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A census of marine life: unknowable or just unknown?
Decker, C.J.; O'Dor, R. (2002). A census of marine life: unknowable or just unknown? Oceanol. Acta 25(5): 179-186.
In: Oceanologica Acta. Elsevier/Gauthier-Villars: Montreuil. ISSN 0399-1784, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    biodiversity; census; global; research; biogeography

Authors  Top 
  • Decker, C.J.
  • O'Dor, R.

    As an introduction to the entire volume, this article outlines the relationships among the five elements of the Census of Marine Life (CoML) that create new knowledge: (1) The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), a marine component of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, links marine databases around the world to provide an Internet accessible, dynamic interface for comparing species-level, geo-referenced biodiversity data in relation to ocean habitats. The entire CoML field project data will be managed in and accessible through OBIS. (2) The History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) is a unique new synthesis of historical and biological research that will document marine biodiversity, globally, up to 500 years ago, before significant human impact, and store it in formats compatible with modem data in OBIS. (3) The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research Working Group 118 monitors and recommends advanced marine technologies, ready to be routinely used in CoML field projects. (4) CoML Initial Field Projects develop and calibrate these technologies in selected regions to facilitate and accelerate global biodiversity research. As calibrated technologies and protocols are adopted in many regions, qualitative and quantitative biodiversity discoveries accumulate. (5) The Future of Marine Animal Populations (FMAP) program will insure that the data in OBIS are suitable for modeling and predicting changes in global biodiversity in response to fishing, pollution, and climate change challenges. It will make datasets available for hindcasting and forecasting analyses linked to physical ocean observations and assist in documenting the impacts of conservation efforts on sustainability.

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