Oceanus

This magazine provides research, news and features in oceanography, coastal research, marine life, deep-ocean exploration, ocean technology and policy and the ocean's role in climate.

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 2, Fall-Winter

Diversity in a Vast and Stable Habitat: Midwater Is One of Earth's Least Explored Environments
The waters of the world ocean, from the surface to the deepest reaches of the bottom trenches, have a total volume of about 1.4 billion cubic kilometers, more than 99 percent of Earth's biosphere. Only about 150 years ago, biologists were convinced that...
Diversity - Nature's Insurance Policy against Catastrophe
Most of us don't give a second thought to squashing a mosquito, especially one that has just bitten us. And we may say the world would be better off without the pesky things. But would it? Is all of life on earth a web of life? Is each part diminished...
Estimating Biodiversity: Calculating Unseen Richness
Understanding the abundance and distribution of species is arguably the central challenge facing modern ecologists. The importance of this challenge is heightened by the recognition that the degradation or loss of natural habitat to economic development...
Marine Mammal Biodiversity
Three Diverse Orders Encompass 119 Species Marine mammals - species that spend much of their time in the water - are descended from terrestrial ancestors and have evolved many interesting adaptations to their aquatic habitat. Thick layers of blubber,...
New Insights on Marine Bacterial Diversity: Molecular Techniques Complement Culturing
One of the scientifically most important and challenging areas in biology today is the diversity of bacteria inhabiting the earth. Bacteria, generally described as single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus (hence the term "prokaryotic" or prenucleus)...
Probing Biodiversity: Molecular Techniques Offer Powerful New Tools
Marine and terrestrial ecosystems are fundamentally similar in many ways. Photosynthetic organisms on land and in the sea produce plant material that is utilized as food by herbivorous animals, which in turn are preyed upon by carnivorous animals to...
The Deep Sea: Desert and Rainforest
Debunking the Desert Analogy The title of this article may surprise some and offend others, but we chose it to highlight a common misconception. In sources ranging from the popular press to university textbooks, the deep sea is often likened to a desert...
The Workshop Experience: From Chaos to Consensus
How do 54 individuals agree on a perplexing set of intricate and complex issues in marine biodiversity? They don't. For three days in May 1994, marine ecologists, molecular biologists, systematists, oceanographers, population biologists, and microbiologists...
Understanding Marine Biodiversity: A Research Agenda for the Nation
The biological diversity of the world ocean is subject to unprecedented alterations that are largely due to potentially irreversible effects of human activities. What do we know about the pattern and scale of these changes, and how are they altering...
What of the Deep Sea's Future Diversity?
Given that we now know that the deep sea is a tremendously diverse habitat, how should we treat this environment in the future? In many respects, deep-sea ecosystems are among the most pristine and least-threatened habitats on earth. Despite the fact...