Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 32 Issue 02

View Issue TOC
Volume 32, No. 2
Pages 170 - 180

ROGER REVELLE COMMEMORATIVE LECTURE • Sustainability in Deep Water: The Challenges of Climate Change, Human Pressures, and Biodiversity Conservation

Lisa A. Levin
First Paragraph

Why Focus on Deep Water? The ocean covers 71% of our planet, but few people realize that most of the ocean consists of deep water, with an average depth of 3,800 m (nearly 2.4 miles). Because of their great depth, deep-ocean waters (below 200 m) represent over 95% of the volume on Earth that is habitable for animal life as we know it. This realm, largely out of sight and poorly explored, remains one of planet Earth’s final frontiers. 

Citation

Levin, L.A. 2019. Sustainability in deep water: The challenges of climate change, human pressures, and biodiversity conservation. Oceanography 32(2):170–180, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2019.224.

References

Armstrong, C.W., N.S. Foley, R. Tinch, and S. van den Hove. 2012. Services from the deep: Steps towards valuation of deep sea goods and services. Ecosystem Services 2:2–13, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.ecoser.2012.07.001.

Bianchi, D., E.D. Galbraith, D.A Carozza, K.A.S. Mislan, and C.A. Stock. 2013. Intensification of open-ocean oxygen depletion by vertically migrating animals. Nature Geoscience 6:545–548, https://doi.org/​10.1038/ngeo1837.

Blasiak, R., J.B. Jouffray, C.C.C. Wabnitz, E. Sunderson, and H. Osterblom. 2018. Corporate control and global governance of marine genetic resources. Science Advances 4(6):eaar5237, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aar5237.

Breitburg, D., L.A. Levin, A. Oschlies, M. Gregoire, F.P. Chavez, D.J. Conley, V. Garcon, D. Gilbert, D. Gutierrez, K. Isensee, and others. 2018. Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters. Science 359(6371), https://doi.org/​10.1126/science.aam7240.

Buhl-Mortensen, L., A. Vanreusel, A.J. Gooday, L.A. Levin, I.G. Priede, P. Buhl-Mortensen, H. Gheerardyn, N.J. King, and M. Raes. 2010. Biological structures as a source of habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity on the deep ocean margins. Marine Ecology 31:21–50, https://doi.org/​10.1111/j.1439-0485.2010.00359.x.

Cho, H., K.-H. Kim, S.K. Son, and J.-H. Hyun. 2018. Fine-scale microbial communities associated with manganese nodules in deep-sea sediment of the Korea deep ocean study area in the Northeast Equatorial Pacific. Ocean Science Journal 53(2):337353, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12601-018-0032-0.

Choy, C.A., S.H.D. Haddock, and B.H. Robison. 2017. Deep pelagic food web structure as revealed by in situ feeding observations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2116.

Clark, M.R., F. Althaus, T.A. Schlacher, A. Williams, D.A. Bowden, and A.A. Rowden. 2015. The impacts of deep-sea fisheries on benthic communities: A review. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73:i51–i59, https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv123.

Clark, M.R., D.A. Bowden, A.A. Rowden, and R. Stewart. 2019. Little evidence of benthic community resilience to bottom trawling on seamounts after 15 years. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:63, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00063.

Cordes, E.E., D.O.B. Jones, T.A. Schlacher, D.J. Amon, A.F. Bernardino, S. Brooke, R. Carney, D.M. DeLeo, K.M. Dunlop, E.G. Escobar-Briones, and others. 2016. Environmental impacts of the deep-water oil and gas industry: A review to guide management strategies. Frontiers in Environmental Science 4:58, https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2016.00058.

Crosby, C.H., and J.V. Bailey. 2012. The role of microbes in the formation of modern and ancient phosphatic mineral deposits. Frontiers in Microbiology 3:241, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2012.00241.

Cuyvers, L., W. Berry, K. Gjerde, T. Thiele, and C. Wilhelm. 2018. Deep Seabed Mining: A Rising Environmental Challenge. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 88 pp.

Denys de Montfort, P. 1801. Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des mollusques: animaux sans vertèbres et a sang blanc. v. 2, http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/35755564.

Doonan, I.J., D. Fu, and M.R. Dunn. 2015. Harvest control rules for a sustainable orange roughy fishery. Deep Sea Research Part I 98:53–61, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.dsr.2014.12.001.

Dubilier, N., C. Bergin, and C. Lott. 2008. Symbiotic diversity in marine animals: The art of harnessing chemosynthesis. Nature Reviews Microbiology 6:725–740, https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro1992.

Dunn, D.C., C. Van Dover, R.J. Etter, C. Smith, L.A. Levin, T. Morato, A. Colaço, A. Dale, A.V. Gebruk, K.M. Gjerde, and others. 2018. A strategy for the conservation of biodiversity on mid-ocean ridges from deep-sea mining. Science Advances 4(7):eaar4313, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aar4313.

FAO. 2019. Deep-Ocean Climate Change Impacts on Habitat, Fish and Fisheries. Levin, L., M. Baker, and A. Thompson, eds. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 638, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 186 pp.

Folkerson, J.V., C.M. Fleming, and S. Hasan. 2018. The economic value of the deep sea: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Marine Policy 94:71–80, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.05.003.

Fox, A.D., L.-A. Henry, D.W. Corne, and J.M. Roberts. 2016. Sensitivity of marine protected area network connectivity to atmospheric variability. Royal Society Open Science 3(11):160494, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160494.

Gallo, N.D., L.A. Levin, J. Cameron, K. Hardy, P. Fryer, and D.H. Bartlett. 2015. Submersible and lander-​observed community patterns in the Mariana and New Britain Trenches: Influence of productivity and depth on benthic community structure. Deep Sea Research Part I 99:119–133, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.dsr.2014.12.012.

Gallo, N.D., L.A. Levin, M. Beckwith, and J.P. Barry. 2018. Home sweet suboxic home: Remarkable hypoxia tolerance in two demersal fish species in the Gulf of California. Ecology 100(3):e02539, https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2539.

Gehlen, M., R. Séférian, D.O.B. Jones, T. Roy, R. Roth, J. Barry, L. Bopps, S.C. Doney, J.P. Dunne, C. Heinze, and others. 2014. Projected pH reductions by 2100 might put deep North Atlantic biodiversity at risk. Biogeosciences 11(23):6,955–6,967, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-6955-2014.

Glecker, P.J., P.J. Durack, R.J. Stouffer, G.C. Johnson, and C.E. Forest. 2016. Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades. Nature Climate Change 6:394–398, https://doi.org/​10.1038/nclimate2915.

Gollner, S., S. Kaiser, L. Menzel, D.O.B. Jones, A. Brown, N.C. Mestre, D. van Oevelen, L. Menot, A. Colaço, M. Canals, and others. 2017. Resilience of benthic deep-sea fauna to mining activities. Marine Environmental Research 129:76–101, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.04.010.

Gruber, D.C., B.R. Carter, R.A. Feely, S. van Heuven, M. Hoppema, M. Ishii, R.M. Key, A. Kozyr, S.K. Lauvset, C. Lo Monaco, and others. 2019. The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2 from 1994 to 2007. Science 363(6432):1,193–1,199, https://doi.org/​10.1126/science.aau5153.

Hennige, S.J., L.C. Wicks, N.A. Kamenos, G. Perna, H.S. Findlay, and J.M. Roberts. 2015. Hidden impacts of ocean acidification to live and dead coral framework. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20150990, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0990.

Johnson, D.E., M.A. Ferreira, and E.L. Kenchington. 2018. Climate change is likely to severely limit the effectiveness of deepsea ABMTs in the North Atlantic. Marine Policy 87:111–122, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.marpol.2017.09.034.

Johnson, D.E., and E.L. Kenchington. 2019. Should potential for climate change refugia be mainstreamed into the criteria for describing EBSAs? Conservation Letters 2019:e12634, https://doi.org/​10.1111/conl.12634.

Jochum, K.P., J.A. Schuessler, X.-H. Wang, B. Stoll, U. Weis, W.E.G. Müller, G.H. Haug, M.O. Andrea, and P.N. Froelich. 2017. Whole-ocean changes in silica and Ge/Si ratios during the last deglacial deduced from long-lived giant glass sponges. Geophysical Research Letters 44:11,555–11,564, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL073897.

Jones, D.O.B., A. Yool, C.-L. Wei, S.A. Henson, H.A. Ruhl, R.A. Watson, and M. Gehlen. 2014. Global reductions in seafloor biomass in response to climate change. Global Change Biology 20:1,861–1,872, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12480.

Koslow, A.J. 2007. The Silent Deep. University of Chicago Press, 270 pp.

Le, J.T., L.A. Levin, and R.T. Carson. 2017. Incorporating ecosystem services into environmental management of deep seabed mining. Deep Sea Research Part II 137:486–503, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.dsr2.2016.08.007.

Levin, L.A. 2018. Manifestation, drivers, and emergence of open ocean deoxygenation. Annual Review of Marine Science 10:229–260, https://doi.org/​10.1146/​annurev-​marine-121916-​063359.

Levin, L.A., V.J. Orphan, G.W. Rouse, W. Ussler, A.E. Rathburn, G.S. Cook, S. Goffredi, E. Perez, A. Waren, B. Grupe, and others. 2012. A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: Middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279:2,580–2,588, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.0205.

Levin, L.A., W. Ziebis, G.F. Mendoza, V.J. Bertics, T. Washington, J. Gonzalez, A.R. Thurber, B. Ebbe, and R.W. Lee. 2013. Ecological release and niche partitioning under stress: Lessons from dorvilleid polychaetes in sulfidic sediments at methane seeps. Deep Sea Research Part II 92:214–233, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.02.006.

Levin, L.A., and N. Le Bris. 2015. The deep ocean under climate change. Science 350:766–768, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad0126.

Levin, L.A., K. Mengerink, K.M. Gjerde, A.A. Rowden, C.L. Van Dover, M.R. Clark, E. Ramirez-Llodra, B. Currie, C.R. Smith, K.N. Sato, and others. 2016. Defining “serious harm” to the marine environment in the context of deep-seabed mining. Marine Policy 74:245–259, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.marpol.2016.09.032.

Levin, L.A, B.J. Bett, A.R. Gates, P. Heimbach, B.M. Howe, F. Janssen, A. McCurdy, H.A. Ruhl, P. Snelgrove, K.I. Stocks, and others. 2019. Global observational needs in the deep ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:241, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00241.

Mahon, B.P., A. Bhatt, D. Vulla, C.T. Supuran, R. McKenna. 2015. Exploration of anionic inhibition of the α-carbonic anhydrase from Thiomicrospira crunogena XCL-2 gammaproteobacterium: A potential bio-catalytic agent for industrial CO2 removal. Chemical Engineering Science 138:575–580, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.ces.2015.07.030.

Marietou, A., R. Chastain, F. Beulig, A. Scoma, T.C. Hazen, and D.H. Bartlett. 2018. The effect of hydrostatic pressure on enrichments of hydrocarbon degrading microbes from the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:808, https://doi.org/​10.3389/fmicb.2018.00808.

Marlow, J.J., J.A. Steele, W. Ziebis, A.R. Thurber, L.A. Levin, and V.J. Orphan. 2014. Carbonate-hosted methanotrophy represents an unrecognized methane sink in the deep sea. Nature Communications 5:5094, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6094.

McMullin, E.R., D.C. Bergquist, and C.R. Fisher. 2007. Metazoans in extreme environments: Adaptations of hydrothermal vent and hydrocarbon seep fauna. Gravitational and Space Biology Bulletin 13(2):13–23.

Mero, J. 1965. The Mineral Resources of the Sea. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Merrie, A., D.C. Dunn, M. Metian, A.M. Boustany, Y. Takei, A.O. Elferink, Y. Ota, V. Christensen, P.N. Halpin, and H. Österblom. 2014. An ocean of surprises: Trends in human use, unexpected dynamics and governance challenges in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Global Environmental Change 27:19–31, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.gloenvcha.2014.04.012.

Mislan, K.A.S., C.A. Deutsch, T.W. Brill, and J.P. Dunne. 2017. Projections of climate-driven changes in tuna vertical habitat based on species-specific differences in blood oxygen affinity. Global Change Biology 23:4,019–4,028, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13799.

Morato, T., R. Watson, T.J. Pitcher, and D. Pauly. 2006. Fishing down the deep. Fish and Fisheries 7:24–34, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2979.2006.00205.x.

Morelli, T.L., C. Daly, S.Z. Dobrowski, D.M. Dulen, J.L. Ebersole, S.T. Jackson, J.D. Lundquist, C.I. Miller, S.P. Maher, W.B. Monahan, and others. 2016. Managing climate change refugia for climate adaptation. PLoS ONE 11(8):e0159909, https://doi.org/​10.1371/journal.pone.0159909.

Netburn, A.N., and J.A. Koslow. 2015. Dissolved oxygen as a constraint on daytime deep scattering layer depth in the southern California current ecosystem. Deep Sea Research Part I 104:149–158, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2015.06.006.

Niner, H., J.A. Ardron, E.G. Escobar, M. Gianni, A. Jaeckel, D.O.B. Jones, L.A. Levin, C.R. Smith, T. Thiele, P.J. Turner, and others. 2018. Deep-sea mining with no net loss of biodiversity: An impossible aim. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:53, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00053.

Norse, E.A., S. Brooke, W.W.L. Cheung, M.R. Clark, I. Ekeland, R. Froese, K.M. Gjerde, R.L. Haedrich, S.S. Heppell, T. Morato, and others. 2012. Sustainability of deep-sea fisheries. Marine Policy 36:307–320, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.marpol.2011.06.008.

Prince, E.D., and C.P. Goodyear. 2007. Consequences of ocean scale hypoxia constrained habitat for tropical pelagic fishes. Gulf and Caribbean Research 19:17–20, https://doi.org/10.18785/gcr.1902.04.

Queiros, A.M., K.B. Huebert, F. Keyl, J.A. Fernandes, W. Stolte, M. Maar, S. Kay, M.C. Jones, K. Hamon, G. Hendriksen, and others. 2016. Solutions for ecosystem-level protection of ocean systems under climate change. Global Change Biology 22(12):3,927–3,936, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13423.

Ramirez-Llodra, E., A. Brandt, R. Danovaro, E. Escobar, C.R. German, L.A. Levin, P. Martinez Arbizu, L. Menot, P. Buhl-Mortensen, B.E. Narayanaswamy, and others. 2010. Deep, diverse and definitely different: Unique attributes of the world’s largest ecosystem. Biogeosciences 7:2,851–2,899, https://doi.org/​10.5194/​bg-7-2851-2010.

Ramirez-Llodra, E., P.A. Tyler, M.C. Baker, O.A. Bergstad, M.R. Clark, E. Escobar, L.A. Levin, L. Menot, A.A. Rowden, C.R. Smith, and C.L. Van Dover. 2011. Man and the last great wilderness: Human impact on the deep sea. PLOS One 6(8):e22588, https://doi.org/10.1371/​journal.pone.0022588.

Ren, A.S., F. Chai, H. Xue, D.M. Anderson, and F.P. Chavez. 2018. A sixteen-year decline in dissolved oxygen in the Central California Current. Scientific Reports 8:7290, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-25341-8.

Ressurreição, A., J. Gibbons, T.P. Dentinho, M. Kaiser, R.S. Santos, and G. Edwards-Jones. 2011. Economic valuation of species loss in the open sea. Ecological Economics 70(4):729–739, https://doi.org/​10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.11.009.

Roark, E.B., T.P. Guilderson, R.B. Dunbar, S.J. Fallon, and D.A. Mucciarone. 2009. Extreme longevity in proteinaceous deep-sea corals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106:5,204–5,208, https://doi.org/​10.1073/pnas.0810875106.

Salinas-de-León, P., B. Phillips, D. Ebert, M. Shivji, F. Cerutti-Pereyra, C. Ruck, C.R. Fisher, and L. Marsh. 2018. Deep-sea hydrothermal vents as natural egg-case incubators at the Galapagos Rift. Scientific Reports 8:1788, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20046-4.

Sanders, H.L., and R.R. Hessler. 1969. Ecology of the deep-sea benthos. Science 163:1,419–1,424, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.163.3874.1419.

Schmidtko, S., L. Stramma, and M. Visbeck. 2017. Decline in global oceanic oxygen content during the past five decades. Nature 542:335–339, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21399.

Sen, A., T. Himmler, W.L. Hong, C. Chitkara, R.W. Lee, B. Ferré, A. Lepland, and J. Knies. 2019. Atypical biological features of a new cold seep site on the Lofoten-Vesterålen continental margin (northern Norway). Scientific Reports 9:1762, https://doi.org/​10.1038/s41598-018-38070-9.

Smith, C.R., F.C. De Leo, A.F. Bernardino, A.K. Sweetman, and P.M. Arbizu. 2008. Abyssal food limitation, ecosystem structure and climate change. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 23:518–528, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2008.05.002.

Sperling, E.A., C.A. Frieder, and L.A. Levin. 2016. Biodiversity response to natural gradients of multiple stressors on continental margins. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283:20160637, https://doi.org/​10.1098/rspb.2016.0637.

Stramma, L., S. Schmidt, L.A. Levin, and G.C. Johnson. 2010. Ocean oxygen minima expansions and their biological impacts. Deep Sea Research Part I 210:587–595, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.dsr.2010.01.005.

Sutton, T. 2013. Vertical ecology of the pelagic ocean: Classical patterns and new perspectives. Journal of Fish Biology 83:1,508–1,527, https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12263.

Sweetman, A.K., A.R. Thurber, C.R. Smith, L.A. Levin, C. Mora, C.-L. Wei, A. Gooday, D.O.B. Jones, M. Rex, M. Yasuhara, and others. 2017. Major impacts of climate change on deep seafloor ecosystems. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 5:4, https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.203.

Teske, A. 2019. Hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities in natural oil seeps. Pp. 1–31 in Microbial Communities Utilizing Hydrocarbons and Lipids: Members, Metagenomics and Ecophysiology. Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology series, T.J. McGenity, ed., Springer, https://doi.org/​10.1007/978-3-319-60063-5_3-1.

Thompson, K.F., K.A. Miller, D. Currie, P. Johnston, and D. Santillo. 2018. Seabed mining and approaches to governance of the deep seabed. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:480, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00480.

Thurber, A.R., A.K. Sweetman, B.E. Narayanaswamy, D.O.B. Jones, J. Ingels, and R.L. Hansman. 2014. Ecosystem function and services provided by the deep sea. Biogeosciences 11:3,941–3,963, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-3941-2014.

Treude, T., S. Kiel, P. Linke, J. Peckmann, and J.L. Goedert. 2011. Elasmobranch egg capsules associated with modern and ancient cold seeps: A nursery for marine deep-water predators. Marine Ecology Progress Series 437:175–181, https://doi.org/​10.3354/meps09305.

Van Dover, C.L., J.A. Ardron, E. Escobar, M. Gianni, K.M. Gjerde, A. Jaeckel, D. Jones, L.A. Levin, H. Niner, L. Pendleton, and others. 2017. Biodiversity loss from deep-sea mining. Nature Geoscience 10:464–465, https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2983.

Verne, Jules. 1871. Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). J. Hetzel, Paris.

Watson, R.A., and T. Morato. 2013. Fishing down the deep: Accounting for within-species changes in depth of fishing. Fisheries Research 140:63–65, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2012.12.004.

Wisher, K.F., D.M. Outram, B.A. Seibel, K.L. Daly.and R.L. Williams. 2013. Zooplankton in the eastern tropical north Pacific: Boundary effects of oxygen minimum zone expansion. Deep Sea Research 79:122–140, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.dsr.2013.05.012.

Wüstemann, H., A. Bonn, C. Albert, C. Bertram, L. Biber-Freudenberger, A. Dehnhardt, R. Döring, P. Elsasser, V. Hartje, D. Mehl, and others. 2017. Synergies and trade-offs between nature conservation and climate policy: Insights from the “Natural Capital Germany – TEEB DE” study. Ecosystem Services 24:187–199, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.ecoser.2017.02.008.

Yang, K., H. Park, S.-K. Son, H. Baik, K. Park, J. Kim, J. Yoon, C.H. Park, and J. Kim. 2019. Electron microscopy study on the formation of ferromanganese crusts, western Pacific Magellan Seamounts. Marine Geology 410:32–41, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.margeo.2019.01.001.