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Patterns, processes and vulnerability of Southern Ocean benthos: a decadal leap in knowledge and understanding

Patterns, processes and vulnerability of Southern Ocean benthos: a decadal leap in knowledge and understanding
Patterns, processes and vulnerability of Southern Ocean benthos: a decadal leap in knowledge and understanding
In the Southern Ocean, that is areas south of the Polar Front, long-term oceanographic cooling, geographic separation, development of isolating current and wind systems, tectonic drift and fluctuation of ice sheets amongst others have resulted in a highly endemic benthic fauna, which is generally adapted to the long-lasting, relatively stable environmental conditions. The Southern Ocean benthic ecosystem has been subject to minimal direct anthropogenic impact (compared to elsewhere) and thus presents unique opportunities to study biodiversity and its responses to environmental change. Since the beginning of the century, research under the Census of Marine Life and International Polar Year initiatives, as well as Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research biology programmes, have considerably advanced our understanding of the Southern Ocean benthos. In this paper, we evaluate recent progress in Southern Ocean benthic research and identify priorities for future research. Intense efforts to sample and describe the benthic fauna, coupled with coordination of information in global databases, have greatly enhanced understanding of the biodiversity and biogeography of the region. Some habitats, such as chemosynthetic systems, have been sampled for the first time, while application of new technologies and methods are yielding new insights into ecosystem structure and function. These advances have also highlighted important research gaps, notably the likely consequences of climate change. In a time of potentially pivotal environmental change, one of the greatest challenges is to balance conservation with increasing demands on the Southern Ocean’s natural resources and services. In this context, the characterization of Southern Ocean biodiversity is an urgent priority requiring timely and accurate species identifications, application of standardized sampling and reporting procedures, as well as cooperation between disciplines and nations.
0025-3162
2295-2317
Kaiser, Stefanie
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Brandão, Simone N.
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Ingels, Jeroen
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Leese, Florian
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Badhe, Renuka
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Brandt, Angelika
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Dubois, Philippe
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Ellingsen, Kari E.
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Glover, Adrian G.
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Halanych, Kenneth M.
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Riehl, Torben
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Rose, Armin
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Sands, Chester J.
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Schüller, Myriam
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Strugnell, Jan M.
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Wilson, Nerida G.
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Yasuhara, Moriaki
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Kaiser, Stefanie
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Ingels, Jeroen
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Schiaparelli, Stefano
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Gutt, Julian
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Halanych, Kenneth M.
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Havermans, Charlotte
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Held, Christoph
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Janussen, Dorte
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Lörz, Anne-Nina
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Pearce, David A.
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Pierrat, Benjamin
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Riehl, Torben
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Rose, Armin
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Sands, Chester J.
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Soler-Membrives, Anna
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Schüller, Myriam
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Strugnell, Jan M.
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Vanreusel, Ann
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Veit-Köhler, Gritta
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Wilson, Nerida G.
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Yasuhara, Moriaki
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Kaiser, Stefanie, Brandão, Simone N., Brix, Saskia, Barnes, David K.A., Bowden, David A., Ingels, Jeroen, Leese, Florian, Schiaparelli, Stefano, Arango, Claudia P., Badhe, Renuka, Bax, Narissa, Blazewicz-Paszkowycz, Magdalena, Brandt, Angelika, Brenke, Nils, Catarino, Ana I., David, Bruno, Ridder, Chantal, Dubois, Philippe, Ellingsen, Kari E., Glover, Adrian G., Griffiths, Huw J., Gutt, Julian, Halanych, Kenneth M., Havermans, Charlotte, Held, Christoph, Janussen, Dorte, Lörz, Anne-Nina, Pearce, David A., Pierrat, Benjamin, Riehl, Torben, Rose, Armin, Sands, Chester J., Soler-Membrives, Anna, Schüller, Myriam, Strugnell, Jan M., Vanreusel, Ann, Veit-Köhler, Gritta, Wilson, Nerida G. and Yasuhara, Moriaki (2013) Patterns, processes and vulnerability of Southern Ocean benthos: a decadal leap in knowledge and understanding. Marine Biology, 160 (9), 2295-2317. (doi:10.1007/s00227-013-2232-6).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In the Southern Ocean, that is areas south of the Polar Front, long-term oceanographic cooling, geographic separation, development of isolating current and wind systems, tectonic drift and fluctuation of ice sheets amongst others have resulted in a highly endemic benthic fauna, which is generally adapted to the long-lasting, relatively stable environmental conditions. The Southern Ocean benthic ecosystem has been subject to minimal direct anthropogenic impact (compared to elsewhere) and thus presents unique opportunities to study biodiversity and its responses to environmental change. Since the beginning of the century, research under the Census of Marine Life and International Polar Year initiatives, as well as Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research biology programmes, have considerably advanced our understanding of the Southern Ocean benthos. In this paper, we evaluate recent progress in Southern Ocean benthic research and identify priorities for future research. Intense efforts to sample and describe the benthic fauna, coupled with coordination of information in global databases, have greatly enhanced understanding of the biodiversity and biogeography of the region. Some habitats, such as chemosynthetic systems, have been sampled for the first time, while application of new technologies and methods are yielding new insights into ecosystem structure and function. These advances have also highlighted important research gaps, notably the likely consequences of climate change. In a time of potentially pivotal environmental change, one of the greatest challenges is to balance conservation with increasing demands on the Southern Ocean’s natural resources and services. In this context, the characterization of Southern Ocean biodiversity is an urgent priority requiring timely and accurate species identifications, application of standardized sampling and reporting procedures, as well as cooperation between disciplines and nations.

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More information

Published date: September 2013
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358763
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358763
ISSN: 0025-3162
PURE UUID: 64af0402-33ae-44d1-a3fd-697bcb48d911

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Date deposited: 10 Oct 2013 09:42
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 00:26

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Contributors

Author: Stefanie Kaiser
Author: Simone N. Brandão
Author: Saskia Brix
Author: David K.A. Barnes
Author: David A. Bowden
Author: Jeroen Ingels
Author: Florian Leese
Author: Stefano Schiaparelli
Author: Claudia P. Arango
Author: Renuka Badhe
Author: Narissa Bax
Author: Magdalena Blazewicz-Paszkowycz
Author: Angelika Brandt
Author: Nils Brenke
Author: Ana I. Catarino
Author: Bruno David
Author: Chantal Ridder
Author: Philippe Dubois
Author: Kari E. Ellingsen
Author: Adrian G. Glover
Author: Huw J. Griffiths
Author: Julian Gutt
Author: Kenneth M. Halanych
Author: Charlotte Havermans
Author: Christoph Held
Author: Dorte Janussen
Author: Anne-Nina Lörz
Author: David A. Pearce
Author: Benjamin Pierrat
Author: Torben Riehl
Author: Armin Rose
Author: Chester J. Sands
Author: Anna Soler-Membrives
Author: Myriam Schüller
Author: Jan M. Strugnell
Author: Ann Vanreusel
Author: Gritta Veit-Köhler
Author: Nerida G. Wilson
Author: Moriaki Yasuhara

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