutionary speciation and extinction processes. Using rich fossil datasets of planktonic foraminifers, we show here that a unimodal (or only weakly bimodal) diversity gradient, with a plateau in the tropics, occurred during the last ice age and has since then developed into a bimodal gradient through species distribution shifts driven by postglacial ocean warming. The bimodal LDG likely emerged before the Anthropocene and industrialization, and perhaps ∼15,000 y ago, indicating a strong environmental control of tropical diversity even before the start of anthropogenic warming. However, our model projections suggest that future anthropogenic warming further diminishes tropical pelagic diversity to a level not seen in millions of years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1916923117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7293716PMC
June 2020

Climate-induced changes in the suitable habitat of cold-water corals and commercially important deep-sea fishes in the North Atlantic.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Feb 20. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Seascape Consultants Ltd, Romsey, UK.

The deep sea plays a critical role in global climate regulation through uptake and storage of heat and carbon dioxide. However, this regulating service causes warming, acidification and deoxygenation of deep waters, leading to decreased food availability at the seafloor. These changes and their projections are likely to affect productivity, biodiversity and distributions of deep-sea fauna, thereby compromising key ecosystem services. Understanding how climate change can lead to shifts in deep-sea species distributions is critically important in developing management measures. We used environmental niche modelling along with the best available species occurrence data and environmental parameters to model habitat suitability for key cold-water coral and commercially important deep-sea fish species under present-day (1951-2000) environmental conditions and to project changes under severe, high emissions future (2081-2100) climate projections (RCP8.5 scenario) for the North Atlantic Ocean. Our models projected a decrease of 28%-100% in suitable habitat for cold-water corals and a shift in suitable habitat for deep-sea fishes of 2.0°-9.9° towards higher latitudes. The largest reductions in suitable habitat were projected for the scleractinian coral Lophelia pertusa and the octocoral Paragorgia arborea, with declines of at least 79% and 99% respectively. We projected the expansion of suitable habitat by 2100 only for the fishes Helicolenus dactylopterus and Sebastes mentella (20%-30%), mostly through northern latitudinal range expansion. Our results projected limited climate refugia locations in the North Atlantic by 2100 for scleractinian corals (30%-42% of present-day suitable habitat), even smaller refugia locations for the octocorals Acanella arbuscula and Acanthogorgia armata (6%-14%), and almost no refugia for P. arborea. Our results emphasize the need to understand how anticipated climate change will affect the distribution of deep-sea species including commercially important fishes and foundation species, and highlight the importance of identifying and preserving climate refugia for a range of area-based planning and management tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7154791PMC
February 2020

The SCOC database, a large, open, and global database with sediment community oxygen consumption rates.

Sci Data 2019 10 29;6(1):242. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, and Utrecht University, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC, Yerseke, The Netherlands.

Sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) rates provide important information about biogeochemical processes in marine sediments and the activity of benthic microorganisms and fauna. Therefore, several databases of SCOC data have been compiled since the mid-1990s. However, these earlier databases contained much less data records and were not freely available. Additionally, the databases were not transparent in their selection procedure, so that other researchers could not assess the quality of the data. Here, we present the largest, best documented, and freely available database of SCOC data compiled to date. The database is comprised of 3,540 georeferenced SCOC records from 230 studies that were selected following the procedure for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Each data record states whether the oxygen consumption was measured ex situ or in situ, as total oxygen uptake, diffusive or advective oxygen uptake, and which measurement device was used. The database will be curated and updated annually to secure and maintain an up-to-date global database of SCOC data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0259-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6820755PMC
October 2019

gen. nov., sp. nov., a facultatively anaerobic marine bacterium that ferments glucose with gas production.

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2019 Nov;69(11):3318-3325

Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan, ROC.

Two isolates of heterotrophic, facultatively anaerobic, marine bacteria, designated DM1 and DM2, were recovered from a lagoon sediment sample of Dongsha Island, Taiwan. Cells were Gram-reaction-negative rods. Nearly all of the cells were non-motile and non-flagellated during the late exponential to early stationary phase of growth, while a few of the cells exhibited motility with monotrichous flagellation. The two isolates required NaCl for growth and grew optimally at about 30 °C, 2-3 % NaCl and pH 7-8. They grew aerobically and could achieve anaerobic growth by fermenting d-glucose or other carbohydrates with production of acids and the gases, including CO and H. Ubiquinone Q-8 was the only respiratory quinone. Cellular fatty acids were predominated by C, Cω7 and Cω7. The major polar lipid was phosphatidylethanolamine. Strains DM1 and DM2 had DNA G+C contents of 52.0 and 51.8 mol%, respectively, as determined by HPLC analysis. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences clearly indicated that the two isolates formed a distinct genus-level lineage in the family of the class and was an outgroup with respect to a stable supragenic clade comprising species of the genera , and . The phylogenetic data and those from chemotaxonomic, physiological and morphological characterizations support the establishment of a novel species and genus inside the family , for which the name gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is DM2 (=BCRC 81069=JCM 32096).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.003080DOI Listing
November 2019

Steep redox gradient and biogeochemical cycling driven by deeply sourced fluids and gases in a terrestrial mud volcano.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2018 11;94(11)

Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, 1 Sec 4 Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan.

Mud volcanoes provide an accessible channel through which deep subsurface environments can be observed. The manner in which deeply sourced materials shape biogeochemical processes and microbial communities in such geological features remains largely unknown. This study characterized redox transitions, biogeochemical fluxes and microbial communities for samples collected from a methane-rich mud volcano in southwestern Taiwan. Our results indicated that oxygen penetration was confined within the upper 4 mm of fluids/muds and counteracted by the oxidation of pyrite, dissolved sulfide, methane and organic matter at various degrees. Beneath the oxic zone, anaerobic sulfur oxidation, sulfate reduction, anaerobic methanotrophy and methanogenesis were compartmentalized into different depths in the pool periphery, forming a metabolic network that efficiently cycles methane and sulfur. Community members affiliated with various Proteobacteria capable of aerobic oxidation of sulfur, methane and methyl compounds were more abundant in the anoxic zone with diminished sulfate and high methane. These findings suggest either the requirement of alternative electron acceptors or a persistent population that once flourished in the oxic zone. Overall, this study demonstrates the distribution pattern for a suite of oxidative and reductive metabolic reactions along a steep redox gradient imposed by deep fluids in a mud volcano ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiy171DOI Listing
November 2018

Global Carbon Cycling on a Heterogeneous Seafloor.

Trends Ecol Evol 2018 02 14;33(2):96-105. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 11794-5000, USA.

Diverse biological communities mediate the transformation, transport, and storage of elements fundamental to life on Earth, including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. However, global biogeochemical model outcomes can vary by orders of magnitude, compromising capacity to project realistic ecosystem responses to planetary changes, including ocean productivity and climate. Here, we compare global carbon turnover rates estimated using models grounded in biological versus geochemical theory and argue that the turnover estimates based on each perspective yield divergent outcomes. Importantly, empirical studies that include sedimentary biological activity vary less than those that ignore it. Improving the relevance of model projections and reducing uncertainty associated with the anticipated consequences of global change requires reconciliation of these perspectives, enabling better societal decisions on mitigation and adaptation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.11.004DOI Listing
February 2018

Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in long-term time series and palaeoecological records: deep sea as a test bed.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2016 05;371(1694)

Future of Ice Initiative, University of Washington, Johnson Hall, Room 377A, Box 351310 Seattle, WA 98195-1310, USA.

The link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) over long temporal scales is poorly understood. Here, we investigate biological monitoring and palaeoecological records on decadal, centennial and millennial time scales from a BEF framework by using deep sea, soft-sediment environments as a test bed. Results generally show positive BEF relationships, in agreement with BEF studies based on present-day spatial analyses and short-term manipulative experiments. However, the deep-sea BEF relationship is much noisier across longer time scales compared with modern observational studies. We also demonstrate with palaeoecological time-series data that a larger species pool does not enhance ecosystem stability through time, whereas higher abundance as an indicator of higher ecosystem functioning may enhance ecosystem stability. These results suggest that BEF relationships are potentially time scale-dependent. Environmental impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning may be much stronger than biodiversity impacts on ecosystem functioning at long, decadal-millennial, time scales. Longer time scale perspectives, including palaeoecological and ecosystem monitoring data, are critical for predicting future BEF relationships on a rapidly changing planet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4843702PMC
May 2016

Global reductions in seafloor biomass in response to climate change.

Glob Chang Biol 2014 Jun 31;20(6):1861-72. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK.

Seafloor organisms are vital for healthy marine ecosystems, contributing to elemental cycling, benthic remineralization, and ultimately sequestration of carbon. Deep-sea life is primarily reliant on the export flux of particulate organic carbon from the surface ocean for food, but most ocean biogeochemistry models predict global decreases in export flux resulting from 21st century anthropogenically induced warming. Here we show that decadal-to-century scale changes in carbon export associated with climate change lead to an estimated 5.2% decrease in future (2091-2100) global open ocean benthic biomass under RCP8.5 (reduction of 5.2 Mt C) compared with contemporary conditions (2006-2015). Our projections use multi-model mean export flux estimates from eight fully coupled earth system models, which contributed to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, that have been forced by high and low representative concentration pathways (RCP8.5 and 4.5, respectively). These export flux estimates are used in conjunction with published empirical relationships to predict changes in benthic biomass. The polar oceans and some upwelling areas may experience increases in benthic biomass, but most other regions show decreases, with up to 38% reductions in parts of the northeast Atlantic. Our analysis projects a future ocean with smaller sized infaunal benthos, potentially reducing energy transfer rates though benthic multicellular food webs. More than 80% of potential deep-water biodiversity hotspots known around the world, including canyons, seamounts, and cold-water coral reefs, are projected to experience negative changes in biomass. These major reductions in biomass may lead to widespread change in benthic ecosystems and the functions and services they provide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12480DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4261893PMC
June 2014

Biotic and human vulnerability to projected changes in ocean biogeochemistry over the 21st century.

PLoS Biol 2013 Oct 15;11(10):e1001682. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Department of Geography, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America.

Ongoing greenhouse gas emissions can modify climate processes and induce shifts in ocean temperature, pH, oxygen concentration, and productivity, which in turn could alter biological and social systems. Here, we provide a synoptic global assessment of the simultaneous changes in future ocean biogeochemical variables over marine biota and their broader implications for people. We analyzed modern Earth System Models forced by greenhouse gas concentration pathways until 2100 and showed that the entire world's ocean surface will be simultaneously impacted by varying intensities of ocean warming, acidification, oxygen depletion, or shortfalls in productivity. In contrast, only a small fraction of the world's ocean surface, mostly in polar regions, will experience increased oxygenation and productivity, while almost nowhere will there be ocean cooling or pH elevation. We compiled the global distribution of 32 marine habitats and biodiversity hotspots and found that they would all experience simultaneous exposure to changes in multiple biogeochemical variables. This superposition highlights the high risk for synergistic ecosystem responses, the suite of physiological adaptations needed to cope with future climate change, and the potential for reorganization of global biodiversity patterns. If co-occurring biogeochemical changes influence the delivery of ocean goods and services, then they could also have a considerable effect on human welfare. Approximately 470 to 870 million of the poorest people in the world rely heavily on the ocean for food, jobs, and revenues and live in countries that will be most affected by simultaneous changes in ocean biogeochemistry. These results highlight the high risk of degradation of marine ecosystems and associated human hardship expected in a future following current trends in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001682DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3797030PMC
October 2013

Long-term observations of epibenthic fish zonation in the deep northern Gulf of Mexico.

PLoS One 2012 3;7(10):e46707. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Ocean Science Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.

A total of 172 bottom trawl/skimmer samples (183 to 3655-m depth) from three deep-sea studies, R/V Alaminos cruises (1964-1973), Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Slope (NGoMCS) study (1983-1985) and Deep Gulf of Mexico Benthos (DGoMB) program (2000 to 2002), were compiled to examine temporal and large-scale changes in epibenthic fish species composition. Based on percent species shared among samples, faunal groups (≥10% species shared) consistently reoccurred over time on the shelf-break (ca. 200 m), upper-slope (ca. 300 to 500 m) and upper-to-mid slope (ca. 500 to 1500 m) depths. These similar depth groups also merged when the three studies were pooled together, suggesting that there has been no large-scale temporal change in depth zonation on the upper section of the continental margin. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) also detected no significant species changes on the limited sites and areas that have been revisited across the studies (P>0.05). Based on the ordination of the species shared among samples, species replacement was a continuum along a depth or macrobenthos biomass gradient. Despite the well-known, close, negative relationship between water depth and macrofaunal biomass, the fish species changed more rapidly at depth shallower than 1,000 m, but the rate of change was surprisingly slow at the highest macrofaunal biomass (>100 mg C m(-2)), suggesting that the composition of epibenthic fishes was not altered in response to the extremely high macrofaunal biomass in the upper Mississippi and De Soto Submarine Canyons. An alternative is that the pattern of fish species turnover is related to the decline in macrofaunal biomass, the presumptive prey of the fish, along the depth gradient.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0046707PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463567PMC
May 2013

Exploring the role of environmental variables in shaping patterns of seabed biodiversity composition in regional-scale ecosystems.

J Appl Ecol 2012 Jun;49(3):670-679

1. Environmental variables are often used as indirect surrogates for mapping biodiversity because species survey data are scant at regional scales, especially in the marine realm. However, environmental variables are measured on arbitrary scales unlikely to have simple, direct relationships with biological patterns. Instead, biodiversity may respond nonlinearly and to interactions between environmental variables.2. To investigate the role of the environment in driving patterns of biodiversity composition in large marine regions, we collated multiple biological survey and environmental data sets from tropical NE Australia, the deep Gulf of Mexico and the temperate Gulf of Maine. We then quantified the shape and magnitude of multispecies responses along >30 environmental gradients and the extent to which these variables predicted regional distributions. To do this, we applied a new statistical approach, Gradient Forest, an extension of Random Forest, capable of modelling nonlinear and threshold responses.3. The regional-scale environmental variables predicted an average of 13-35% (up to 50-85% for individual species) of the variation in species abundance distributions. Important predictors differed among regions and biota and included depth, salinity, temperature, sediment composition and current stress. The shapes of responses along gradients also differed and were nonlinear, often with thresholds indicative of step changes in composition. These differing regional responses were partly due to differing environmental indicators of bioregional boundaries and, given the results to date, may indicate limited scope for extrapolating bio-physical relationships beyond the region of source data sets.4.Synthesis and applications. Gradient Forest offers a new capability for exploring relationships between biodiversity and environmental gradients, generating new information on multispecies responses at a detail not available previously. Importantly, given the scarcity of data, Gradient Forest enables the combined use of information from disparate data sets. The gradient response curves provide biologically informed transformations of environmental layers to predict and map expected patterns of biodiversity composition that represent sampled composition better than uninformed variables. The approach can be applied to support marine spatial planning and management and has similar applicability in terrestrial realms.Gradient Forest offers a new capability for exploring relationships between biodiversity and environmental gradients, generating new information on multispecies responses at a detail not available previously. Importantly, given the scarcity of data, Gradient Forest enables the combined use of information from disparate data sets. The gradient response curves provide biologically informed transformations of environmental layers to predict and map expected patterns of biodiversity composition that represent sampled composition better than uninformed variables. The approach can be applied to support marine spatial planning and management and has similar applicability in terrestrial realms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02148.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3412211PMC
June 2012

Anthropogenic "Litter" and macrophyte detritus in the deep Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Mar Pollut Bull 2012 May 3;64(5):966-73. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

Ocean Science Center, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.

A deep-sea trawl survey of the Northern Gulf of Mexico has documented the abundance and diversity of human-generated litter and natural detrital plant material, from the outer margin of the continental shelf out to the Sigsbee abyssal plain. Plastics were the most frequently encountered type of material. Litter and debris were encountered more frequently in the eastern than in the western GoM. Land-derived plant material was located primarily within the head of the Mississippi Canyon, whereas ocean-derived plant material was spread evenly throughout the NE GoM. Human discards were principally from ships offshore. Some of the material was contained in metal cans that sank to the sea floor, probably in order to conform to international agreements that prohibit disposal of toxic material and plastics. The Mississippi Canyon was a focal point for litter, perhaps due to topography, currents or proximity to shipping lanes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.02.015DOI Listing
May 2012

Global patterns and predictions of seafloor biomass using random forests.

PLoS One 2010 Dec 30;5(12):e15323. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America.

A comprehensive seafloor biomass and abundance database has been constructed from 24 oceanographic institutions worldwide within the Census of Marine Life (CoML) field projects. The machine-learning algorithm, Random Forests, was employed to model and predict seafloor standing stocks from surface primary production, water-column integrated and export particulate organic matter (POM), seafloor relief, and bottom water properties. The predictive models explain 63% to 88% of stock variance among the major size groups. Individual and composite maps of predicted global seafloor biomass and abundance are generated for bacteria, meiofauna, macrofauna, and megafauna (invertebrates and fishes). Patterns of benthic standing stocks were positive functions of surface primary production and delivery of the particulate organic carbon (POC) flux to the seafloor. At a regional scale, the census maps illustrate that integrated biomass is highest at the poles, on continental margins associated with coastal upwelling and with broad zones associated with equatorial divergence. Lowest values are consistently encountered on the central abyssal plains of major ocean basins The shift of biomass dominance groups with depth is shown to be affected by the decrease in average body size rather than abundance, presumably due to decrease in quantity and quality of food supply. This biomass census and associated maps are vital components of mechanistic deep-sea food web models and global carbon cycling, and as such provide fundamental information that can be incorporated into evidence-based management.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0015323PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012679PMC
December 2010