A team of scientists from the University of Southampton has used artificial intelligence to map the activities of seafloor invertebrate animals across all the oceans of the world.

Understanding how invertebrates operate in different regions of the world gives scientists important insights into how oceans may respond to climate change.

The research, led by Texas A&M University with investigators from the University of Southampton, combined large datasets with machine learning techniques, to reveal the factors that support and maintain the health of marine ecosystems.

Martin Solan, Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science said: “We have known for some time that ocean sediments are extremely diverse and play a fundamental role in mediating the health of the ocean.

“However, only now do we have insights about where, and by how much, these communities contribute.

“For example, the way in which these communities affect important aspects of ocean ecosystems are very different between the coastlines and the deep sea.”