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Population lives near the coast, human impacts are intense and well documented. Thus, the ability to know is coupled with the need to know. Benthic systems are thus useful in understanding how populations and communities change in the sea. One way to assess present capability is to ask how well, using benthos, we About this PDF file: This new digital representation of the original work has been recomposed from XML files created from the original paper book, not from the original typesetting files.

Recruitment and differential mortality resulting from —species interactions, such as predation and disease, —physical disturbance, and —physiological stress. • Direct and indirect effects on communities, including those of contaminants in the food chain. Natural variability on both spatial and temporal scales determines the detectability of an ecological effect. The problem of detection is complicated by the spatial and temporal covariation of many variables. What appears to be a statistically significant decline in a biological variable during a period of several years of anthropogenic activity (such as OCS oil and gas exploration) might no longer be significant when autocorrelation is taken into account (see Sissenwine and Saila, 1974, for an example).

OCS activities can have ecological effects during exploration, development, production, and decommissioning. The potential effects during each phase are distinct and require a different suite of studies for prediction of their extent and duration. The panel identified six objectives that it considers to be important for obtaining information for assessing and monitoring the environmental impacts of OCS oil and gas activities: TABLE 1-9 Funding Levels for Ecological Studies by Selected Topics and by Region, 1973-1989 OCS Region Benthic Fisheries Birds Marine Mammals Alaska 22,840,616 38,399,493 16,009,980 36,312,817 Atlantic 35,765,484 20,033,934 666,004 6,723,340 Gulf of Mexico 43,796,487 12,060,782 1,530,543 1,354,138 Pacific 24,794,427 2,182,739 9,658,635 9,067,222 Washington 1,694,315 567,714 201,824 216,631 TOTALS 128,891,329 73,244,662 28,066,986 53,674,148 NOTE: This table does not include all ecological studies but only topics selected by the panel.

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