Shallow waters close to the coasts are fertile ground for plankton and biological nutrients, allowing for marine life to thrive more. By contrast, in the deeper parts of the ocean, where the sun penetrates less, there is less growth potential. However in the middle of the Atlantic there is a ridge where water is shallower and therefore a potential ‘hotspot’ of biodiversity in marine life. The Plymouth Marine Laboratory has worked in the ECOMAR project with a strong scientific team hailing from 16 research institutes in 8 countries and come up with results to dispel this.
In fact plankton productivity in the mid-Atlantic ridge is no more and no less than in the deeper seas around it. This was an unexpected outcome and it will help to understand and guide better the issues relating to management of fishing and protection of this area.
Further information on the ECOMAR project and its findings can be found at:http://www.oceanlab.abdn.ac.uk/ecomar/
Also of interest is this paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061550
The official website of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory is at http://www.pml.ac.uk/