At the press conference, scientists revealed the results of the census, including the discovery of new species, new patterns of biodiversity and more. Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have played a major role in what the census calls its "decade of discovery."
UAF scientists have led two multi-year projects as part of the census. Both projects—the Arctic Ocean Diversity project and the Natural Geography in Shore Areas project—are dedicated to explaining the biodiversity of different areas in the world's ocean. Between them, the projects identified dozens of new species and cataloged nearshore organisms at more than 200 sites worldwide.
The Arctic Ocean Diversity project, also called ArcOD, is an international effort to identify the number and variety of marine creatures living in the Arctic. The project looks at organisms that live in arctic sea ice, the water column and on the seafloor, from microscopic plankton to fishes and birds.
Bodil Bluhm, associate professor of marine biology, Rolf Gradinger, associate professor of oceanography, and Russ Hopcroft, professor of oceanography, are leading the project.
The scientists are using historical data as well as new findings to create a broad inventory of arctic species. The project operates as an umbrella program under which independently funded arctic projects join together to compile a species database. Currently, the database contains 250,000 records. The database is available online at http://dw.sfos.uaf.edu/arcod/ and through www.iobis.org, the censuswide data portal.
"What we are also trying to do is fill in the geographic and taxonomic gaps in our knowledge of arctic species with new expeditions and improved taxonomic resolution," said Bluhm.
During their research, the scientists discovered 71 species that Bluhm says are new to science. They say the research is particularly important because the Arctic is showing the effects of climate change.
"The Arctic Ocean is the region where the impacts of climate change are strongest expressed," said Hopcroft. "Ongoing climate warming and reduction in sea ice makes the effort to identify the diversity of its life an urgent issue."
An important part of the project is the distribution of knowledge to the public through educational outreach and publications. Gradinger, Bluhm, Hopcroft and the ArcOD team of nearly 100 scientists have published multiple book chapters, books and articles on arctic biodiversity.
Natural Geography in Shore Areas is a Census of Marine Life project that describes the biodiversity in the world's coastal regions. The project is also called "NaGISA," a Japanese word for the area where the ocean meets the shore. The effort will produce the world's first nearshore global census.
This international project is headquartered at both UAF and Kyoto University and led by UAF scientists. The principal investigator is Katrin Iken, associate professor of marine biology and the co-principal investigator is Brenda Konar, a professor of marine biology. The project is managed by postdoctoral researcher Ann Knowlton and assisted by research technician Heloise Chenelot.
NaGISA scientists developed standardized sampling techniques that have been used by a global network of scientists at more than 240 sites along the shores of 28 countries. The sites include rocky shore areas and seagrass beds in the intertidal zone out to a depth of 20 meters.
"The advantages of a standardized protocol are that global quantitative data is comparable over large spatial scales," said Iken. "Also, the hierarchical design allows us to analyze data from local to regional to global scales."
The data gathered by NaGISA can be used as a baseline to determine changes in biodiversity over latitude, longitude and time. All NaGISA data has been submitted to www.iobis.org. To date, 54,666 entries have been contributed. Along with this database, many scientific and outreach publications have been produced using the NaGISA data.
NaGISA scientists say an important goal of the program has been to involve local communities in the sampling and increase coastal residents' awareness of local marine habitat. According to Knowlton, one of the project's greatest legacies is the continued and future use of the NaGISA sampling protocol by both K-12 and university students.
With more than 2,700 scientists from 670 institutions, census leaders say that the Census of Marine Life is one of the largest scientific collaborations ever conducted. The Census of Marine Life is primarily funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Scientists from each of the projects will present at the census finale. Although the Census of Marine Life ends today, scientists from both the ArcOD and NaGISA projects say that they will continue their efforts to explore biodiversity in the sea.
The UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. SFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Researchers are in London for the symposium and can be contacted through Stephens at 907-322-8730 or e-mail at email@example.com.
Photos are available online at www.uafnews.com.
ON THE WEB: www.sfos.uaf.edu
Carin Stephens | EurekAlert!
Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
22.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology