MarBEF World conference
MarBEF organized the first World Conference on Marine Biodiversity where all of MarBEF scientists presented their latest research results in a five-day meeting that clearly demonstrated the enormous progress in the field of marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over the last few years and the contribution that MarBEF has made in this field. Nearly 600 scientists from 42 countries were present at the world conference, giving giving 200 oral presentations and nearly as many posters. The participants also discussed and agreed upon a Valencia Declaration for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity.
Scientists at the conference reviewed the current extent of understanding of marine biodiversity and its role in marine ecosystem functioning. They assessed the current and future threats and the potential strategies for conservation and regulation of marine resource and defined the future research priorities.
Some of the research highlights of the Conference
A rapid, climate change-induced northern migration of invasive marine species was one of many research results announced during the opening day of presentations. Investigators reported that invasive species of seaweed were spreading at a rate of 50km per decade, a distance far greater than that covered by invasive terrestrial plants, and that this difference may be due to the rapid dispersion of seaweed propagules (e.g., seeds) in the ocean.
Rapid advances have been made in deep-sea research capability, thanks to technical