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Biological responses to disturbance from simulated deep-sea polymetallic nodulemining
Jones, D.O.B.; Kaiser, S.; Sweetman, A.K.; Smith, C.R.; Menot, L.; Vink, A.; Trueblood, D.; Greinert, J.; Billett, D.S.M.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Radziejewska, T.; Singh, R.; Ingole, B.; Stratmann, T.; Simon-Lledó, E.; Durden, J.M.; Clack, M.R. (2017). Biological responses to disturbance from simulated deep-sea polymetallic nodulemining. PLoS One 12(2): e0171750. dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171750
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Auteurs  Top 
  • Jones, D.O.B.
  • Kaiser, S.
  • Sweetman, A.K.
  • Smith, C.R.
  • Menot, L.
  • Vink, A.
  • Trueblood, D.
  • Greinert, J., meer
  • Billett, D.S.M.
  • Martinez Arbizu, P.
  • Radziejewska, T.
  • Singh, R.
  • Ingole, B.
  • Stratmann, T., meer
  • Simon-Lledó, E.
  • Durden, J.M.
  • Clack, M.R.

Abstract
    Commercial-scale mining for polymetallic nodules could have a major impact on the deepseaenvironment, but the effects of these mining activities on deep-sea ecosystems are verypoorly known. The first commercial test mining for polymetallic nodules was carried out in1970. Since then a number of small-scale commercial test mining or scientific disturbancestudies have been carried out. Here we evaluate changes in faunal densities and diversity ofbenthic communities measured in response to these 11 simulated or test nodule mining disturbancesusing meta-analysis techniques. We find that impacts are often severe immediatelyafter mining, with major negative changes in density and diversity of most groupsoccurring. However, in some cases, the mobile fauna and small-sized fauna experiencedless negative impacts over the longer term. At seven sites in the Pacific, multiple surveysassessed recovery in fauna over periods of up to 26 years. Almost all studies show somerecovery in faunal density and diversity for meiofauna and mobile megafauna, often withinone year. However, very few faunal groups return to baseline or control conditions after twodecades. The effects of polymetallic nodule mining are likely to be long term. Our analysesshow considerable negative biological effects of seafloor nodule mining, even at the smallscale of test mining experiments, although there is variation in sensitivity amongst organismsof different sizes and functional groups, which have important implications for ecosystemresponses. Unfortunately, many past studies have limitations that reduce their effectiveness in determining responses. We provide recommendations to improve futuremining impact test studies. Further research to assess the effects of test-mining activitieswill inform ways to improve mining practices and guide effective environmental managementof mining activities.

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