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An overview of marine biodiversity in United States waters.

Fautin D, Dalton P, Incze LS, Leong JA, Pautzke C, Rosenberg A, Sandifer P, Sedberry G, Tunnell JW, Abbott I, Brainard RE, Brodeur M, Eldredge LG, Feldman M, Moretzsohn F, Vroom PS, Wainstein M, Wolff N - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified.Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked.Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States of America. fautin@ku.edu

ABSTRACT
Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is directly correlated with knowledge of a species, and knowledge also diminishes with distance from shore and depth. Measures of biodiversity other than species diversity, such as ecosystem and genetic diversity, are poorly documented. Threats to marine biodiversity in the U.S. are the same as those for most of the world: overexploitation of living resources; reduced water quality; coastal development; shipping; invasive species; rising temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean, and other changes that may be consequences of global change, including shifting currents; increased number and size of hypoxic or anoxic areas; and increased number and duration of harmful algal blooms. More information must be obtained through field and laboratory research and monitoring that involve innovative sampling techniques (such as genetics and acoustics), but data that already exist must be made accessible. And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified. As data are compiled, techniques must be developed to make certain that scales are compatible, to combine and reconcile data collected for various purposes with disparate gear, and to automate taxonomic changes. Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked. Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise.

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Map of six regions covered in the overview.The six regions are identified by the LME with which they coincide or of which they are a part: Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, Insular Pacific–Hawaiian, California Current, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, East Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska.
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pone-0011914-g001: Map of six regions covered in the overview.The six regions are identified by the LME with which they coincide or of which they are a part: Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, Insular Pacific–Hawaiian, California Current, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, East Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska.

Mentions: This overview summarizes the knowledge—and some of the major gaps in knowledge—of marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) as of late 2009, when the data were assembled. The inventories and the summaries provided in Table S1 and its condensed version, Table 1, are at the species level, but there is discussion of biodiversity at ecosystem and genetic levels, which are also vital (e.g., [2]). Although it does not include information about regions administered by or associated politically with the U.S., the area that is covered is enormous, bordering on at least five major named bodies of water, and extending from 67° W to about 172.5° E, and from the tropics to the Arctic (just south of 19° N to 71° N). The regions differ greatly in history of exploration and knowledge of their biodiversity. Because the biota of a place such as Alaska may have more in common with that of Japan than with that of another part of the U.S., such as the Gulf of Mexico, a single list of marine species reported from the U.S. or an annotation that a species occurs in the U.S. is of little use for many scientific and management purposes. This overview is therefore divided into six geographically based sections (Figure 1), four of which are more or less coincident with large marine ecosystems (LMEs) (http://www.lme.noaa.gov). They are the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf LME (#7), the Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf LME (#6), the Insular Pacific–Hawaiian LME (#10), and the Gulf of Mexico LME (#5). The last section covers the entire LME, not just that portion along the U.S. Gulf coast. The section on the West Coast concerns much, but not all, of the California Current LME (#3). The Alaska section includes part or all of four LMEs: the Chukchi Sea LME (#54), the Beaufort Sea LME (#55), the East Bering Sea LME (#1), and the Gulf of Alaska LME (#2).


An overview of marine biodiversity in United States waters.

Fautin D, Dalton P, Incze LS, Leong JA, Pautzke C, Rosenberg A, Sandifer P, Sedberry G, Tunnell JW, Abbott I, Brainard RE, Brodeur M, Eldredge LG, Feldman M, Moretzsohn F, Vroom PS, Wainstein M, Wolff N - PLoS ONE (2010)

Map of six regions covered in the overview.The six regions are identified by the LME with which they coincide or of which they are a part: Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, Insular Pacific–Hawaiian, California Current, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, East Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2914028&req=5

pone-0011914-g001: Map of six regions covered in the overview.The six regions are identified by the LME with which they coincide or of which they are a part: Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, Insular Pacific–Hawaiian, California Current, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, East Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska.
Mentions: This overview summarizes the knowledge—and some of the major gaps in knowledge—of marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) as of late 2009, when the data were assembled. The inventories and the summaries provided in Table S1 and its condensed version, Table 1, are at the species level, but there is discussion of biodiversity at ecosystem and genetic levels, which are also vital (e.g., [2]). Although it does not include information about regions administered by or associated politically with the U.S., the area that is covered is enormous, bordering on at least five major named bodies of water, and extending from 67° W to about 172.5° E, and from the tropics to the Arctic (just south of 19° N to 71° N). The regions differ greatly in history of exploration and knowledge of their biodiversity. Because the biota of a place such as Alaska may have more in common with that of Japan than with that of another part of the U.S., such as the Gulf of Mexico, a single list of marine species reported from the U.S. or an annotation that a species occurs in the U.S. is of little use for many scientific and management purposes. This overview is therefore divided into six geographically based sections (Figure 1), four of which are more or less coincident with large marine ecosystems (LMEs) (http://www.lme.noaa.gov). They are the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf LME (#7), the Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf LME (#6), the Insular Pacific–Hawaiian LME (#10), and the Gulf of Mexico LME (#5). The last section covers the entire LME, not just that portion along the U.S. Gulf coast. The section on the West Coast concerns much, but not all, of the California Current LME (#3). The Alaska section includes part or all of four LMEs: the Chukchi Sea LME (#54), the Beaufort Sea LME (#55), the East Bering Sea LME (#1), and the Gulf of Alaska LME (#2).

Bottom Line: And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified.Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked.Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States of America. fautin@ku.edu

ABSTRACT
Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is directly correlated with knowledge of a species, and knowledge also diminishes with distance from shore and depth. Measures of biodiversity other than species diversity, such as ecosystem and genetic diversity, are poorly documented. Threats to marine biodiversity in the U.S. are the same as those for most of the world: overexploitation of living resources; reduced water quality; coastal development; shipping; invasive species; rising temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean, and other changes that may be consequences of global change, including shifting currents; increased number and size of hypoxic or anoxic areas; and increased number and duration of harmful algal blooms. More information must be obtained through field and laboratory research and monitoring that involve innovative sampling techniques (such as genetics and acoustics), but data that already exist must be made accessible. And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified. As data are compiled, techniques must be developed to make certain that scales are compatible, to combine and reconcile data collected for various purposes with disparate gear, and to automate taxonomic changes. Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked. Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus