|The Seamount Ecosystem Evaluation Framework for North Atlantic and Mediterranean Seamounts: Patterns of knowledge and functioning|
Kvile, K.Ø. (2011). The Seamount Ecosystem Evaluation Framework for North Atlantic and Mediterranean Seamounts: Patterns of knowledge and functioning. MSc Thesis. University of the Azores: Punta Delgada. 27, xii pp.
The Seamount Ecosystem Evaluation Framework (SEEF) is a tool to assess our knowledge about individual seamounts. The framework includes aspects of geology, oceanography and ecology. This study applied SEEF to seamounts in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, compiling available information from a range of sources. The degree of seamount knowledge was evaluated regarding 36 attributes, and variation between geographical areas assessed. The structure of knowledge regarding individual attributes was investigated with multivariate analyses. Ecological information available was synthesised in order to evaluate existing hypotheses of seamount productivity and endemism. Seamount knowledge in the studied areas is overall rather poor, but the variation between features is large. The focus in the Mediterranean Sea has been on geological research, while ecological seamount knowledge is higher in the North Atlantic. The structure of seamount knowledge vary additionally between geographical regions on a finer scale. Comparative research supporting a seamount effect on local biomass is scarce, and few direct studies have assessed mechanisms of seamount productivity. The notion that seamounts support a high degree of endemism is not supported for North Atlantic or Mediterranean seamounts. The reasons behind observed patterns of knowledge, and the value of an ecosystem evaluation framework for seamounts are discussed.