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Deep-Sea Biology: A Natural History of Organisms at the Deep-Sea Floor / Edition 1

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This timely volume provides a comprehensive account of the natural history of the organisms associated with the deep-sea floor and examines their relationship with this inhospitable environment—perhaps the most remote and least accessible location on the planet. The authors begin by describing the physical and chemical nature of the deep-sea floor and the methods used to collect and study its fauna. Then they discuss the ecology of the deep sea by exploring spatial patterns, diversity, biomass, vertical zonation, and large-scale distribution of organisms. Subsequent chapters review current knowledge of feeding, respiration, reproduction, and growth processes in these communities. The unique fauna of hypothermal vents and seeps are considered separately. Finally, there is a pertinent discussion of human exploitation of deep-sea resources and potential use of this environment for waste disposal.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a landmark study, a well-documented and lavishly illustrated account of almost all aspects of life at the bottom of the deep sea....strongly recommended as essential reading for all courses in marine biology." A. J. Southward, Nature

"The authors are eminent deep-sea biologists who have contributed much to deep-sea biology. We are fortunate that they have taken time off from their research to write this volume. Their text is very up to date, with comprehensive references to original papers providing an excellent introduction to this field." Times Higher Education Supplement

"...a scholarly celebration of the growth of our knowledge about biological systems on the seafloor. Gage and Tyler initially engage us in a review of the natural history of deep-sea benthic organisms and proceed from there into discussions of patterns and rates and processes in space and time. Research of the past decade and a half is placed in its historical context, and many of the gaps in the depth and breadth of our understanding of the biology of the deep-sea are identified. The volume closes with a chapter that underscores the links between the seafloor environment, the world ocean, and world climate and provides a cautionary note to plans for exploitation of a great wilderness area still poorly understood and in many places still totally unexplored." Science

"Gage and Tyler's authoritative volume documents life of the deep-ocean floor and the water immediately above the floor...and will be invaluable to advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers." M. H. Sickels, Choice

"Researchers will cherish this book for its broad coverage and superb reference lists. Teachers will find its state-of-the-art reviews invaluable for preparing lectures and students for preparing essays....highly recommended." The Biologist

"The authors transmit to the reader a keen enthusiasm and deep involvement in their subject. For those engaged in research on any one of the many aspects of deep-sea biology, this is a stimulating and useful summary to keep on one's shelf. For the student aspiring to the study of deep-sea life, this is without a doubt the single most useful volume presently available." Oceanus

"Overall, it is a pleasure to recommend this book." Daniel M. Cohen, Bulletin of Marine Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521336659
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Development of Deep-Sea Biology, The Physical Environment and Methods of Study: 1. Historical aspects; 2. The physical environment of the deep-sea; 3. Methods of study of the organisms of the deep-sea floor; Part II. Organisms of the Deep-Sea Benthic Boundary: 4. The megafauna; 5. Smaller animals; Part III. Patterns in Space: 6. Small-scale spatial patterns; 7. Abundance and size structure of the deep-sea benthos; 8. The diversity gradient; 9. Depth-related patterns in community composition; 10. Zoogeography, speciation and the origins of deep-sea fauna; Part IV. Processes Patterns in Time: 11. Food resources, energetics and feeding strategies; 12. Metabolic processes: microbial ecology at the deep-sea bed; 13. Reproduction, recruitment and growth of deep-sea organisms; 14. Animal sediment relations in the deep-sea; Part V. Parallel Systems and Anthropogenic Effects: 15. Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps; 16. Anthropogenic impacts: man's effects on the deep-sea.

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