An FMAP study on reef fish biodiversity found that humans impact one of the oldest known laws in ecology, the species-area relationship. The authors found that fishing pressure consistently lowered the rate of increase of diversity with area, on both coral and rocky reefs. Such effects suggest that human exploitation can affect the reef environment in ways not previously considered, and similar patterns might also be found in other marine and possibly terrestrial systems. The study thus established a new way of quantifying biodiversity loss that may be broadly applicable. The study was global in scope, surveying protected and fished reefs in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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