Constraints on Food Availability in the Deep Sea Research Paper

Constraints on Food Availability in the Deep Sea
A review of the internal and external factors affecting the availability of food in the deep-sea environment with special emphasis on the role of the effects of human activity.
# 148086 | 2,099 words | 44 sources | APA | 2011 | CA
Published by on Aug 30, 2011 in Biology (Marine) , Hot Topics (Global Warming)

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This paper reviews the factors that influence the availability of food in the deep-sea environment. Given that the deep sea is a made up of a complex set of ecosystems and is part of a larger, interconnected environment affected by large-scale global events, the constraints on food availability are both internal and external. The paper discusses both internal constraints, which relate to the physical and chemical properties of water and to events occurring with the deep sea, and external constraints, such as food web dynamics, seasonal variations, changes caused by human activity such as deep-sea mining, recent abyssal warming and freshening, global warming. The paper concludes that these internal and external constraints on food in the deep sea must be taken into account when determining global and local policy regarding the exploitation, consumption, management, and conservation of marine and other resources.

General Internal Constraints on Food Availability in the Deep Sea
Food-web Dynamics
Seasonal Variations
Abyssal Warming and Freshening

From the Paper:

"It has generally been held that because the deep sea is remote and isolated, with generally low current velocities and virtually no sediment erosion at the abyssal seafloor [35], it is a fairly stable and self-contained environment with its own internal dynamics, that has undergone relatively little change over geologic timescales, unaffected by the mass extinctions that were common in terrestrial environments and even in the surface oceans. The high percentage of geologically older taxa in the deep sea appears to support this conclusion [19]. It is theorized that the deep sea, particularly the nutrient-rich environments of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps may have served as "refugia" for ancient faunas during the mass extinctions that occurred in the euphotic zone during the Phanerozoic [22, 41]. However, evidence is accumulating that the deep sea is not insulated against catastrophic or other large-scale events [22] and that such events have affected, and continue to affect, food availability in this region of the marine environment. These discoveries are consistent with the growing realization that the oceans and the atmosphere form one single interconnected environment.
"Large-scale events can occur both internally and externally to the deep sea, and both types affect food availability. The most significant external large-scale event that currently impinges upon the deep sea and its food supply is global warming. The attention that this phenomenon has been receiving recently has led to a surge of interest among marine scientists and others in examining its effect on the deep-sea environment. However, not much research has been done so far in relation to the effect on food availability. The discussion that follows will analyze food availability in the deep sea in terms of both the internal and external constraints that have shaped and continue to shape the diet and feeding patterns of the deep-sea community, with emphasis on the external constraints and, in particular, the effects of global warming and other human-generated environmental phenomena."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alperin, M. et al. (2010) The ongoing mystery of sea-floor methane. Science 329, 288-289.
  • Bergmann, M. et al. (2009) Trophic relationships along a bathymetric gradient at the deep-sea observatory HAUSGARTEN. Deep-Sea Research I 56, 408-424.
  • Bryden, H.L. et al. (2003) Changes in ocean water mass properties: oscillations or trends? Science 300, 2086-2088.
  • Caddy, J.F. et al. (1998) How pervasive is "Fishing down marine food webs"? Science 282, 1383a.
  • Cantin, N.E. et al. (2010) Ocean warming slows coral growth in the central Red Sea. Science 329, 322-325.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Constraints on Food Availability in the Deep Sea (2011, August 30) Retrieved April 21, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Constraints on Food Availability in the Deep Sea" 30 August 2011. Web. 21 April. 2021. <>