Resilience of benthic deep-sea fauna to mining activities

Type Article
Date 2017-08
Language English
Author(s) Gollner Sabine1, 2, Kaiser Stefanie1, Menzel Lena1, Jones Daniel O. B.3, Brown Alastair4, Mestre Nelia C.5, Van Oevelen Dick6, Menot LenaickORCID7, Colaco Ana8, 9, Canals Miguel10, Cuvelier Daphne8, 9, Durden Jennifer M.3, Gebruk Andrey11, Egho Great A.12, Haeckel Matthias13, Marcon Yann14, 15, Mevenkamp Lisa12, Morato Telmo8, 9, Pham Christopher K.8, 9, Purser Autun14, Sanchez-Vidal Anna10, Vanreusel Ann12, Vink Annemiek16, Arbizu Pedro Martinez1
Affiliation(s) 1 : German Ctr Marine Biodivers Res DZMB, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
2 : Ocean Syst OCS, Royal Netherlands Inst Sea Res NIOZ, T Homtje, Texel, Netherlands.
3 : Univ Southampton, NOC, Waterfront Campus, Southampton, Hants, England.
4 : Univ Southampton, Natl Oceanog Ctr Southampton, Ocean & Earth Sci, Southampton, Hants, England.
5 : Univ Algarve, Fac Sci & Technol, CIMA, Faro, Portugal.
6 : EDS, Royal Netherlands Inst Sea Res NIOZ, Yerseke, Netherlands.
7 : IFREMER, Inst Frangais Rech Exploitat Mer, Plouzane, France.
8 : IMAR Dept Oceanog & Fisheries, Horta, Acores, Portugal.
9 : Univ Acores, MARE Marine & Environm Sci Ctr, Dept Oceanog & Pescas, Horta, Acores, Portugal.
10 : Univ Barcelona, Fac Earth Sci, Dept Earth & Ocean Dynam, GRC Marine Geosci, Barcelona, Spain.
11 : PP Shirshov Oceanol Inst, Moscow, Russia.
12 : Univ Ghent, Marine Biol Res Grp, Ghent, Belgium.
13 : GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany.
14 : AWI, Bremerhaven, Germany.
15 : MARUM Ctr Marine Environm Sci, Bremen, Germany.
16 : Bundesanstalt Geowissensch & Rohstoffe, Hannover, Germany.
Source Marine Environmental Research (0141-1136) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2017-08 , Vol. 129 , P. 76-101
DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.04.010
WOS© Times Cited 180
Keyword(s) Deep ocean, Disturbance, Minerals, Mining, Abyssal plains, Hydrothermal vents, Seamounts, Resilience, Recovery, Benthos

With increasing demand for mineral resources, extraction of polymetallic sulphides at hydrothermal vents, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts at seamounts, and polymetallic nodules on abyssal plains may be imminent. Here, we shortly introduce ecosystem characteristics of mining areas, report on recent mining developments, and identify potential stress and disturbances created by mining. We analyze species’ potential resistance to future mining and perform meta-analyses on population density and diversity recovery after disturbances most similar to mining: volcanic eruptions at vents, fisheries on seamounts, and experiments that mimic nodule mining on abyssal plains. We report wide variation in recovery rates among taxa, size, and mobility of fauna. While densities and diversities of some taxa can recover to or even exceed pre-disturbance levels, community composition remains affected after decades. The loss of hard substrata or alteration of substrata composition may cause substantial community shifts that persist over geological timescales at mined sites.

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Gollner Sabine, Kaiser Stefanie, Menzel Lena, Jones Daniel O. B., Brown Alastair, Mestre Nelia C., Van Oevelen Dick, Menot Lenaick, Colaco Ana, Canals Miguel, Cuvelier Daphne, Durden Jennifer M., Gebruk Andrey, Egho Great A., Haeckel Matthias, Marcon Yann, Mevenkamp Lisa, Morato Telmo, Pham Christopher K., Purser Autun, Sanchez-Vidal Anna, Vanreusel Ann, Vink Annemiek, Arbizu Pedro Martinez (2017). Resilience of benthic deep-sea fauna to mining activities. Marine Environmental Research, 129, 76-101. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :