Seeing Deeply Into the Sea's Biodiversity

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Science  06 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5992, pp. 622
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5992.622

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For the past 10 years, scientists from 80 nations have been creating the Census of Marine Life. They have now analyzed more than 6.5 million entries from the census databases, as well as other data for 11,500 marine species, to create a map of diversity hot spots. Corals and coastal fishes are most diverse in Southeast Asia, the team reported online 28 July in Nature. Another analysis, drawn from field surveys and literature reviews by 360 scientists, appears in a series in the 2 August PLoS ONE. It looks at species diversity in 25 regions of the world and comes up with a global average of what types of species populate the oceans. The proportions of species that inhabit particular waters change according to location.