What is the ecosystem percentage cover of earth's surface?
May 4, 2012 11:50 AM   Subscribe

What is the percentage cover of earth's surface, made up by marine, terrestrial, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems?

I'm looking for a peer-reviewed scientific publication explaining the percentage cover of earth's surface by ecosystem. It might be bard to find freshwater coverage, but anything would help me on my search!

So far I've found: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/DanielChen.shtml but I'd prefer an article over a textbook.

posted by WhaleRider to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pretty much every square foot on the planet is part of an ecosystem. All you're really asking for is the percentage of the earth's surface that is made up of various terrain types, i.e., marine, estuarine, freshwater, and terrestrial.

Not really sure why you need a peer-reviewed article for what is basically just a raw statistic. Call it 70% water, of which about 60% is marine, 6% estuarial and 3% freshwater. The rest is terrestrial.
posted by valkyryn at 12:06 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: (I realize you want peer-reviewed scientific publication, but this might help your search based on some of the references.

From Wikipedia:
Terrestrial ecosystems occupy 55,660,000 mi2 (144,150,000 km2), or 28.2%, of Earth's surface. Terrestrial Ecosystem

Marine ecosystems cover approximately 71% of the Earth's surface and contain approximately 97% of the planet's water. (It goes on to explain that estuarial ecosystems are actually a part of marine ecosystems. Marine Ecosystem

Freshwater ecosystems cover 0.80% of the Earth's surface and inhabit 0.009% of its total water. Marine Ecosystem
posted by molachai at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2012

Response by poster: I exhausted the trail from wiki a while ago, but appreciate the suggestions. Keep them coming!

I want a peer-reviewed pub so I can cite it in my upcoming peer-reviewed pub. These are the kinds of numbers that "everyone knows" but I still need a way to cite them...
posted by WhaleRider at 12:18 PM on May 4, 2012

Could you follow the time honored academic tradition of finding some other paper in the same area and seeing who they cite?

Are you at an academic insitution? Or do you have access to a major city library system? A good reference librarian should be able to help you with this.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2012

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