Lisa A. Levin's research while affiliated with University of California and other places

Publications (448)

Article
Deep-sea images are routinely collected during at-sea expeditions and represent a repository of under-utilized knowledge. We leveraged dive videos collected by the remotely-operated vehicle Hercules (deployed from E/V Nautilus, operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust), and adapted biological trait analysis, to develop an approach that characterizes...
Article
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Vulnerability of marine species to climate change (including ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and associated changes in food supply) depends on species’ ecological and biological characteristics. Most existing assessments focus on coastal species but systematic analysis of climate vulnerability for the deep sea is lacking. Here, we combine a fuz...
Article
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Deep-ocean observing is essential for informing policy making in the arenas of climate, biodiversity, fisheries, energy and minerals extraction, pollution, hazards, and genetic resources. The Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS), a UN Ocean Decade endorsed programme, is meeting with representatives from relevant international bodies and agreements...
Article
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Continental margins host methane seeps, animal falls and wood falls, with chemosynthetic communities that may share or exchange species. The goal of this study was to examine the existence and nature of linkages among chemosynthesis-based ecosystems by deploying organic fall mimics (bone and wood) alongside defaunated carbonate rocks within high an...
Technical Report
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The intensity of deep-sea fisheries on the high seas and the impacts on the marine environment call for effective measures to ensure that fishing does not compromise the commitments established for protecting biodiversity in the deep ocean by the United Nations. In order to prevent significant adverse impacts (SAIs) on vulnerable marine ecosystems...
Article
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The Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS) is an international, community-driven initiative that facilitates collaboration across disciplines and fields, elevates a diverse cohort of early career researchers into future leaders, and connects scientific advancements to societal needs. DOOS represents a global network of deep-ocean observing, mapping,...
Article
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Ecosystem services are benefits that people derive from nature. ● The deep ocean provides many critical ecosystem services, such as fish and shellfish for food; products from organisms that can be used for medicines; climate regulation; and historical, cultural, social, educational, and scientific value for people worldwide. ● Human activities can...
Article
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The unique ecosystems and biodiversity associated with mid-ocean ridge (MOR) hydrothermal vent systems contrast sharply with surrounding deep-sea habitats, however both may be increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activity (e.g., mining activities at massive sulphide deposits). Climate change can alter the deep-sea through increased bottom tempe...
Article
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Below the surface layers of the ocean, there are ecosystems full of undiscovered life. Scientists love to ask questions like, “Who is there?” and “What are they doing?” An important question scientists are beginning to ask is, “How will these living things react to warmer waters, loss of oxygen, or pollution?” To answer these questions, scientists...
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A comprehensive understanding of the deep-sea environment and mining’s likely impacts is necessary to assess whether and under what conditions deep-seabed mining operations comply with the International Seabed Authority’s obligations to prevent ‘serious harm’ and ensure the ‘effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects’ in ac...
Article
The deep seafloor is regarded as a potentially large source of the minerals needed for producing batteries to fuel the transition to a low-carbon energy system, but rapid, unrestrained mining would have severe impacts on deep-ocean ecosystems and should be avoided. We propose alternative pathways forward.
Article
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Natural treatment systems (NTS) for stormwater have the potential to provide a myriad of ecosystem services to society. Realizing this potential requires active collaboration among engineers, ecologists and landscape planners and begins with a paradigm shift in communication whereby these groups are made aware of each other's perceptions about NTS...
Article
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The two most urgent and interlinked environmental challenges humanity faces are climate change and biodiversity loss. We are entering a pivotal decade for both the international biodiversity and climate change agendas with the sharpening of ambitious strategies and targets by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework C...
Article
Organisms in coastal waters experience naturally high oxygen variability and steep oxygen gradients with depth, in addition to ocean deoxygenation. They often undergo diel vertical migration involving a change in irradiance that initiates a visual behavior. Retinal function has been shown to be highly sensitive to oxygen loss; here we assess whethe...
Chapter
Ghost crabs (Ocypode sp.) are important bioturbators in coastal deserts in subtropical and tropical regions and contribute to the transfer of energy from the ocean and to wild animals in the dunes of the deserts further inland. However, threats to the ghost crab habitats are rising due to increased use of their beach habitat as recreational areas a...
Article
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In this paper, we outline the need for a coordinated international effort toward the building of an open-access Global Ocean Oxygen Database and ATlas (GO2DAT) complying with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable).
Article
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Key Messages: 1. Chemosynthetic ecosystems can influence the function and health of our ocean. 2. It is necessary to broaden the definition of chemosynthetic ecosystems (hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps) to include their zone of influence and expand perception of these systems as broad habitat areas rather than isolated islands in the deep...
Article
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Of all the interconnected threats facing the planet, the top two are the climate and the biodiversity crises. Neither problem will be solved if we ignore the ocean. To turn the tide in favour of humanity and a habitable planet, we need to recognize and better value the fundamental role that the ocean plays in the earth system, and prioritize the ur...
Article
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The ocean plays a central role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, climate and ocean policies have been historically siloed. After decades of slow convergence, the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue, decided at COP25 and launched online in December 2020, was the first forum for Parties and non-Party stakeholders to the UNFCCC to gi...
Article
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Methane seeps are highly productive deep‐sea ecosystems reliant on chemosynthetic primary production. They are increasingly affected by direct human activities that threaten key ecosystem services. Methane seepage often generates precipitation of authigenic carbonate rocks, which host diverse microbes, and a dynamic invertebrate community. By provi...
Article
The potential for Blue Carbon ecosystems to combat climate change and provide co-benefits was discussed in the recent and influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. In terms of Blue Carbon, the report mainly focused on coastal wetlands and did not address the socio-economi...
Article
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Marine spatial planning that addresses ocean climate-driven change (‘climate-smart MSP’) is a global aspiration to support economic growth, food security and ecosystem sustainability. Ocean climate change (‘CC’) modelling may become a key decision-support tool for MSP, but traditional modelling analysis and communication challenges prevent their br...
Article
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IPCC reporting culture and structure leads to a failure to highlight potential vulnerabilities and risk in areas where research is largely absent. Nowhere is this more obvious than in treatment of the deep ocean (waters below 200 m), where climate research is in its infancy, but human exploitation of resources is on the rise. Understanding climate-...
Article
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As biodiversity loss accelerates globally, understanding environmental influence over biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships becomes crucial for ecosystem management. Theory suggests that resource supply affects the shape of BEF relationships, but this awaits detailed investigation in marine ecosystems. Here, we use deep-sea chemosy...
Article
Methane seep studies often target sites where methane gas is actively bubbling from the sea floor to the water column. However, gas bubbles often remain trapped in surficial seabed sediments, especially in coastal systems; notably few ecological studies exist for these systems. These environments form patches on the seafloor in the Bahia Blanca est...
Article
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Benthic animals profoundly influence the cycling and storage of carbon and other elements in marine systems, particularly in coastal sediments. Recent climate change has altered the distribution and abundance of many seafloor taxa and modified the vertical exchange of materials between ocean and sediment layers. Here, we examine how climate change...
Article
The epoch of the Anthropocene, a period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment, has witnessed a decline in oxygen concentrations and an expansion of oxygen depleted environments in both coastal and open ocean systems since the middle of the 20th century. This paper provides a review of system-spec...
Article
Deep-sea biodiversity, a source of critical ecological functions and ecosystem services, is increasingly subject to the threat of disturbance from existing practices (e.g., fishing, waste disposal, oil and gas extraction) as well as emerging industries such as deep-seabed mining. Current scientific tools may not be adequate for monitoring and asses...
Article
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Growing human activity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is driving increasing impacts on the biodiversity of this vast area of the ocean. As a result, the United Nations General Assembly committed to convening a series of intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) to develop an international legally-binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservat...
Article
The epoch of the Anthropocene, a period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment, has witnessed a decline in oxygen concentrations and an expansion of oxygen-depleted environments in both coastal and open ocean systems since the middle of the 20th century. This paper provides a review of system-spec...
Article
Full-text available
The abyssal seafloor is a mosaic of highly diverse habitats that represent the least known marine ecosystems on Earth. Some regions enriched in natural resources, such as polymetallic nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), attract much interest because of their huge commercial potential. Since nodule mining will be destructive, baseline data...
Article
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Over the past decades, three major challenges to marine life have emerged as a consequence of anthropogenic emissions: ocean warming, acidification and oxygen loss. While most experimental research has targeted the first two stressors, the last remains comparatively neglected. Here, we implemented sequential hierarchical mixed-model meta-analyses (...
Article
Ecotones have been described as “biodiversity hotspots” from myriad environments, yet have not been studied extensively in the deep ocean. While physiologically challenging, deep‐water methane seeps host highly productive communities fueled predominantly by chemosynthetic pathways. We hypothesized that the biological and geochemical influence of me...
Article
The maintenance of stormwater biofilter vegetation is conducted under local guidelines, which often include seasonal pruning. However, the effects that pruning has on water quality improvement remain unknown. This study used experimental columns to investigate the effects of pruning on effluent concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and metals whe...
Article
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1. The ocean is the linchpin supporting life on Earth, but it is in declining health due to an increasing footprint of human use and climate change. Despite notable successes in helping to protect the ocean, the scale of actions is simply not now meeting the overriding scale and nature of the ocean's problems that confront us. 2. Moving into a post...
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The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development presents an exceptional opportunity to effect positive change in ocean use. We outline what is required of the deep-sea research community to achieve these ambitious objectives.
Article
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• The ocean is the linchpin supporting life on Earth, but it is in declining health due to an increasing footprint of human use and climate change. Despite notable successes in helping to protect the ocean, the scale of actions is simply not now meeting the overriding scale and nature of the ocean's problems that confront us. • Moving into a post‐C...
Article
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The ocean plays a crucial role in the functioning of the Earth System and in the provision of vital goods and services. The United Nations (UN) declared 2021–2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The Roadmap for the Ocean Decade aims to achieve six critical societal outcomes (SOs) by 2030, through the pursuit of four o...
Chapter
Climate models report that the environmental changes resulting from excess CO 2 and heat absorption by the ocean already reach many deep-ocean margins, basins, and seas. Decadal monitoring programmes have confirmed significant warming and deoxygenation trends down to the abyss, which combine with CO 2 -enriched, more corrosive conditions. Although...
Article
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Studies on the impacts of climate change typically focus on changes to mean conditions. However, animals live in temporally variable environments that give rise to different exposure histories that can potentially affect their sensitivities to climate change. Ocean deoxygenation has been observed in nearshore, upper-slope depths in the Southern Cal...
Article
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Scientific misconceptions are likely leading to miscalculations of the environmental impacts of deep-seabed mining. These result from underestimating mining footprints relative to habitats targeted and poor understanding of the sensitivity, biodiversity, and dynamics of deep-sea ecosystems. Addressing these misconceptions and knowledge gaps is need...
Article
This Review focuses on whether the emerging industry of deep-seabed mining aligns with the sustainable development agenda. We cover motivations for deep-seabed mining, including to source metals for technology that assists with decarbonization, as well as governance issues surrounding the extraction of minerals. Questions of sustainability and ethi...
Article
Gauging oxygen risk and tolerance for the megafauna of the Southern California shelf based on in situ observation, species mobility, and seascape. Oxygen decline poses increasing risks to global shelf communities. This study was conducted to measure species oxygen exposures in situ and to assess risks of low oxygen based on the hypothesis that spec...
Article
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Climate change manifestation in the ocean, through warming, oxygen loss, increasing acidification and changing particulate organic carbon flux (one metric of altered food supplies), is projected to affect most deep‐ocean ecosystems concomitantly with increasing direct human disturbance. Climate drivers will alter deep‐sea biodiversity and associate...
Article
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Deep-sea cold seeps are dynamic sources of methane release and unique habitats supporting ocean biodiversity and productivity. Here, we describe newly discovered animal-bacterial symbioses fueled by methane, between two species of annelid (a serpulid Laminatubus and sabellid Bispira ) and distinct aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the...
Preprint
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Abstract. Studies on the impacts of climate change typically focus on changes to mean conditions. However, animals live in temporally variable environments which give rise to different exposure histories that could affect sensitivities to climate change. Ocean deoxygenation has been observed in nearshore, upper-slope depths in the Southern Californ...
Article
Natural gradient systems can be used to examine the vulnerability of deep-sea com- munities to climate change. The Gulf of California presents an ideal system for examining relation- ships between faunal patterns and environmental conditions of deep-sea communities because deep-sea conditions change from warm and oxygen-rich in the north to cold an...
Article
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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, biodive...
Conference Paper
Under UNGA resolution 61/105, management of fisheries in areas beyond national jurisdiction requires identification of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). Criteria to designate a VME include uniqueness, functional significance, fragility, structural complexity, and certain life history traits. Currently the only quantitative way to assess VME loca...
Article
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The deep sea (>200 m depth) encompasses >95% of the world’s ocean volume and represents the largest and least explored biome on Earth (<0.0001% of ocean surface), yet is increasingly under threat from multiple direct and indirect anthropogenic pressures. Our ability to preserve both benthic and pelagic deep-sea ecosystems depends upon effective eco...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deep-sea methane seeps are dynamic sources of greenhouse gas production and unique habitats supporting ocean biodiversity and productivity. Here, we demonstrate new animal-bacterial symbioses fueled by methane, between two undescribed species of annelid (a serpulid Laminatubus and sabellid Bispira) and distinct methane-oxidizing Methylococcales bac...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea methane seeps are dynamic sources of greenhouse gas production and unique habitats supporting ocean biodiversity and productivity. Here, we demonstrate new animal-bacterial symbioses fueled by methane, between two undescribed species of annelid (a serpulid Laminatubus and sabellid Bispira) and distinct methane-oxidizing Methylococcales bac...
Article
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Multidisciplinary ocean observing activities provide critical ocean information to satisfy ever-changing socioeconomic needs and require coordinated implementation. The upper oxycline (transition between high and low oxygen waters) is fundamentally important for the ecosystem structure and can be a useful proxy for multiple observing objectives con...
Article
As the proportion of the human population living in cities continues to increase, understanding the factors affecting urban biodiversity is crucial to enhancing conservation efforts, urban ecosystem function, and human wellbeing. Here we present the results of the first comparative study of belowground invertebrate communities in urban soils (lawns...
Article
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During a recent research cruise on the continental margin off Costa Rica, we observed many giant agglutinating Xenophyophoroidea (Foraminifera) on both hard and soft substrates. These fist‐sized protists, which occur only below 400 m, are one of the few groups of organis