The deep-sea under global change.

Danovaro, Roberto, Corinaldesi, Cinzia, Dell’Anno, Antonio and Snelgrove, Paul V.R. (2017) The deep-sea under global change. Current Biology, 27 (11). R461-R465. DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.046.

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The deep ocean encompasses 95% of the oceans’ volume and is the largest and least explored biome of Earth’s Biosphere. New life forms are continuously being discovered. The physiological mechanisms allowing organisms to adapt to extreme conditions of the deep ocean (high pressures, from very low to very high temperatures, food shortage, lack of solar light) are still largely unknown. Some deep-sea species have very long life-spans, whereas others can tolerate toxic compounds at high concentrations; these characteristics offer an opportunity to explore the specialized biochemical and physiological mechanisms associated with these responses. Widespread symbiotic relationships play fundamental roles in driving host functions, nutrition, health, and evolution. Deep-sea organisms communicate and interact through sound emissions, chemical signals and bioluminescence. Several giants of the oceans hunt exclusively at depth, and new studies reveal a tight connection between processes in the shallow water and some deep-sea species. Limited biological knowledge of the deep-sea limits our capacity to predict future response of deep-sea organisms subject to increasing human pressure and changing global environmental conditions. Molecular tools, sensor-tagged animals, in situ and laboratory experiments, and new technologies can enable unprecedented advancement of deep-sea biology, and facilitate the sustainable management of deep ocean use under global change.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.046
ISSN: 0960-9822
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 08:21
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 08:21

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