The marine microbiome is the global collective of all microorganisms in oceans and aquatic environments. This term refers not only to the oceans and seas but also to the specific communities of microbes that live in and on individual ecosystems including marine creatures, coral reefs and hydrothermal vents. Marine environments host an enormous diversity of microscopic life that supports all other life in the ocean. Marine microbes also have high bioeconomic potential as source of new medicines, biofuels, foods and bioplastics.
This briefing introduces the marine microbiome as a vital component of ocean biodiversity and addresses significant threats such as climate change and pollution, which may further compound the risks to human health and the environment. The high economic potential of marine microbes for biotechnology and pollution removal is also discussed. A copy of the report can be downloaded below.