Why is biodiversity important?
The potential loss of marine biodiversity has recently spurred an increasing
number of studies to identify the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem
functioning. Biodiversity is one potential measure of ecosystem health.
Biodiversity also can be a measure of biological interactions such as
competition, disturbance, facilitation, predation, recruitment, and
productivity of a system. On a larger scale, biodiversity measurements
can serve as an indicator of the balance between speciation and extinction.
Why is NaGISA unique?
NaGISA is unique because it studies macroalgal and seagrass communities,
which are found globally. It focuses on the intertidal and shallow subtidal
area, the area that people know best and impact most. NaGISA also employs
a standard set of protocols (see right) so that global comparisons can
be made. All data is being entered into an international database (OBIS) that is accessible to the public.