Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Humans depend on diverse ocean ecosystems for food, jobs, and sustained well-being, yet many stressors threaten marine life. Extensive research has demonstrated that maintaining biodiversity promotes ocean health and service provision; therefore, monitoring the status and trends of marine biodiversity is important for effective ecosystem management. However, there is no systematic sustained program for evaluating ocean biodiversity. Coordinating existing monitoring and building a proactive marine biodiversity observation network will support efficient, economical resource management and conservation and should be a high priority. A synthesis of expert opinions suggests that, to be most effective, a marine biodiversity observation network should integrate biological levels, from genes to habitats; link biodiversity observations to abiotic environmental variables; site projects to incorporate environmental forcing and biogeography; and monitor adaptively to address emerging issues. We summarize examples illustrating how to leverage existing data and infrastructure to meet these goals.
Southern California Bight; Ecosystem Services; Flow-Cytometry; Global Map; Coastal; Communities; Diversity; Knowledge; Impacts; Climate
Duffy, JE; Amaral-Zettler, LA; Fautin, DG; Paulay, G; Rynearson, TA; and Et al., Envisioning a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (2013). Bioscience, 63(5), 350-361.