Skip to main content
×
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This (lowercase (translateProductType product.productType)) has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Vikas, M. and Dwarakish, G.S. 2015. Coastal Pollution: A Review. Aquatic Procedia, Vol. 4, Issue. , p. 381.

    ×
  • Print publication year: 1997
  • Online publication date: August 2010

Foreword: The value of diversity

Summary

The current debate about the diversity of life is relatively new. That on marine biodiversity has hardly started. It has been created not by some new appreciation of the marvels of nature – would that it were – but by the evident destruction of the natural world as we and our ancestors have known it. When discussion of an international treaty on biodiversity began, there were many who asked why we should worry, or who gave it low priority in comparison with such problems as human poverty or the hazards of climate change. The answers are both simple and complex.

Change and its impact

The sea is our mother and father. All life comes from it. It is still far richer in major groupings of animals than the land: of 34 animal phyla, 29 occur in the sea, and 14 of them only in the sea. The complexity of its species and ecosystems is immense. Yet, as on land, we are engaged in a process of extinguishing populations and ecosystems at something like 1000 times the natural rate. Globally, the present rate of species extinction is comparable to the extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago when the long dominance of the dinosaurs came to an end.

How is it that one animal species – our own – could have had such destructive effects on others?

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Marine Biodiversity
  • Online ISBN: 9780511752360
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511752360
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×