|Insights gained from a web-based atlas of halocyprid ostracods of the Southern Ocean|In: Revue de Micropaléontologie. Editions Scientifiques et Médicales Elsevier: Paris. ISSN 0035-1598, more
Planktonic ostracods; Halocyprids; Southern Ocean; Zoogeography; Systematics
|Authors|| || Top |
- Angel, M.V., more
- Blachowiak-Samolyk, K., more
Planktonic ostracods are an important, but poorly studied component of open ocean plankton communities, which inhabit all depths and play a significant role in detrital cycles. A web-based atlas (http://ocean.iopan.gda.pl/ostracoda) of the distribution of Southern Ocean planktonic ostracods has been developed compiling all extractable published data together with a considerable amount of unpublished data from samples collected during Discovery investigations (1929–1952). The northern boundary of the Southern Ocean was taken pragmatically as 52°S. The website includes information that includes distributional maps, taxonomic drawings (mostly original), size data and systematic notes on 47 species. All the data are freely downloadable as PDF files and are thus available to anyone, anywhere, with access to the web. Published data are subject to a number of errors generated by faulty identifications and changes in the taxonomy. Most, but not all, published data could be included in drawing up the maps. Not all publications have included detailed positional data and from those that included distributional maps, it was not always possible to relate the plotted distributions to the published station listings. A lack of archived data and specimens for some of the records meant dubious records could not be validated. Data are now generally archived by national oceanographic data centres, but unless supported by voucher specimens further confusion may arise for those current species which are found to include cryptic species after classical morphological studies or molecular studies. One species (Boroecia antipoda) had an apparently anomalous distribution; specimens archived in the Copenhagen Museum were reexamined and the anomalies were shown to result from the fact that some of the specimens belong to a novel species. Generally, the limits to the distributional ranges of the species showed little coherence with major oceanographic features, such as the Antarctic convergence and hence, biogeographical provinces; possible reasons are discussed. Despite these possible inherent errors, the website not only provides a resource for species identification, but is also proving to be a powerful tool for generation of hypotheses and highlighting taxonomic problems.