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Diversity, distribution and composition of abyssal benthic Isopoda in a region proposed for deep-seafloor mining of polymetallic nodules: a synthesis
Kaiser, S.; Christodoulou, M.; Janssen, A.; Kihara, T.C.; Mohrbeck, I.; Pasotti, F.; Schnurr, S.M.; Vink, A.; Arbizu, P.M. (2023). Diversity, distribution and composition of abyssal benthic Isopoda in a region proposed for deep-seafloor mining of polymetallic nodules: a synthesis. Mar. Biodiv. 53(2): 30. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12526-023-01335-2
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616; e-ISSN 1867-1624, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Isopoda [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Kaiser, S.
  • Christodoulou, M.
  • Janssen, A.
  • Kihara, T.C.
  • Mohrbeck, I.
  • Pasotti, F., more
  • Schnurr, S.M.
  • Vink, A.
  • Arbizu, P.M.

    Due to the increasing challenge of meeting human demands for metals from land-based resources, interest in extracting mineral ores from the deep sea has gained momentum in recent years. Targeted mining of deep-seabed minerals could have adverse effects on the associated ecosystems, but knowledge on the biological communities found there, their structure and functions is still limited. The focus of this study is to provide an overview on isopod crustaceans from the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ), an area well-known for its abundance of high-grade polymetallic nodules. Isopods generally comprise an important part of the macrofaunal communities of soft deep-sea sediments and indeed are one of the most dominant macrobenthic groups in the CCFZ. In this review, we have compiled all available data and information on isopod diversity and distribution in the CCFZ in a hybrid manner, which includes published data from the literature as well as the analysis of previously unpublished sources and newly collected data. Although isopods are one of the more prevalent and better-known groups of the CCFZ fauna, this study shows that it is still remarkably difficult to obtain a clear perception of isopod diversity and distribution, as well as the factors that could be responsible for the observed patterns. In many places, knowledge remains incomplete, which is largely due to the low sampling and taxonomic effort, non-standardised sample protocols and the limited taxonomic inter-calibration between studies. The latter is pivotal due to the high proportion of undescribed and presumably new species that typically occur there. An important starting point would therefore be to increase sampling effort and its spatial and temporal coverage in a standardised way, to intensify (integrative) taxonomic work as well as to facilitate sample and data exchange between scientists and contractors. These are fundamental requirements to improve our understanding of the biodiversity of isopods, but also of other faunal groups, in the CCFZ, before mining operations begin.

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