Seagrasses are unique as they are the only marine flowering plants. Seagrass beds form complex physical structures and are a highly productive ecosystem. This enables them to support a considerable biomass and diversity of associated species. For the first time the World Atlas of Seagrasses summarises the opinion and science of the world's leading experts on the global status of the ecosystem.
The Atlas is a collaboration of more than 50 authors from 25 nations. Fully illustrated, the Atlas contains the first global and regional maps of seagrass distribution and a wealth of information on key issues concerning this 'forgotten' ecosystem.Resource Type: Books
The World Atlas of Coral Reefs is an invaluable resource to be enjoyed and used by a broad audience ranging from global travellers to scientists, including all those with an interest in the natural history of coral reefs, resource managers, travel organisations and university students. The book also caters to the needs of amateur divers and boat owners as a key information resource.Resource Type: Books
The World Mangrove Atlas is the first significant attempt to provide an overview of the distribution of mangroves worldwide. Mapped data were gathered from a wide range of sources and synthesised into a series of regional maps. Related texts describe the species, areal extent and other summary information on the currently known status of mangroves in each country. Produced in association with the International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems (ISME) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), The World Mangrove Atlas presents a baseline inventory of mangroves at the end of the twentieth century.Resource Type: Books
Since the late 1970s the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has delivered services that support implementation of international biodiversity-related agreements at global, regional and national levels. These services not only support the work of the agreement secretariats, but also of the advisory and governance bodies, and of governments party to the various agreements. The aim of this paper is to illustrate this work through examples of work we have undertaken.
The support that UNEP-WCMC provides is based on expert understanding of the agreements and how they work, resulting from many years of experience and close relationships with secretariats.Resource Type: Reports
The countries affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami contain the most diverse and extensive coral reefs and mangroves of the Indian Ocean, and some of the richest in the world. Not only are these ecosystems among the most threatened in the world, they also provide numerous essential ecosystem services.
It is thus not surprising that reefs and mangroves received widespread attention after the tsunami, with three principal questions posed: Are the tsunami's impacts on reefs and mangroves a further threat to their future survival? Did reefs and mangroves play a role in shoreline protection and reduce structural damage and human mortality? How could reconstruction efforts include actions to maintain these ecosystems and reduce further threats to them?Resource Type: Journal Papers
This report presents comprehensive and up-to-date information and data on marine cold-water coral reefs from around the world. Cold Water Coral Reefs: Out of Sight - No Longer Out of Mind aims to provide policy makers with the information required to take concerted action in the conservation, protection and sustainable management of these beautiful, largely unexplored and fragile coral reefs.
South East Asia contains nearly 100,000 km2 of coral reefs, almost 34% of the world total. With over 600 of the almost 800 reef-building coral species, these reefs have the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth. Heavy reliance on marine resources across South East Asia has resulted in the overexploitation and degradation of many coral reefs. An estimated 88% of them are threatened by human activity.Resource Type: Reports
In 2008, the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in need of protection on the open oceans and deep seas.
While much scientific discovery lies ahead, available information and current and emerging methodologies already allow us to begin identifying oceanic features that are likely of particular ecological or biological importance.
The World's oceans play a crucial role for life on the planet. Healthy seas and the services they provide are key to the future development of mankind. Our seas are highly dynamic, structured and complex systems. The seafloor consists of vast shelves and plains with huge mountains, canyons and trenches which dwarf similar structures on land. Ocean currents transport water masses many times larger than all rivers on Earth combined.
In this report, the locations of the most productive fishing grounds in the World - from shallow, coastal waters to the deep and high seas - are compared to projected scenarios of climate change, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, intensity of fisheries, land-based pollution, increase of invasive species infestations and growth in coastal development.Resource Type: Reports
Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse of shallow water marine ecosystems but are being degraded worldwide by human activities and climate warming. Analyses of the geographic ranges of 3235 species of reef fish, corals, snails, and lobsters revealed that between 7.2 and 53.6 of each taxon have highly restricted ranges, rendering them vulnerable to extinction. Restricted-range species are clustered into centers of endemism, like those described for terrestrial taxa. The 10 richest centers of endemism cover 15.8 of the world's coral reefs (0.012 of the oceans) but include between 44.8 and 54.2 of the restricted-range species. Many occur in regions where reefs are being severely affected by people, potentially leading to numerous extinctions. Threatened centers of endemism are major biodiversity hotspots, and conservation efforts targeted toward them could help avert the loss of tropical reef biodiversity.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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