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Marine Biological Diversity: Conserving Life in the Neglected Ninety-Nine Percent

  • Elliott A. Norse
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Abstract

Marine conservation biology is a synthesis whose time has come. As a marine scientist striving to promote the development of this new science, I have taken as a model the multidisciplinary science of terrestrial conservation biology, a growing scientific field that has made an enormous contribution toward resolving complex questions that traditional disciplinary approaches had shed little light on. For example, before the advent of conservation biology, traditionally trained silviculturalists could inform us on yields of board-feet of timber, but they could not tell us about the demography of spotted owls or describe the relationship between owl populations and the distribution of trees. Likewise, landscape ecologists could look at patterns of landscape features but they could not explain how those patterns reflected the genetics of tree populations. Such phenomena seemed to be unrelated until terrestrial conservation biology brought together zoologists and botanists, pure scientists and applied scientists, and natural scientists and social scientists. As a synthetic science, conservation biology has achieved a great deal for land conservation in the United States and elsewhere. Marine conservation biology is about twenty years behind conservation biology on land, but hopefully this fledgling discipline will catch up and make contributions on a similar scale in the marine realm.

Keywords

Conservation Biology Killer Whale Bluefin Tuna Green Crab Marine Biodiversity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Estes, J.A., M.T. Tinker, T.M. Williams, and D.F. Doak. 1998. Killer whale predation on sea otters linking coastal with oceanic ecosystems. Science 282:473-476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Norse, Elliott. 1989. Global Marine Biological Diversity: A Strategy for Building Conservation into Decision Making. Center for Marine Conservation.Google Scholar
  3. Safina, Carl. 1980. Song for the Blue Ocean. Henry Holt and Co., New York.Google Scholar
  4. Watling, L., and E.A. Norse. 1998. Disturbance of the seabed by mobile fishing gear: A comparison to forest clearcutting. Conserv. Biol. 12: 1180-1197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elliott A. Norse
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Conservation Biology InstituteRedmondUSA

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