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Managing the health of the seafloor

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Frid


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With the oceans covering almost two-thirds of our planet, it is important that we be able to measure whether the seafloor ecosystem is healthy. One way to do this is to create a framework that could reduce the problems of applying "objective based" management to seafloor systems. This paper examines the ability of the available indicators to serve as management targets. Most of the currently available metrics of ecosystem health are only weakly tied to manageable activities. The approach advocated here involves the measurement of some general measures of "health" and the use of targeted assessment of measures of specific human impacts. The former need to be monitored at relatively frequent intervals over the entire area of concern. For seafloor communities, we have some metrics that can perform this role, although there are fewer that directly track manageable activities. Development of these performance metrics is an important challenge for ecologists.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Frid CLJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Year: 2003

Volume: 1

Issue: 8

Pages: 429-436

ISSN (print): 1540-9295

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295(2003)001[0429:MTHOTS]2.0.CO;2