Chapter

Spatial Patterns of Species Diversity in the Shallow Marine Invertebrates: Patterns, Processes, and Prospects

Kaustuv Roy and Jon D. Witman

in Marine Macroecology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226904115
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226904146 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226904146.003.0004
Spatial Patterns of Species Diversity in the Shallow Marine Invertebrates: Patterns, Processes, and Prospects

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Species diversity in the ocean changes along both latitude and longitude as well as with depth. The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), with high richness of species and higher taxa in the tropics and declining toward the poles, is considered to be one of the fundamental patterns of biological diversity on the planet. The presence of a latitudinal gradient in taxonomic richness is well established in groups such as marine mollusks, especially in the northern hemisphere, but the trend is less well documented for many other benthic invertebrates. This had led to the obvious question whether a tropical-polar cline in richness is a general pattern in the oceans, especially given the fact that several groups of benthic marine invertebrates show relatively high species richness in the higher latitudes of the southern ocean. It is known that the latitudinal cline in richness holds not just for well-studied invertebrate groups like mollusks but is also present in other groups ranging from crustaceans, bryozoans, epifaunal, invertebrates, and cephalopods to benthic foraminifera, gammaridean amphipods, and sabellid polychaetes.

Keywords: latitudinal diversity gradient; taxonomic richness; local richness; marine communities; regional species; local species; marine invertebrate; southern ocean

Chapter.  8665 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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