Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

MSCI seminar speaker, Dr. Craig McClain, LUMCON

Friday, March 31, 2017 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm

MSCI Guest Speaker:  Dr. Craig McLean, Executive Director, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)

Host:  Joe Jones

Title: “An Energetic View of Marine Invertebrate Biodiversity

Time:  Friday, March 31st@ 3:30pm

Location:  PSC 002

Adobe Connect Link:  TBD



Life requires energy. The flux and transformation of carbon energy influences processes and patterns across levels of biological organization. Genomic, phenotypic, and taxonomic diversity and complexity are connected to variation in energy availability over space and time.  Of the resources potentially limiting diversity, none has received more attention than carbon energy.  Underlying the hypothesized energy-diversity relationship rests a variety of potential processes that can be grouped broadly into energy budget and energy adaptation mechanisms. In the energy budget model, energy is an allocated resource that can be translated into work and mass.  In the adaptive view, species are adapted to specific energy regimes. For example, high-energy species, those with greater metabolic demands, cannot persist in low-energy environments.  The deep oceans, which encompass depths below 200 m, cover most of Earth and are especially energy-deprived systems.  The chemical energy that sustains most deep-sea organisms is sequestered from sinking particulate organic carbon derived from primary production in the euphotic zone hundreds of meters to kilometers above. At the abyssal seafloor, this downward flux represents less than 1% of surface production.  Drawing primarily upon examples and research on the deep oceans, I will discuss how biodiversity is shaped by variation in carbon availability and how these patterns reflect underlying adaptive responses of species.