A new study has found that almost half of all sea creatures in the world live on at least one of their own islands.
The research, published in Nature Communications, shows that a combination of habitat loss, pollution, climate change and the threat of invasive species such as sharks and rays are driving species diversity to the brink of extinction.
“We find a surprising number of species on islands that we would expect to find, because the animals we’re studying are found on all of the world’s islands,” said Dr Andrew Copley, from the University of Exeter, the lead author of the study.
Our findings suggest that there are many species on many different islands, and that they can coexist peacefully with each other.
When you look at all the species that are on an island, they’re very close to each other, so there’s a lot of overlap between the species.
Dr Andrew T. Copleys work at the University, The study looked at the number of land species and sea creatures found on each island in the study, looking at the amount of land and sea that animals on an individual island could access and the number and types of fish they could eat.
As a result, the scientists found that nearly half of the total land animals and almost 40% on all islands were on an Island-wide island.
Dr Copleies work showed that the researchers had used different statistical models to calculate the relative abundance of different species in different environments, with a range of scenarios that had different numbers of species and ranges of numbers.
“We have an area where the sea is more abundant than land, and a region where the land is more sparse,” Dr Copleyy said.
This suggests that it is the diversity of the animals that are living in a given area that makes up the biodiversity of the area.
We can only see the biodiversity within a small area.
This is a very limited area of the Earth.
Dr Cattleys work showed the study’s results could be used to help inform conservation measures.
For example, he said that by looking at which species could be more abundant on an area of land or sea, the researchers could also develop a better understanding of where species can be managed.
There are more than 2,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, including some of the most remote and remote places in the oceans, Dr Coulleys work showed.
He said it was a “critical area” of research because it was important to understand how species can co-exist in these remote environments, and could also help scientists understand the spread of invasive wildlife.
Dr Coulys work also showed that islands are more diverse than we had realised, and suggested that this may be a result of the changes in land and ocean temperatures in the last few centuries.
With this new understanding, Dr T.A. Couly believes that we can better understand how islands will cope with changing climate and population trends.
“The next steps will be to map the distribution of species over the next few decades and beyond, and to explore whether these new species can exist in islands in any future.”
The study also revealed that there is a clear link between species abundance on islands and the survival of some species.
One species, the common sea turtle, can survive in a small island for up to 40 years, but can also survive in the larger ocean, with an estimated life expectancy of just 12 years.
Professor David Bowers, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said that this was an important finding.
“I think it will help us to better understand what is happening in the deep ocean, and how species will adapt to change in this area,” Dr Bowers said.
“That will inform how we can protect the sea turtles and other species that depend on these islands for food and for their habitats.”
It’s not clear what effect this research will have on the overall conservation of marine ecosystems.
But the research is a first step, Dr Bower said, in identifying a strategy that can help to sustain marine biodiversity in the face of changing conditions.
“There are many other research areas looking at how we could help to conserve species and habitats in a variety of different ways,” he said.