Article

A Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, 735 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 03/2008; 319(5865):948-52. DOI: 10.1126/science.1149345
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The management and conservation of the world's oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marine ecosystems. Our analysis indicates that no area is unaffected by human influence and that a large fraction (41%) is strongly affected by multiple drivers. However, large areas of relatively little human impact remain, particularly near the poles. The analytical process and resulting maps provide flexible tools for regional and global efforts to allocate conservation resources; to implement ecosystem-based management; and to inform marine spatial planning, education, and basic research.

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    • "c o m / l o c a t e / g e o d e r m a et al., 2011; de Groot et al., 2012; Reddy and DeLaume, 2008). It is well known, however, that these environments are fragile: erosion processes of the coastal areas, subsidence and salt water intrusion often threaten these ecosystems (Antonellini et al., 2008; Buscaroli and Zannoni, 2010; Cochard et al., 2008; Mollema et al., 2013) and the changes of both climate and hydrological regime deeply influence their evolution and healthiness (Halpern et al., 2008; Lotze et al., 2006; Worm et al., 2006). Studies on the effects of climate change have estimated that the sea level will increase from 18 to 59 cm by the end of the next century (IPCC AR4 SYR, 2007). "
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