Download2 The North-East Atlantic

Regional ecology varies widely

The ecology of the OSPAR area includes a wide range of species and habitats, from the ice-bound and fjord coastlines of Region I, to the estuaries, sea lochs, rias and open bays of Regions II, III and IV, and to the deep-ocean ecosystems of Region V.

Box 2.1 The Dinter Biogeographic Classification

The Dinter Biogeographic Classification divides the seafloor, the deep sea and open oceanic waters into a series of representative biogeographic zones, each having a specific oceanography which supports characteristic biological communities. Source: Dinter, W.P. (2001).

Left: The water column less than 1000 m depth is divided into three characteristic biogeographic zones for the pelagic environment.

Right: Biogeographic zones for the benthic and deep-sea environments. The deep-sea benthos and deep-sea environments (>1000 m) are separated into two broad zones: Arctic and Atlantic, separated by the Iceland-Faroe Shelf. The benthic environment less than 100 m depth is separated into a series of characteristic zones.