The commonly accepted view of the mid-Atlantic ridge is that it is a hotspot of productivity and biodiversity. The UK ECOMAR project tested this view, with three major cruises supported by NEODAAS thermal and altimetry EO data.

It was found that although the ridge greatly alters the water circulation and biology there was no overall effect on oceanic productivity. Although pelagic species were somewhat replaced by benthic species there was also no evidence of greater overall biodiversity. This may have implications when planning for exploitation of biological resources, such as commercial fisheries.