Fisheries Species Richness
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- Added to the Catalog
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- Water: Life
- Marine Ecosystems
- Species Richness
DescriptionPermalink to Description
Species richness is a count of the number of different species in an ecological community, landscape or region. Species richness is one of several measurements used by scientists to help determine how biologically rich and diverse a given area is. This map shows the predicted global distribution of 1066 commercially harvested marine fish and invertebrates. Areas on the map with brighter colors (orange/yellow) highlight areas with greater number of different species (higher species richness), while cooler colors (purple) areas with lower number of species (lower species richness). The map shows the highest number of different species is concentrated along the coasts. These coastal areas are also where we find our largest marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, mangroves and marshes, which provide food and shelter for economically, culturally, and ecologically important marine species. This stresses the importance of protecting critical habitat along our coasts for marine life and fisheries.
A noticeably rich area on the map is the large area between Australia and Vietnam, which encompasses the Coral Triangle. The Coral Triangle is one of the world's most important marine hotspots for biodiversity and one of the most productive fishing areas in the world. Many nations in this region depend heavily on fisheries for their livelihood and economy, with fisheries accounting for over 90% of protein source in some countries. This dataset includes a triangle layer a presenter can turn on/off that highlights the Coral Triangle area.
Data Source and Analysis: This dataset came from a 2009 peer-reviewed publication: Cheung et al., 2009. The map was created by overlaying predicted species distribution maps of 1066 commercially exploited fisheries species on a 30' by 30' grid world map. These 1066 species represent a wide range of taxonomic groups and account for 70% of the total United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported global fisheries landings from 2000-2004.
Next Generation Science StandardsPermalink to Next Generation Science Standards
Cross-cutting ConceptsPermalink to Cross-cutting Concepts
C2 Cause and Effect. Students routinely identify and test causal relationships and use these relationships to explain change. They understand events that occur together with regularity might or might not signify a cause and effect relationship
C3 Scale Proportion and Quantity. Students recognize natural objects and observable phenomena exist from the very small to the immensely large. They use standard units to measure and describe physical quantities such as weight, time, temperature, and volume.
C4 Systems and System Models. Students can understand that systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems. They can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems. They can also learn that models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.
C2 Cause and Effect. Students understand that empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and to make claims about specific causes and effects. They suggest cause and effect relationships to explain and predict behaviors in complex natural and designed systems. They also propose causal relationships by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system. They recognize changes in systems may have various causes that may not have equal effects.
C3 Scale Proportion and Quantity. Students understand the significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs. They recognize patterns observable at one scale may not be observable or exist at other scales, and some systems can only be studied indirectly as they are too small, too large, too fast, or too slow to observe directly. Students use orders of magnitude to understand how a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale. They use algebraic thinking to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth).
C6 Structures and Functions. Students investigate systems by examining the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and their interconnections to reveal the system’s function and/or solve a problem. They infer the functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of their various materials.
Disciplinary Core IdeasPermalink to Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.A Natural Resources. Energy and fuels humans use are derived from natural sources and their use affects the environment. Some resources are renewable over time, others are not.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. A variety of hazards result from natural processes; humans cannot eliminate hazards but can reduce their impacts.
ESS3.C Human Impact on Earth systems. Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space. Societal activities can also help protect Earth’s resources and environments.
ESS3.D Global Climate Change. If Earth’s global mean temperature continues to rise, the lives of humans and other organisms will be affected in many different ways.
LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. The food of almost any animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants, while decomposers restore some materials back to the soil.
LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience. When the environment changes some organisms survive and reproduce, some move to new locations, some move into the transformed environment, and some die.
LS4.D Biodiversity & Humans. Populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats. Change in those habitats affects the organisms living there
ESS3.A Natural Resources. Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for different resources, many of which are limited or not renewable. Resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region and understanding related geological forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and severe weather.
ESS3.C Human Impact on Earth systems. Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things. Activities and technologies can be engineered to reduce people’s impacts on Earth.
ESS3.D Global Climate Change. Human activities affect global warming. Decisions to reduce the impact of global warming depend on understanding climate science, engineering capabilities, and social dynamics.
LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. Organisms and populations are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors, any of which can limit their growth. Competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems but the patterns are shared.
LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience. Ecosystem characteristics vary over time. Disruptions to any part of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all of its populations. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.
LS4.D Biodiversity & Humans. Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources and ecosystem services they rely on.
ESS3.A Natural Resources. Resource availability has guided the development of human society and use of natural resources has associated costs, risks, and benefits.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. Natural hazards and other geological events have shaped the course of human history at local, regional, and global scales. Human activities can contribute to the frequency and intensity of some natural hazards.
ESS3.C Human Impact on Earth systems. Sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources, including the development of technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.
ESS3.D Global Climate Change. Global climate models used to predict changes continue to be improved, although discoveries about the global climate system are ongoing and continually needed.
LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. Ecosystems have carrying capacities resulting from biotic and abiotic factors. The fundamental tension between resource availability and organism populations affects the abundance of species in any given ecosystem.
LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience. If a biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, including one induced by human activity, the ecosystem may return to its more or less original state or become a very different ecosystem, depending on the complex set of interactions within the ecosystem
LS4.D Biodiversity & Humans. Biodiversity is increased by formation of new species and reduced by extinction. Humans depend on biodiversity but also have adverse impacts on it. Sustaining biodiversity is essential to supporting life on Earth
Notable FeaturesPermalink to Notable Features
- Map shows global distribution of 1066 marine species important for fisheries.
- Greatest number of species (highest species richness) is found along the coasts.
- Large marine ecosystems are mostly concentrated along coastal areas and provide important habitat for marine life and fisheries.
- Coral Triangle, a major marine hotspot for biodiversity, is noticeably rich on this map.
Data SourcePermalink to Data Source
Changing Ocean Research Unit, University of British Colombia, Cheung et al. 2009.