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A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems

TitleA global map of human impact on marine ecosystems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHalpern, BS, Walbridge, S, Selkoe, KA, Kappel, CV, Micheli, F, D’Agrosa, C, Bruno, JF, Casey, KS, Ebert, C, Fox, HE, Fujita, R, Heinemann, D, Lenihan, HS, Madin, EMP, Perry, MT, Selig, ER, Spalding, M, Steneck, R, Watson, R
KeywordsGIS and oceanography, marine ecology, ocean health, ocean conservation

The management and conservation of the world’s oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the
distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine
ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global
data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marine ecosystems. Our analysis
indicates that no area is unaffected by human influence and that a large fraction (41%) is strongly
affected by multiple drivers. However, large areas of relatively little human impact remain,
particularly near the poles. The analytical process and resulting maps provide flexible tools for
regional and global efforts to allocate conservation resources; to implement ecosystem-based
management; and to inform marine spatial planning, education, and basic research.

Alternate JournalScience