Building on the decade-long Census of Marine Life project, a new global analysis of data on the distribution of 11,567 marine species from 13 different taxonomic groups, including zooplankton, plants, invertebrates, fishes and mammals, reveals temperature as a main correlate of biodiversity across the various taxa, with generally higher diversity in warmer waters. Two further distinct trends emerge: coastal species show maximum diversity in the Western Pacific, whereas ocean-dwelling species peak in the mid-latitudes. This contrasts with the situation for terrestrial species, where biodiversity peaks in the tropics. [Letter p. 1098]
Recent Hot Topics
Sign up for Nature Research e-alerts to get the lastest research in your inbox every week.