Advances in marine biology, volume 71
Edited by Barbara E. Curry
Pages: 188 pages
Edition: Volume 71, 2015
Marine invertebrates play widely varying roles, sometimes as keystone species, in ocean ecosystems. Each of the three contributions to this volume focuses on a different aspect of marine invertebrate biology. The topics range from trophic ecology of benthic marine invertebrates with biphasic lifestyles to understanding regional and taxonomical variation in deep-sea meio- and macrofaunal organisms, and extend to an overview of the biology and conservation status of the pen shell, Pinna nobilis, in the Mediterranean Sea. An underlying theme occurring in each of these contributions is the increasingly urgent impact that anthropogenic threats, such as habitat degradation, ocean acidification and other aspects of climate change, pose to ocean ecosystems. We still do not fully understand how these threats and the loss of biodiversity, which may occur mostly as changes in local species richness, can affect key ecological processes such as ecosystem primary productivity, decomposition rates and nutrient cycling. Climate change is already having far-reaching consequences that may in part stem from shifts in abundance, distribution and phenology of marine invertebrates causing ecosystem-level effects including changes in food webs, community structure and interspecies relationships. The work in this volume underscores the need to assess our knowledge of marine invertebrates in a relatively standardized, systematic way that can allow for metadata-driven comparative analysis and encourage innovative research methodologies that will advance scientific knowledge and produce effective conservation measures.