New data on OBIS

Submitted by evberghe on Fri, 2011-04-15 13:39

OBIS has finished its second major update of 2011, acquiring 9 new datasets and 4 updates for an addition of 41,802 records. The majority of new submissions, provided by the Arctic Ocean Biodiversity Project (ArcOD), document an impressive range of marine species existing in polar latitudes. These include diatoms in the Arctic Basin, microalgae in the Chukchi Sea, and zooplankton in the Eastern Arctic Ocean. Also among ArcOD’s submissions is a comprehensive dataset detailing the macrobenthic diversity of southwest Greenland. This information was acquired from transect surveys extending to the continental shelf and spanning a rich diversity of marine environments. ArcOD’s contribution further improves OBIS’ resolution at high latitudes with a database detailing the structure of a brittle star dominated community in an eastern Greenland fjord.

OBIS Canada has made two new contributions to the international website: An ongoing survey instigated by The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) that collects fishery-independent information on commercially exploited species, and the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program (AZMP) database. The AZMP is an effort to increase the DFO’s capacity to understand, describe, and forecast the state of eastern Canadian marine ecosystems, as well as an investigation of the role of predator-prey relationships in marine resource fluctuations.

Updates to existing datasets have been provided by the MIT Sea Grant Program, the Natural Geography In Shore Areas (NAGISA) project, and OBIS Canada. The updates are primarily composed of improvements in data quality and amendments to taxonomic classifications. OBIS hopes to continue the strong precedent that was set in Q1 2011 and some promising leads for new collaborations and data sharing opportunities are materializing. As of mid-April, the OBIS database houses over 30.6 million records spanning 115,000 species and 921 datasets.

A list of new and updated datasets, including number of records and a link to a map of the records, is available here.

OBIS is a project of:
IODE Sponsored by:
Martin International and Les Grands Explorateurs
With in-kind support from:
Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University
Universidad Simón Bolívar Flanders Marine Institute

OBIS strives to document the ocean's diversity, distribution and abundance of life. Created by the Census of Marine Life, OBIS is now part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, under its International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) programme.