Environmentalist

, Volume 2, Issue 1–2, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Ocean trench conservation

  • M. V. Angel
Article

Abstract

Considerable concern has been recently expressed in conservation circles about the potential threat to oceanic trench ecosystems. Here, the geological origin in environmental characteristics and biological significance of the trenches are reviewed.

Each trench provides a unique and isolated habitat, consequently endemicity has been found to be high at the specific level in each trench that has been adequately studied. However, the remoteness from primary food sources greatly reduces the richness of the fauna.

The physical instability of trench habitats deriving from their high level of seismic activity, will result in the organisms being pre-adapted to mechanical disturbance. The main threats are either direct through poisoning by toxic chemicals or indirect through the decoupling of the trench habitat from its primary food source, or reduction in oxygen levels caused either by eutrophication or reduction in flushing rates.

Only direct threats are considered as being at all dangerous, and any incident would be restricted to a single trench system. these threats could be reduced by rerouting vessels carrying toxic cargoes and by improving the effectiveness of the London Dumping Convention.

The internationally agreed criteria for the selection of sites for any proposed seabed disposal of radioactive waste exclude the use of trenches for this purpose.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, R. D. (1979)Nuclear Waste Disposal in Subseabed Geologic Formations: The Seabed Disposal Program. Sandia Report 78-2211, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 31 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Angel, M. V. and Baker, A. de C. (in press). Vertical distribution of the standing crop of plankton and microneckton at three stations in the Northeast Atlantic.Biological Oceanography.Google Scholar
  3. Baird, R. C., Wilson, D. F. and Milliken, O. M. (1973) Observations onBregmaceros nectabanus Whitley in the anoxic sulfurous water the the Cariaco Trench.Deep-Sea Res., 20, pp. 503–4.Google Scholar
  4. Belyaev, G. M. (1972)Hadal Bottom Fauna of the World Ocean. Instituta Okeanology Nauk Moscow: Israel Programme of Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, Israel: 281 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Broecker, W. S., Takahashi, T. and Stuiver, M. (1980) Hydrography of the central Atlantic, II: Waters beneath the twodegree discontinuity.Deep-Sea Res., 27 (6A), pp. 397–420.Google Scholar
  6. Boss, K. J. and Turner R. D. (1980) The giant White Clam from the Galapagos Rift,Calyoptogena magnifica species novum.Malacologia, 20, (1), pp. 161–94.Google Scholar
  7. Cohen, B. (1980) Ocean dumping of high-level waste—an acceptable solution we can ‘guarantee’.Nuclear Technology, 47, pp. 163–72.Google Scholar
  8. Edmond, J. M. (1981) Hydrothermal activity at mid-ocean ridge axes.Nature (London),290, pp. 87–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Embley, R. W. and Jacobi, R. D. (1977) distribution and morphology of large sediment slides and slumps on Atlantic continental margins.Mar. Geotech., 2, pp. 205–28.Google Scholar
  10. Enright, J. T., Newman, W. A., Hessler R. R. and McGowan, J. A. (1981) Deep-ocean hydrothermal vent communities.Nature (London)289, pp. 219–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Foster, G. R. (1964) Line-fishing on the continental slope.J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K., 44, pp. 277–84.Google Scholar
  12. Frankenberg, D. and Menzies, R. J. (1968) some quantitative analyses of deep-sea benthos of Peru.Deep-Sea Res., 15, pp. 623–6.Google Scholar
  13. Grassle, J. F. (1977) Slow recolonisation of deep sea sediment.Nature (London),265, pp. 618–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Haedrich, R. L. and Rowe, G. T. (1977) Megafaunal biomass in the deep sea.Nature (London),269, pp. 141–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hessler, R. R., Ingram, C. L., Yayanos, A. A. and Burnett, B. R. (1978) Scavenging amphipods from the floor of the Philippine Trench.Deep-Sea Res., 25, pp. 1029–47.Google Scholar
  16. Hessler, R. R. and Jumars, P. A. (1979) The relation of benthic communities to radioactive waste disposal in the deep sea.Ambio (special report No. 6), pp. 93–6.Google Scholar
  17. Hinga, K. R., Sieburth, J. McN. and Heath, G. R. (1979) The supply and use of organic material at the deep-sea floor.J. Mar. Res., 37 (3), pp. 557–79.Google Scholar
  18. Honjo, S. and Roman, M. R. (1978) Marine copepod faecal pellets: Production, preservation and sedimentation.J. Mar. Res., 36, pp. 469–92.Google Scholar
  19. Isaacs, J. D. and schwartzlose, R. A. (1975) Active animals of the deep sea floor.Scient. Am., 233 (4), pp. 84–91.Google Scholar
  20. Jannasch, H. W. and Wirsen, C. O. (1973) Deep-sea microorganisms:in situ responses to nutrient enrichment.Science, 180, pp. 64–73.Google Scholar
  21. Jumars, P. A. and Hessler, R. R. (1976). Hadal community structure: Implications from the Aleutian Trench.J. Mar. Res., 34, pp. 547–60.Google Scholar
  22. Lemche, H., Hansen, B., Madsen, F. J., Tendal, O. S. and Wolff, T. (1976). Hadal life as analysed from photographs.Vidensk Medd. Dansknaturh. For., 139, pp. 263–336.Google Scholar
  23. Le Pichon, X. (1968) Sea floor spreading and continental drift.J. Geophys. Res., 73, pp. 3661–87.Google Scholar
  24. MacDonald, A. G. (1975)Physiological Aspects of Deep Sea Biology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, UK: xit 450 pp., illustr.Google Scholar
  25. Neumann, C. and Pierson, W. J. Jr. (1966)Principles of Physical Oceanography. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: xiit 545 pp., illustr.Google Scholar
  26. Norton, M. G. (1976). The operation of the Dumping at Sea Act 1974.Chemistry and Industry, 19, pp. 829–34.Google Scholar
  27. Rowe, G. T. and Staresinic, N. (1979) Sources of organic matter to the deep-sea benthos.Ambio (special report No. 6), pp. 19–23.Google Scholar
  28. Shackleton, N. J. (1978) Evolution of the Earth's climate during the Tertiary Era. Pp. 49–58 inEvolution of Planetary Atmospheres and Climatology of the Earth. Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France.Google Scholar
  29. Shepard, F. P. (1978) Geological oceanography, evolution of coasts, continental margins, and the deep sea floor. Heinemann, London: xii + 214 pp., illustr.Google Scholar
  30. Silver, M. W. and Bruland, K. W. (1981) Differential feeding and fecal pellet composition of salps and pteropods and the possible origin of the deep-water flora and olive-green ‘cells’.Mar. Biol., 62, pp. 263–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith, K. L. and Laver, M. B. (1981) Respiration of the bathypelagic fishCyclothone acclinidens.Mar. Biol., 61, pp. 26–36.Google Scholar
  32. Stephens, G. C. (1981) The trophic role of dissolved organic material. Pp. 271–91 inAnalysis of Marine Ecosystems (Ed. A. R. Longhurst). Academic Press, London & New York: 741 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Torres, J. J., Belman, B. W. and Childress, J. J. (1979) Oxygen consumption rates of midwater fishes as a function of depth of occurrence.Deep-Sea Res. 26 (2A), pp. 185–8.Google Scholar
  34. Turekian, K. K., Cochran, J. K. and Nozaki, Y. (1979) Growth rate of a clam from the Galapagos Rise hot spring field using natural radionuclide ratios.Nature (London),280, pp. 385–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tyler, P. A. and Gage, J. D. (1980) Reproduction and growth of the deep-living brittle-starOphiura Ljungmani (Lymann).Oceanologica Acta, 3, pp. 177–85.Google Scholar
  36. Vinogradov, N. G., Kudinova-Pasternak, R. K., Moskalev, L. I., Muromtseva, T. L. and Fedikov, N. F. (1974) Some regularities of quantitative distribution of bottom fauna of the Scotia Sea and the deep-sea trenches of the Atlantic sector of the Antarctic.Tr. Inst. Okeanol. SSSR, 98, pp. 157–82.Google Scholar
  37. Wiebe, P. H. Madin, L. P., Haury, L. R., Harbison, G. R. and Philbin, L. M. (1978) Diel vertical migration bySalpa aspera: Potential for large-scale particulate organic transport to the deep-sea.Mar. Biol. 53, pp. 249–56.Google Scholar
  38. Wischner, K. F. (1980) The biomass of the deep-sea benthopelagic plankton.Deep-Sea Res. 27 (2A), pp. 203–16.Google Scholar
  39. Wolff, T. (1970) The concept of hadal or ultra-abyssal fauna.Deep-Sea Res. 17, pp. 983–1003.Google Scholar
  40. Wolff, T. (1976) Utilization of seagrass in the deep sea.Aquat. Bot., 2, pp. 161–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wolff, T. (1977) Diversity and faunal composition of the deepsea benthos.Nature (London),267, pp. 780–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wolff, T. (1979) Macrofaunal utilization of plant remains in the deep sea.Sarsia, 64, 117–36.Google Scholar
  43. Yayanos, A. A., Dietz, A. S. and Boxtal, R. Van (1979). Isolation of a deep-sea barophilic bacterium and some of its growth characteristics.Science, 205, pp. 808–10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. V. Angel

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations