Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Acarer, A. 2024. Rasprostranjenost smeđeg medvjeda (Ursus arctos L.) u Europi. Šumarski list 148: 261–272.

Brown bear, described as the largest carnivore in Europe, has a large body. While the brown bear can move safely and comfortably in its own habitat thanks to its large size, it is challenging for them to travel to different habitats over long distances. Therefore, negative changes that may occur with global warming may cause the existing brown bear populations and their habitats to be restricted, reduced, or destroyed. In this study, it was aimed to reveal the effect of Chelsa climate envelope models for current and future years on brown bear habitats in Europe. For this purpose, it was used the MaxEnt method, frequently used in wildlife species distribution modelling. The current habitat suitability model of the brown bear was in the “good model” category with the training data set ROC value of 0.834 and the test data set ROC value of 0.828. The variables contributing to the current model are annual range of temperature (48.2%), mean monthly precipitation amount of the warmest quarter (22.1%), temperature seasonality (18.2%) and annual precipitation amount (11.5%), respectively. When the mapping results used the variables contributed to the brown bear current habitat suitability model are compared with the IUCN inventory results, the current brown bear habitats in Europe will change regionally. However, it has been determined that brown bear habitats will shrink according to the SSP126 Chelsa climate scenario of the year 2100, and these habitats will fragment according to the SSP370 scenario, and that brown bear habitats disappear in some regions in the SSP585 scenario.

Ramiro-Sánchez, B., A. Martin, and B. Leroy. 2023. The epitome of data paucity: Deep-sea habitats of the Southern Indian Ocean. Biological Conservation 283: 110096.

Vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) are protected from bottom-fishing impacts in international waters by UN resolutions through Regional Fishery Management Organizations. VMEs include deep-sea benthic taxa whose life-history traits make them vulnerable to disturbance. Conservation measures for VMEs require regulatory frameworks informed by biodiversity maps. Here we evaluate biogeographic patterns of VME biodiversity of the Southern Indian Ocean to understand conservation avenues for the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) management organization. We synthesised knowledge on the distribution of deep-sea benthic taxa and explored the quality and quantity of available data. Next, we explored how taxa are structured into bioregions using biogeographical networks. We found astounding Wallacean and Linnaean shortfalls within SIOFA's area, which is virtually devoid of distributional data. Across the entire area, results suggest that only 48 % of the expected deep-sea taxa has been sampled at most, and most sampled cells are inadequately sampled. Yet, our bioregionalization analysis identified multiple bioregions, some only observed within SIOFA's area. Whilst the Wallacean and Linnean shortfalls are so important for VMEs that they severely impede to make adequate maps for conservation planning, results suggest that SIOFA hosts a unique faunal composition that must be safeguarded. Predictive approaches to compensate for these shortfalls exist but will likely be insufficient and uncertain. Within SIOFA's area, there is no satisfying solution to cope with the data shortfalls. Yet, biodiversity maps are a global responsibility. This study makes a call to invest in biodiversity inventories in this region to promote informed conservation decisions.

Descôteaux, R., M. Huserbråten, L. Jørgensen, P. Renaud, R. Ingvaldsen, E. Ershova, and B. Bluhm. 2022. Origin of marine invertebrate larvae on an Arctic inflow shelf. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Many benthic invertebrate taxa possess planktonic early life stages which drift with water currents and contribute to dispersal of the species, sometimes reaching areas beyond the current ranges of the adults. Until recently, it had been difficult to identify planktonic larvae to species level due to lack of distinguishing features, preventing detection of expatriate species. Here we used DNA metabarcoding of the COI gene to obtain species-level identification of early life stages of benthic invertebrates in zooplankton samples from the Barents Sea and around Svalbard, where, regionally, large volumes of warm Atlantic Water enter the Arctic from the south. We compared the larval community in the water column to the adult community on the seafloor to identify mismatches. In addition, we implemented particle tracking analysis to identify the possible areas of origin of larvae. Our results show that 30–45% of larval taxa—largely polychaetes and nudibranchs—were not local to the sampling area, though most were found nearby in the Barents Sea. In the particle tracking analysis, some larvae originating along the Norwegian coast were capable of reaching the northwest coast of Svalbard within 3 mo, but larvae found east of Svalbard had a more constrained possible area of origin which did not extend to the Norwegian coast. This study highlights largely regional-scale larval connectivity in the Barents Sea but demonstrates the potential for some long-lived larval taxa to travel to Svalbard and the Barents Sea from further south.

Kopperud, B. T., S. Lidgard, and L. H. Liow. 2022. Enhancing georeferenced biodiversity inventories: automated information extraction from literature records reveal the gaps. PeerJ 10: e13921.

We use natural language processing (NLP) to retrieve location data for cheilostome bryozoan species (text-mined occurrences (TMO)) in an automated procedure. We compare these results with data combined from two major public databases (DB): the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Using DB and TMO data separately and in combination, we present latitudinal species richness curves using standard estimators (Chao2 and the Jackknife) and range-through approaches. Our combined DB and TMO species richness curves quantitatively document a bimodal global latitudinal diversity gradient for extant cheilostomes for the first time, with peaks in the temperate zones. A total of 79% of the georeferenced species we retrieved from TMO (N = 1,408) and DB (N = 4,549) are non-overlapping. Despite clear indications that global location data compiled for cheilostomes should be improved with concerted effort, our study supports the view that many marine latitudinal species richness patterns deviate from the canonical latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG). Moreover, combining online biodiversity databases with automated information retrieval from the published literature is a promising avenue for expanding taxon-location datasets.

Ramírez, F., V. Sbragaglia, K. Soacha, M. Coll, and J. Piera. 2022. Challenges for Marine Ecological Assessments: Completeness of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable Biodiversity Data in European Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science 8.

The ongoing contemporary biodiversity crisis may result in much of ocean’s biodiversity to be lost or deeply modified without even being known. As the climate and anthropogenic-related impacts on marine systems accelerate, biodiversity knowledge integration is urgently required to evaluate and monit…

Ross, R. E., G. Gonzalez-Mirelis, P. Lozano, and P. Buhl-Mortensen. 2021. Discerning the Management-Relevant Ecology and Distribution of Sea Pens (Cnidaria: Pennatulacea) in Norway and Beyond. Frontiers in Marine Science 8.

Sea pens are considered to be of conservation relevance according to multiple international legislations and agreements. Consequently, any information about their ecology and distribution should be of use to management decision makers. This study aims to provide such information about six taxa of se…

Schickele, A., E. Goberville, B. Leroy, G. Beaugrand, T. Hattab, P. Francour, and V. Raybaud. 2020. European small pelagic fish distribution under global change scenarios. Fish and Fisheries 22: 212–225.

The spectre of increasing impacts on exploited fish stocks in consequence of warmer climate conditions has become a major concern over the last decades. It is now imperative to improve the way we project the effects of future climate warming on fisheries. While estimating future climate‐induced chan…

Le Marchand, M., T. Hattab, N. Niquil, C. Albouy, F. Le Loc’h, and F. Lasram. 2020. Climate change in the Bay of Biscay: Changes in spatial biodiversity patterns could be driven by the arrivals of southern species. Marine Ecology Progress Series 647: 17–31.

Under climate change, future species assemblages will be driven by the movements and poleward shift of local species and the arrival of more thermophilic species from lower latitudes. To evaluate the impacts of climate change on marine communities in the Bay of Biscay, we used the hierarchical filte…

Avila, C., C. Angulo-Preckler, R. P. Martín-Martín, B. Figuerola, H. J. Griffiths, and C. L. Waller. 2020. Invasive marine species discovered on non–native kelp rafts in the warmest Antarctic island. Scientific Reports 10.

Antarctic shallow coastal marine communities were long thought to be isolated from their nearest neighbours by hundreds of kilometres of deep ocean and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The discovery of non–native kelp washed up on Antarctic beaches led us to question the permeability of these barr…

Ewers‐Saucedo, C., and P. Pappalardo. 2019. Testing adaptive hypotheses on the evolution of larval life history in acorn and stalked barnacles. Ecology and Evolution 9: 11434–11447.

Despite strong selective pressure to optimize larval life history in marine environments, there is a wide diversity with regard to developmental mode, size, and time larvae spend in the plankton. In the present study, we assessed if adaptive hypotheses explain the distribution of the larval life his…