Some general trends

  • Siebrecht van der Spoel
  • Robert Pieter Heyman


The marine environment is the only uninterrupted, internally moving, three-dimensional environment. Uninterrupted means that, in principle, each organism can reach all places in this environment; internally moving means that inactive organisms are constantly subjected to transport; three-dimensional implies that populations and migratory movements are also three-dimensional. With regard to dispersal these three factors are unique. The marine environment, sea-water throughout, is uniform, relatively stable and isolated from other biotopes. Thus, the selective pressure is rather unvariable in Space; and stable means that it is not very variable in time either, while the isolated Position means that influences, biotic as well as abiotic, from other surrounding biotopes, do not affect the marine fauna. The dominant ecological features which nevertheless shape the distributions in the oceans, are the currents, the temperature, the food web and the interaction of species, and it is also these features which give shape to the communities.


Indian Ocean Splitting Point Subtropical Convergence Polytypic Species Water Taxon 
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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siebrecht van der Spoel
    • 1
  • Robert Pieter Heyman
  1. 1.Institute of Taxonomic ZoologyAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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