Marine biodiversity is an all-inclusive term to describe the total variation among living organisms in the marine realm, i.e., life in the seas and oceans. Marine systems have a series of characteristics which distinguish them from terrestrial systems, and marine organisms play a crucial role in almost all biogeochemical processes that sustain the biosphere while also providing a variety of goods and services which are essential to mankind's well-being. Biodiversity loss is one of the major consequences of the unsustainable use of the Earth's resources, and the aim of the establishment of a European network on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (MarBEF) was to start to understand the large-scale, long-term changes in marine biodiversity. MarBEF, an EU Network of Excellence, was a new way of thinking, with a bottom-up approach, which brought together over 700 scientists from around Europe to integrate their research excellence. The skills and expertise of these scientists, from a variety of disciplines within marine science, was combined to address the scientific challenges on the most topical marine biodiversity questions, to provide new insights at a scale of research never before attempted. This core strategic research programme consisted of three research themes, namely: 1) Patterns of species diversity, 2) What structures species diversity? and 3) The socio-economic consequences of biodiversity change.
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Record Number: 9812 / Last updated on: 2009-06-26