Biodiversity and Species Abundance

Understanding patterns in biological diversity (biodiversity) is a fundamental challenge in biological oceanography and marine ecology. Changes in biodiversity have significant consequences for a variety of food web and biogeochemical processes. During their operations, ocean observatories such as NEPTUNE collect thousands of hours of video of deep-sea benthic (i.e. sea bottom) environments. NEPTUNE videos provide a significant opportunity to improve our understanding of how biodiversity varies in the benthic region of the ocean, and how physical factors such as substrate type or temperature influence the distribution of animals in these regions. During this laboratory assignment, students will describe patterns of biodiversity in each of the locations within the NEPTUNE observatory: Folger Passage, Barkely Canyon Upper Slope, Barkley Canyon Axis, Clayoquot Slope, Cascadia Basin and Endeavour, and to explore which environmental metric best predicts this diversity: water temperature, bottom depth, or substrate type.

Red Jelly

Grade Level

  • Undergraduate


Author Name: 

Maia Hoeberechts

Updated Date

Aug 9, 2016 10:18am PDT

Created Date

May 26, 2014 10:32am PDT