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In 2017, the SAMBR synthesized data about biodiversity in Arctic marine ecosystems around the circumpolar Arctic. SAMBR highlighted observed changes and relevant monitoring gaps using data compiled through 2015. In 2021 an update was provided on the status of seabirds in circumpolar Arctic using data from 2016–2019. Most changes reflect access to improved population estimates, orimproved data for monitoring trends,independent of recognized trends in population size.
In 2017 the SAMBR synthesized data about biodiversity in Arctic marine ecosystems around the circumpolar Arctic.. SAMBR highlighted observed changes and relevant monitoring gaps. This 2021 update provides information on the status of marine mammals in the Arctic from 2015–2020: More detail can be found in the Marine Mammals 2021 Technical report. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT
Global catches of Greenland halibut (FAO 2015). STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/marine-fishes" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 121 - Figure 3.4.8
Figure 3.2.2a: Relative abundance of major eukaryote taxonomic groups found by high throughput sequencing of the small-subunit (18S) rRNA gene across Arctic Marine Areas. Figure 3.2.2b: Relative abundance of major eukaryote functional groups found by microscopy in the Arctic Marine Areas. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/plankton" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 70 - Figures 3.2.2a and 3.2.2b
Abundance (birds/km2) of least auklets in four regions (see map) of the eastern Chukchi Sea, 1975-1981 and 2007-2012, based on at-sea surveys (archived in the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database). Figures provided by Adrian Gall, ABR, Inc. and reprinted with permission. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/seabirds" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 138 - Box fig. 3.5.1 The shapefile outlines 4 regions of the eastern Chukchi Sea that were surveyed for seabirds during the open-water seasons of 1976-2012. We compared the density of seabirds in these regions among two time periods (1975-1981 and 2008-2012) to assess changes in seabird abundance over the past 4 decades. We also include a figure showing abundance of Least Auklets 1975-2012. Data are from the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database, maintained by the USGS (http://alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/nppsd/index.php).
Status of marine mammal Focal Ecosystem Component stocks by Arctic Marine Area. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/marine-mammals" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 157 - Figure 3.6.3
Trends in abundance of Arctic marine mammal Focal Ecosystem Components based on the most recent assessment for each recognized subpopulation of a species (red, declining trend; yellow, stable trend; green, increasing trend; grey, unknown trend). Number of subpopulations is given after species name. Each column is divided into equal segments, the sizes of which are not proportional to the size of the subpopulation. Ringed seal and bearded seal segments represent subspecies. Walrus segments represent subpopulations within subspecies. See Table 3.6.1 for details on abundance. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/marine-mammals" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 156 - Figure 3.6.2
Sea ice meiofauna composition (pie charts) and total abundance (red circles) across the Arctic, compiled by the CBMP Sea Ice Biota Expert Network from 27 studies between 1979 and 2015. Scaled circles show total abundance per individual ice core while pie charts show average relative contribution by taxon per Arctic Marine Area (AMA). Number of ice cores for each AMA is given in parenthesis after region name. Note that studies were conducted at different times of the year, with the majority between March and August (see 3.1 Appendix). The category ‘other’ includes young stages of bristle worms (Polychaeta), mussel shrimps (Ostracoda), forams (Foraminifera), hydroid polyps (Cnidaria), comb jellies (Ctenophora), sea butterflies (Pteropoda), marine mites (Acari) and unidentified organisms. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/sea-ice-biota" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 40 - Figure 3.1.4 From the report draft: "Here, we synthesized 19 studies across the Arctic conducted between 1979 and 2015, including unpublished sources (B. Bluhm, R. Gradinger, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway; H. Hop, Norwegian Polar Institute; K. Iken, University of Alaska Fairbanks). These studies sampled landfast sea ice and offshore pack ice, both first- and multiyear ice (Appendix 3.1). Meiofauna abundances reported in individual data sources were converted to individuals m-2 of sea ice assuming that ice density was 95% of that in melted ice. Due to the low taxonomic resolution in the reviewed studies, ice meiofauna were grouped into: Copepoda, nauplii (for copepods as well as other taxa with naupliar stages), Nematoda, Polychaeta (mostly juveniles, but also trochophores), flatworms (Acoelomorpha and Platyhelminthes; these phyla have mostly been reported as one category), Rotifera, and others (which include meroplanktonic larvae other than Polychaeta, Ostracoda, Foraminifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Pteropoda, Acari, and unidentified organisms). Percentage of total abundance for each group was calculated for each ice core, and these percentages were used for regional averages. Maximum available ice core length was used in data analysis, but 50% of these ice cores included only the bottom 10 cm of the ice, 12% the bottom 5 cm, 10% the bottom 2 cm, and 11% the entire ice-thickness. Data from 617 cores were used."
Circumpolar depiction of species richness based on the distributions of the 11 ice-associated Focal Ecosystem Components (according to the distributions reported in IUCN Red List species accounts). A maximum of nine species occur in any one geographic location. The Arctic gateways in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions have the highest species diversity. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/marine-mammals" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 152 - Figure 3.6.1
Megafauna distribution of biomass (g/15 min trawling) in the Barents Sea in 2007, 2011 and 2015. The green circles show the distribution of the snow crab as it spreads from east to west, and the blue triangles show the invasion of king crab along the coast of the southern Barents Sea. Data from Institute of Marine Research, Norway and the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, Murmansk, Russia. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 95 - Figure 3.3.2 The annual joint Norwegian–Russian Ecosystem Survey provides from more than 400 stations and during extensive cruise tracks covering more or less the whole Barents Sea in August– September. The sampling is based on a regular grid spanning about 1.5 millionkm2 with fixed positions of stations which make it possible to measure changes in spatial distribution over time. The trawl is a Campelen 1800 bottom trawl rigged with rock-hopper groundgear and towed on double Warps. The mesh size is 80 mm (stretched) in the front and 16–22 mmin the cod end, allowing the capture and retention of smaller fish and the largest benthos from the seabed (benthic megafauna). The horizontal opening was 11.7 m, and the vertical opening 4–5 m (Teigsmark and Øynes, 1982). The trawl configuration and bottom contact was monitored remotely by SCANMAR trawl sensors. The standard distance between trawl stations was 35 nautical miles (65 km), except north and west of Svalbard where a stratified sampling was adapted to the steep continental shelve. The standard procedure was to tow 15 min after the trawl had made contact with the bottom, but the actual tow duration ranged between 5 min and 1 h and data were subsequently standardized to 15 min trawl time. Towing speed was 3 knots, equivalent to a towing distance of 0.75 nautical miles (1.4 km) during a 15 min tow. The trawl catches were recorded using the same procedures on the Russian and the Norwegian Research vessels to ensure comparability across Barents Sea regions. The benthic megafauna was separated from the fish and shrimp catch, washed, and sorted to lowest possible taxonomic level, in most cases to species, on-Board the vessel. Species identification was standardized between the researcher teams by annually exchanging the benthic expert’s among the vessels and taxon names were fixed each year according toWORMSwhen possible.This resulted in an Electronic identification manual and photo-compendium as a tool to standardize taxon identifications, in addition to various sources of identification literature. Difficult taxa were photographed and, in some cases, brought back as preserved voucher specimens for further identification. Wet-weight biomass was recorded with electronic scales in the ship laboratories for each taxon.The biomass determination included all fragments.