The biological composition and richness of most of the Earth's major ecosystems are being dramatically and irreversibly transformed by anthropogenic activity. Yet, despite the vast areal extent of our oceans, the mainstay of research to-date in the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning arena has been weighted towards ecological observations and experimentation in terrestrial plant and soil systems. This book provides a framework for examining the mechanistic processes transferable to marine systems.
Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning is the first book to address the latest advances in biodiversity-function science using marine examples. It brings together contributions from the leading scientists in the field to provide an in-depth evaluation of the science, before offering a perspective on future research directions for some of the most pressing environmental issues facing society today and in the future.
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Martin Solan is a marine benthic ecologist with broad interests in understanding biodiversity-environment interactions and the ecosystem consequences of altered diversity and environmental change. A key component of his research has been the development of in situ marine technology for the observation of organism-sediment relations, enabling changes in invertebrate behaviour to be related to environmental conditions at the temporal and spatial scales at which these key benthic processes occur. These techniques are instrumental in understanding the contribution of past and present benthic communities to ecosystem functioning and informed subsequent design of complex manipulative laboratory and field experiments in benthic systems to understand the ecological consequences of species loss. In establishing this area of research, he has been influential in modifying approaches originally developed in terrestrial grassland systems for marine benthic environments.
Beccy Aspden is currently a post doctoral research assistant at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She graduated from the University Plymouth in 2000 with a BSc in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology. During August 2000 she carried out an internship at the Alfred Wegner Institute in Sylt, Germany, studying the effects of a tube building polychaete reef on the sediment and faunal diversities within and surrounding it. During the next 12 months she worked for a marine and freshwater consultancy agency (Unicomarine Ltd), during which she undertook the identification of invertebrate fauna found within samples taken for various contracts. These contracts included port development and dredging, coastal protection, fishery studies, and habitat surveys. Dr Aspden joined the Sediment Ecology Research Group (University St Andrews) in 2001 to complete her Ph.D.
David Paterson is Head of the School of Biology at the University of St. Andrews and Director of the Sediment Ecology Research Group. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Bath in 1984 and was a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Bristol until moving to St Andrews. Professor Paterson has over 100 peer reviewed publications in the field of coastal ecology and dynamics and has interests in biodiversity, the ecology and dynamics of coastal depositional systems, ecosystem function and biofilm ecology.
This book covers all you ever needed and/or wanted to know about biodiversity, and more specifically about the relationship between diversity and how the ecosystem functions in the marine environment. I will highly recommend this book in its entirety to students, perticularly at postgraduate level, as well as researchers and practitioners with an interest and background in the field.
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