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Marine biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Gordon DP, Beaumont J, MacDiarmid A, Robertson DA, Ahyong ST - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: The above-mentioned marine information sources, published literature, and reports were scrutinized to give the results summarized here for the first time (current to 2010), including data on endemism and invasive species.Marine-taxonomic expertise in New Zealand covers a broad number of taxa but is, proportionately, at or near its lowest level since the Second World War.Threats and protection measures concerning New Zealand's marine biodiversity are commented on, along with potential and priorities for future research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand. d.gordon@niwa.co.nz

ABSTRACT
The marine-biodiversity assessment of New Zealand (Aotearoa as known to Māori) is confined to the 200 nautical-mile boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which, at 4.2 million km(2), is one of the largest in the world. It spans 30 degrees of latitude and includes a high diversity of seafloor relief, including a trench 10 km deep. Much of this region remains unexplored biologically, especially the 50% of the EEZ deeper than 2,000 m. Knowledge of the marine biota is based on more than 200 years of marine exploration in the region. The major oceanographic data repository is the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), which is involved in several Census of Marine Life field projects and is the location of the Southwestern Pacific Regional OBIS Node; NIWA is also data manager and custodian for fisheries research data owned by the Ministry of Fisheries. Related data sources cover alien species, environmental measures, and historical information. Museum collections in New Zealand hold more than 800,000 registered lots representing several million specimens. During the past decade, 220 taxonomic specialists (85 marine) from 18 countries have been engaged in a project to review New Zealand's entire biodiversity. The above-mentioned marine information sources, published literature, and reports were scrutinized to give the results summarized here for the first time (current to 2010), including data on endemism and invasive species. There are 17,135 living species in the EEZ. This diversity includes 4,315 known undescribed species in collections. Species diversity for the most intensively studied phylum-level taxa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Kinorhyncha, Echinodermata, Chordata) is more or less equivalent to that in the ERMS (European Register of Marine Species) region, which is 5.5 times larger in area than the New Zealand EEZ. The implication is that, when all other New Zealand phyla are equally well studied, total marine diversity in the EEZ may be expected to equal that in the ERMS region. This equivalence invites testable hypotheses to explain it. There are 177 naturalized alien species in New Zealand coastal waters, mostly in ports and harbours. Marine-taxonomic expertise in New Zealand covers a broad number of taxa but is, proportionately, at or near its lowest level since the Second World War. Nevertheless, collections are well supported by funding and are continually added to. Threats and protection measures concerning New Zealand's marine biodiversity are commented on, along with potential and priorities for future research.

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The New Zealand region continental mass (Zealandia), seafloor, and Exclusive Economic Zone.Bathymetric contours indicate 250, 1,000, 2,500, and 5000 m. The solid white line shows the boundary of the New Zealand EEZ, the solid black line the EEZs of Australia and island states to the north; the dashed white line indicates the extension to New Zealand's legal continental shelf, and the orange line the agreed Australia/New Zealand boundary under UNCLOS.
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pone-0010905-g001: The New Zealand region continental mass (Zealandia), seafloor, and Exclusive Economic Zone.Bathymetric contours indicate 250, 1,000, 2,500, and 5000 m. The solid white line shows the boundary of the New Zealand EEZ, the solid black line the EEZs of Australia and island states to the north; the dashed white line indicates the extension to New Zealand's legal continental shelf, and the orange line the agreed Australia/New Zealand boundary under UNCLOS.

Mentions: Aotearoa New Zealand is the most oceanic nation of significant size, in the world's largest ocean. Its western coast is 1,600–2,250 km from Australia; it has a land and freshwater area of 268,680 km2, and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of almost 4.2million km2 that spans 30 degrees of latitude and exceeds 15 times the land area (Figure 1). This sea area, large in relation to the majority of the EEZs of the Pacific states (Table 1), constitutes both a huge resource reservoir and a major management and biodiversity-exploration challenge to a country with a population of only 4.3 million people.


Marine biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Gordon DP, Beaumont J, MacDiarmid A, Robertson DA, Ahyong ST - PLoS ONE (2010)

The New Zealand region continental mass (Zealandia), seafloor, and Exclusive Economic Zone.Bathymetric contours indicate 250, 1,000, 2,500, and 5000 m. The solid white line shows the boundary of the New Zealand EEZ, the solid black line the EEZs of Australia and island states to the north; the dashed white line indicates the extension to New Zealand's legal continental shelf, and the orange line the agreed Australia/New Zealand boundary under UNCLOS.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2914018&req=5

pone-0010905-g001: The New Zealand region continental mass (Zealandia), seafloor, and Exclusive Economic Zone.Bathymetric contours indicate 250, 1,000, 2,500, and 5000 m. The solid white line shows the boundary of the New Zealand EEZ, the solid black line the EEZs of Australia and island states to the north; the dashed white line indicates the extension to New Zealand's legal continental shelf, and the orange line the agreed Australia/New Zealand boundary under UNCLOS.
Mentions: Aotearoa New Zealand is the most oceanic nation of significant size, in the world's largest ocean. Its western coast is 1,600–2,250 km from Australia; it has a land and freshwater area of 268,680 km2, and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of almost 4.2million km2 that spans 30 degrees of latitude and exceeds 15 times the land area (Figure 1). This sea area, large in relation to the majority of the EEZs of the Pacific states (Table 1), constitutes both a huge resource reservoir and a major management and biodiversity-exploration challenge to a country with a population of only 4.3 million people.

Bottom Line: The above-mentioned marine information sources, published literature, and reports were scrutinized to give the results summarized here for the first time (current to 2010), including data on endemism and invasive species.Marine-taxonomic expertise in New Zealand covers a broad number of taxa but is, proportionately, at or near its lowest level since the Second World War.Threats and protection measures concerning New Zealand's marine biodiversity are commented on, along with potential and priorities for future research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand. d.gordon@niwa.co.nz

ABSTRACT
The marine-biodiversity assessment of New Zealand (Aotearoa as known to Māori) is confined to the 200 nautical-mile boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which, at 4.2 million km(2), is one of the largest in the world. It spans 30 degrees of latitude and includes a high diversity of seafloor relief, including a trench 10 km deep. Much of this region remains unexplored biologically, especially the 50% of the EEZ deeper than 2,000 m. Knowledge of the marine biota is based on more than 200 years of marine exploration in the region. The major oceanographic data repository is the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), which is involved in several Census of Marine Life field projects and is the location of the Southwestern Pacific Regional OBIS Node; NIWA is also data manager and custodian for fisheries research data owned by the Ministry of Fisheries. Related data sources cover alien species, environmental measures, and historical information. Museum collections in New Zealand hold more than 800,000 registered lots representing several million specimens. During the past decade, 220 taxonomic specialists (85 marine) from 18 countries have been engaged in a project to review New Zealand's entire biodiversity. The above-mentioned marine information sources, published literature, and reports were scrutinized to give the results summarized here for the first time (current to 2010), including data on endemism and invasive species. There are 17,135 living species in the EEZ. This diversity includes 4,315 known undescribed species in collections. Species diversity for the most intensively studied phylum-level taxa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Kinorhyncha, Echinodermata, Chordata) is more or less equivalent to that in the ERMS (European Register of Marine Species) region, which is 5.5 times larger in area than the New Zealand EEZ. The implication is that, when all other New Zealand phyla are equally well studied, total marine diversity in the EEZ may be expected to equal that in the ERMS region. This equivalence invites testable hypotheses to explain it. There are 177 naturalized alien species in New Zealand coastal waters, mostly in ports and harbours. Marine-taxonomic expertise in New Zealand covers a broad number of taxa but is, proportionately, at or near its lowest level since the Second World War. Nevertheless, collections are well supported by funding and are continually added to. Threats and protection measures concerning New Zealand's marine biodiversity are commented on, along with potential and priorities for future research.

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