The dataset shows the global patterns of marine biodiversity (species richness) across 13 major species groups ranging from zooplankton to marine mammals (11,567 species in total). These groups include marine zooplankton (foraminifera and euphausiids), plants (mangroves and seagrasses), invertebrates (stony corals, squids and other cephalopods), fishes (coastal fishes, tunas and billfishes, oceanic and non-oceanic sharks), and mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds). Two major patterns emerged from this work: coastal species showed maximum diversity in the Western Pacific, whereas oceanic groups consistently peaked across broad mid-latitudinal bands in all oceans. The findings indicate a fundamental role of temperature in structuring cross-taxon marine biodiversity, and indicate that changes in ocean temperature, in conjunction with other human impacts, may ultimately rearrange the global distribution of life in the ocean.
Tittensor DP, Mora C, Jetz W, Lotze HK, Ricard D, Vanden Berghe E, Worm B (2010). Global patterns and predictors of marine biodiversity across taxa. Nature 466: 1098-1101. doi: 10.1038/nature09329; Data URL: http://data.unep-wcmc.org/datasets/17
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Full Terms and Conditions can be found in the file “TermsConditionsOfUseForDataSources.pdf” distributed with the dataset. Use of the dataset constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. The dataset may not be used for commercial or revenue-generating activities. If working with individual taxa (rather than cross-taxa), consider using the original data sources, as they tend to be of higher spatial resolution. In this case, individual data sources should be credited appropriately (see files “Metadata for Tittensor10Nature_across_taxa.pdf” and “MetadataTittensor10Nature_individual_taxa.pdf” for lists).