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The giant squid Architeuthis: An emblematic invertebrate that can represent concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity

by Ángel Guerra, Ángel F. González, Santiago Pascual, Earl G. Dawe
Biological Conservation ()

Abstract

The current public perception is that there is little reason for concern for the conservation of marine invertebrates, in part due to the scarcity of emblematic species to represent that diverse group. This paper shows that giant squid can be considered an emblematic species to represent concern for the conservation of marine invertebrate biodiversity because it satisfies all the requirements of an emblematic species. It shows that Architeuthis attracts public interest and attention and can serve as an indicator of oceanographic conditions and ocean climate change. It asserts that Architeuthis can represent concerns for vulnerable marine ecosystems associated with submarine canyons and that it belongs to a broad diverse phylogenetic group of organisms associated with these canyons, sharing common concerns with that group with respect to vulnerability and conservation. This study also advocates that the giant squid can serve as an indicator of effects of ecosystem stress resulting from anthropogenic effects including ocean acidification and warming. It is also shown to be vulnerable to such anthropogenic effects as fishing, acoustic seismic exploration and, possibly, pollutants. © 2011.

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