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Envisioning a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

J. Emmett Duffy, Linda A. Amaral-Zettler, Daphne G. Fautin, Gustav Paulay, Tatiana A. Rynearson, Heidi M. Sosik and John J. Stachowicz
BioScience
Vol. 63, No. 5 (May 2013), pp. 350-361
DOI: 10.1525/bio.2013.63.5.8
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/bio.2013.63.5.8
Page Count: 12
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Envisioning a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network
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Abstract

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.

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