Institute of Marine Research (IMR)
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Long-term monitoring programs on benthic fauna are missing for large areas of the Arctic. In areas where repeated monitoring has occurred, it is difficult to compare data due to different sampling approaches and different targets of monitoring efforts. There is a need for an international standardization of long- term benthic monitoring. The CBMP Benthos Expert Network has identified potential ways to improve benthic monitoring coverage, and has come up with a map showing a Pan Arctic station map.
Number of megafauna species/taxa in the Arctic (7,322 stations in total), based on recent trawl investigations. Stations with highest species/taxon number are sorted to the top, meaning that dense concentrations of stations (e.g. Eastern Canada, Barents Sea), with low species numbers are hidden behind stations with higher species numbers. Also note that species numbers are somewhat biased by differing taxonomic resolution between studies. Data from: Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Iceland; Marine Research Institute, Iceland; University of Alaska, Fairbanks, U.S.; Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Greenland; Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia; Université du Québec à Rimouski, Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and 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 91 - Box figure 3.3.2 Several regions of the Pan Arctic have been sampled with trawl. Even though the trawl configurations and the taxonomic level are different from area to area, we choose to consider the taxonomic richness as relatively comparative.
Arthropods (e.g., shrimps, crabs, sea spiders, amphipods, isopods) dominate taxon numbers in all Arctic regions, followed by polychaetes (e.g., bristle worms) and mollusks (e.g., gastropods, bivalves). Other taxon groups are diverse in some regions, such as bryozoans in the Kara Sea, cnidarians in the Atlantic Arctic, and foraminiferans in the Arctic deep-sea basins. This pattern is biased, however, by the meiofauna inclusion for the Arctic Basin (macro- and meiofauna size ranges overlap substantially in deep-sea fauna, so nematodes and foraminiferans are included) and the influence of a lack of specialists for some difficult taxonomic groups. STATE OF THE ARCTIC MARINE BIODIVERSITY REPORT - <a href="https://arcticbiodiversity.is/findings/benthos" target="_blank">Chapter 3</a> - Page 89 - Box figure 3.3.1 Each region of the Pan Arctic has been sampled with a set of different sampling gears, including grab, sledge and trawl, while other areas has only been sampled with grab. Here is the complete species/taxa number and the % distribution of species/taxa in main phyla, per region of the Pan Arctic.