Publications by authors named "Mark J Costello"

47 Publications

Global warming is causing a more pronounced dip in marine species richness around the equator.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Apr;118(15)

The School of Environment, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

The latitudinal gradient in species richness, with more species in the tropics and richness declining with latitude, is widely known and has been assumed to be stable over recent centuries. We analyzed data on 48,661 marine animal species since 1955, accounting for sampling variation, to assess whether the global latitudinal gradient in species richness is being impacted by climate change. We confirm recent studies that show a slight dip in species richness at the equator. Moreover, richness across latitudinal bands was sensitive to temperature, reaching a plateau or declining above a mean annual sea surface temperature of 20 °C for most taxa. In response, since the 1970s, species richness has declined at the equator relative to an increase at midlatitudes and has shifted north in the northern hemisphere, particularly among pelagic species. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that climate change is impacting the latitudinal gradient in marine biodiversity at a global scale. The intensification of the dip in species richness at the equator, especially for pelagic species, suggests that it is already too warm there for some species to survive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2015094118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054016PMC
April 2021

Principles for creating a single authoritative list of the world's species.

PLoS Biol 2020 07 7;18(7):e3000736. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Taxonomy Australia, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, Australia.

Lists of species underpin many fields of human endeavour, but there are currently no universally accepted principles for deciding which biological species should be accepted when there are alternative taxonomic treatments (and, by extension, which scientific names should be applied to those species). As improvements in information technology make it easier to communicate, access, and aggregate biodiversity information, there is a need for a framework that helps taxonomists and the users of taxonomy decide which taxa and names should be used by society whilst continuing to encourage taxonomic research that leads to new species discoveries, new knowledge of species relationships, and the refinement of existing species concepts. Here, we present 10 principles that can underpin such a governance framework, namely (i) the species list must be based on science and free from nontaxonomic considerations and interference, (ii) governance of the species list must aim for community support and use, (iii) all decisions about list composition must be transparent, (iv) the governance of validated lists of species is separate from the governance of the names of taxa, (v) governance of lists of accepted species must not constrain academic freedom, (vi) the set of criteria considered sufficient to recognise species boundaries may appropriately vary between different taxonomic groups but should be consistent when possible, (vii) a global list must balance conflicting needs for currency and stability by having archived versions, (viii) contributors need appropriate recognition, (ix) list content should be traceable, and (x) a global listing process needs both to encompass global diversity and to accommodate local knowledge of that diversity. We conclude by outlining issues that must be resolved if such a system of taxonomic list governance and a unified list of accepted scientific names generated are to be universally adopted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000736DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340280PMC
July 2020

Past and future decline of tropical pelagic biodiversity.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 06 26;117(23):12891-12896. Epub 2020 May 26.

Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, 903-0213 Okinawa, Japan.

A major research question concerning global pelagic biodiversity remains unanswered: when did the apparent tropical biodiversity depression (i.e., bimodality of latitudinal diversity gradient [LDG]) begin? The bimodal LDG may be a consequence of recent ocean warming or of deep-time evolutionary speciation and extinction processes. Using rich fossil datasets of planktonic foraminifers, we show here that a unimodal (or only weakly bimodal) diversity gradient, with a plateau in the tropics, occurred during the last ice age and has since then developed into a bimodal gradient through species distribution shifts driven by postglacial ocean warming. The bimodal LDG likely emerged before the Anthropocene and industrialization, and perhaps ∼15,000 y ago, indicating a strong environmental control of tropical diversity even before the start of anthropogenic warming. However, our model projections suggest that future anthropogenic warming further diminishes tropical pelagic diversity to a level not seen in millions of years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1916923117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7293716PMC
June 2020

Assessing the Efficacy of a Sediment Remediation Program Using Benthic and Pelagic Copepod Bioassays.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2020 02 27;39(2):492-499. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand.

Tributyltin is an organotin chemical that has been commonly used in ship antifouling paints. Despite the global total prohibition of tributyltin-based paint in 2008, tributyltin continues to be found at toxic levels in areas of high maritime traffic such as ports and harbors. A remediation program was conducted at a New Zealand port to reduce tributyltin and copper concentrations to acceptable values. The present study assessed the efficacy of the program using a combination of chemical analyses and copepod bioassays. Sediment and water samples were collected at 3 locations along a spatial gradient within the port, and concentrations of various organotin compounds and trace metal levels were measured pre- and postremediation. The toxicity of sediment and elutriate samples was estimated by benthic and pelagic copepod bioassays. Although acute toxicity in sediment samples was reduced following remediation, reproductive success was still affected for the benthic copepod. This approach combining chemical analysis and bioassays is promising for assessing the efficacy of remediation processes at contaminated marine sites. Environ Toxicol Chem 2020;39:492-499. © 2019 SETAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.4632DOI Listing
February 2020

Unhelpful inflation of threatened species.

Authors:
Mark J Costello

Science 2019 07;365(6451):332-333

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay3467DOI Listing
July 2019

Latitudinal and bathymetrical species richness patterns in the NW Pacific and adjacent Arctic Ocean.

Sci Rep 2019 06 26;9(1):9303. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Department of Marine Zoology, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Global scale analyses have recently revealed that the latitudinal gradient in marine species richness is bimodal, peaking at low-mid latitudes but with a dip at the equator; and that marine species richness decreases with depth in many taxa. However, these overall and independently studied patterns may conceal regional differences that help support or qualify the causes in these gradients. Here, we analysed both latitudinal and depth gradients of species richness in the NW Pacific and its adjacent Arctic Ocean. We analysed 324,916 distribution records of 17,414 species from 0 to 10,900 m depth, latitude 0 to 90°N, and longitude 100 to 180°N. Species richness per c. 50 000 km hexagonal cells was calculated as alpha (local average), gamma (regional total) and ES50 (estimated species for 50 records) per latitudinal band and depth interval. We found that average ES50 and gamma species richness decreased per 5° latitudinal bands and 100 m depth intervals. However, average ES50 per hexagon showed that the highest species richness peaked around depth 2,000 m where the highest total number of species recorded. Most (83%) species occurred in shallow depths (0 to 500 m). The area around Bohol Island in the Philippines had the highest alpha species richness (more than 8,000 species per 50,000 km). Both alpha and gamma diversity trends increased from the equator to latitude 10°N, then further decreased, but reached another peak at higher latitudes. The latitudes 60-70°N had the lowest gamma and alpha diversity where there is almost no ocean in our study area. Model selection on Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) showed that the combined effects of all environmental predictors produced the best model driving species richness in both shallow and deep sea. The results thus support recent hypotheses that biodiversity, while highest in the tropics and coastal depths, is decreasing at the equator and decreases with depth below ~2000 m. While we do find the declines of species richness with latitude and depth that reflect temperature gradients, local scale richness proved poorly correlated with many environmental variables. This demonstrates that while regional scale patterns in species richness may be related to temperature, that local scale richness depends on a greater variety of variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45813-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594967PMC
June 2019

Connectivity Is Generally Not Important for Marine Reserve Planning.

Trends Ecol Evol 2019 08 31;34(8):686-688. Epub 2019 May 31.

European Commission, DG Environment, 1049 Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2019.04.015DOI Listing
August 2019

Development of acute and chronic toxicity bioassays using the pelagic copepod Gladioferens pectinatus.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2019 Jun 12;174:611-617. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Cawthron Institute, Private Bag 2, Nelson 7042, New Zealand; School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Electronic address:

Well validated and reliable biological assays using local and native species are required to characterise the impacts of pollution on ecosystem health. We identified a native estuarine pelagic copepod species suitable for assessing the ecotoxicological impact of anthropogenic contaminants. Gladioferens pectinatus fulfilled the necessary-selection criteria of: wide distribution and abundance across New Zealand estuaries, ease of maintenance in the laboratory, short life cycle, sensitivity to toxicants with different modes of action, and providing reproducibility of biological response to toxicants. Measured endpoints were survival and larval development rate for the nauplii, and survival, realized offspring and total potential offspring for adults. LC values for the survival of G. pectinatus exposed to copper, phenanthrene and chlorpyrifos were 170 (143-193), 181.3 (131.3-231.3) and 4.3 (3.8-4.9) µg/L, respectively. The most sensitive chronic endpoint identified for G. pectinatus was the larval development rate, with EC values of 49.8 (45-55.3), 31.3 (24.8-44.7) and 1.97 (1.6-2.31) µg/L for copper, phenanthrene and chlorpyrifos, respectively. The acute and chronic responses obtained for G. pectinatus against the three reference toxicants are comparable with those reported for other copepod species and confirm its sensitivity and suitability to assess the toxicity of New Zealand estuarine samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.03.022DOI Listing
June 2019

Essential biodiversity variables for mapping and monitoring species populations.

Nat Ecol Evol 2019 04 11;3(4):539-551. Epub 2019 Mar 11.

NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Species distributions and abundances are undergoing rapid changes worldwide. This highlights the significance of reliable, integrated information for guiding and assessing actions and policies aimed at managing and sustaining the many functions and benefits of species. Here we synthesize the types of data and approaches that are required to achieve such an integration and conceptualize 'essential biodiversity variables' (EBVs) for a unified global capture of species populations in space and time. The inherent heterogeneity and sparseness of raw biodiversity data are overcome by the use of models and remotely sensed covariates to inform predictions that are contiguous in space and time and global in extent. We define the species population EBVs as a space-time-species-gram (cube) that simultaneously addresses the distribution or abundance of multiple species, with its resolution adjusted to represent available evidence and acceptable levels of uncertainty. This essential information enables the monitoring of single or aggregate spatial or taxonomic units at scales relevant to research and decision-making. When combined with ancillary environmental or species data, this fundamental species population information directly underpins a range of biodiversity and ecosystem function indicators. The unified concept we present links disparate data to downstream uses and informs a vision for species population monitoring in which data collection is closely integrated with models and infrastructure to support effective biodiversity assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0826-1DOI Listing
April 2019

A world dataset on the geographic distributions of Solenidae razor clams (Mollusca: Bivalvia).

Biodivers Data J 2019 31(7):e31375. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland Auckland 1142 New Zealand.

Background: Using this dataset, we examined the global geographical distributions of Solenidae species in relation to their endemicity, species richness and latitudinal ranges and then predicted their distributions under future climate change using species distribution modelling techniques (Saeedi et al. 2016a, Saeedi et al. 2016b). We found that the global latitudinal species richness in Solenidae is bi-modal, dipping at the equator most likely derived by high sea surface temperature (Saeedi et al. 2016b). We also found that most of the Solenidae species will shift their distribution ranges polewards due to global warming (Saeedi et al. 2016a). We also provided a comprehensive review of the taxon to test whether the latitudinal gradient in species richness was uni-modal with a peak in the tropics or northern hemisphere or asymmetric and bimodal as proposed previously (Chaudhary et al. 2016).

New Information: This paper presents an integrated global geographic distribution dataset for 77 Solenidae taxa, including 3,034 geographic distribution records. This dataset was compiled after a careful data-collection and cleaning procedure over four years. Data were collected using field sampling, literature and from open-access databases. Then all the records went through quality control procedures such as validating the taxonomy of the species by examining and re-identifying the specimens in museum collections and using taxonomic and geographic data quality control tools in the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and the r-OBIS package (Provoost and Bosch 2017). This dataset can thus be further used for taxonomical and biogeographical studies of Solenidae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.7.e31375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6367310PMC
January 2019

Biodiversity Databases in the Future: Reply to Cene Fišer.

Trends Ecol Evol 2019 03 11;34(3):185-186. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2018.12.011DOI Listing
March 2019

Reply to 'Dissimilarity measures affected by richness differences yield biased delimitations of biogeographic realms'.

Nat Commun 2018 11 30;9(1):5085. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand.

Recently, we classified the oceans into 30 biogeographic realms based on species' endemicity. Castro-Insua et al. criticize the choices of dissimilarity coefficients and clustering approaches used in our paper, and reanalyse the data using alternative techniques. Here, we explain how the approaches used in our original paper yield results in line with existing biogeographical knowledge and are robust to alternative methods of analysis. We also repeat the analysis using several similarity coefficients and clustering algorithms, and a neural network theory method. Although each combination of methods produces outputs differing in detail, the overall pattern of realms is similar. The coarse nature of the present boundaries of the realms reflects the limited field data but may be improved with additional data and mapping to environmental variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07252-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6269425PMC
November 2018

Sustainable Biodiversity Databasing: International, Collaborative, Dynamic, Centralised.

Trends Ecol Evol 2018 11 10;33(11):803-805. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Natural History Museum Vienna, Department of Geology and Palaeontology, Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna, Austria.

The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is a sustainable model of international collaboration around a centralised database that provides expert validated biodiversity data freely online. This model could be replicated for the over 1.2 million terrestrial and freshwater species to improve quality control and data management in biology and ecology globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2018.08.006DOI Listing
November 2018

Abundance and local-scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity.

Sci Adv 2017 10 18;3(10):e1700419. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7001 Australia.

Among the most enduring ecological challenges is an integrated theory explaining the latitudinal biodiversity gradient, including discrepancies observed at different spatial scales. Analysis of Reef Life Survey data for 4127 marine species at 2406 coral and rocky sites worldwide confirms that the total ecoregion richness peaks in low latitudes, near +15°N and -15°S. However, although richness at survey sites is maximal near the equator for vertebrates, it peaks at high latitudes for large mobile invertebrates. Site richness for different groups is dependent on abundance, which is in turn correlated with temperature for fishes and nutrients for macroinvertebrates. We suggest that temperature-mediated fish predation and herbivory have constrained mobile macroinvertebrate diversity at the site scale across the tropics. Conversely, at the ecoregion scale, richness responds positively to coral reef area, highlighting potentially huge global biodiversity losses with coral decline. Improved conservation outcomes require management frameworks, informed by hierarchical monitoring, that cover differing site- and regional-scale processes across diverse taxa, including attention to invertebrate species, which appear disproportionately threatened by warming seas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1700419DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5647131PMC
October 2017

Marine biogeographic realms and species endemicity.

Nat Commun 2017 10 20;8(1):1057. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand.

Marine biogeographic realms have been inferred from small groups of species in particular environments (e.g., coastal, pelagic), without a global map of realms based on statistical analysis of species across all higher taxa. Here we analyze the distribution of 65,000 species of marine animals and plants, and distinguish 30 distinct marine realms, a similar proportion per area as found for land. On average, 42% of species are unique to the realms. We reveal 18 continental-shelf and 12 offshore deep-sea realms, reflecting the wider ranges of species in the pelagic and deep-sea compared to coastal areas. The most widespread species are pelagic microscopic plankton and megafauna. Analysis of pelagic species recognizes five realms within which other realms are nested. These maps integrate the biogeography of coastal and deep-sea, pelagic and benthic environments, and show how land-barriers, salinity, depth, and environmental heterogeneity relate to the evolution of biota. The realms have applications for marine reserves, biodiversity assessments, and as an evolution relevant context for climate change studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01121-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5648874PMC
October 2017

Marine Biodiversity, Biogeography, Deep-Sea Gradients, and Conservation.

Curr Biol 2017 Jun;27(11):R511-R527

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

The oceans appear ideal for biodiversity - they have unlimited water, a large area, are well connected, have less extreme temperatures than on land, and contain more phyla and classes than land and fresh waters. Yet only 16% of all named species on Earth are marine. Species richness decreases with depth in the ocean, reflecting wider geographic ranges of deep sea than coastal species. Here, we assess how many marine species are named and estimated to exist, paying particular regard to whether discoveries of deep-sea organisms, microbes and parasites will change the proportion of terrestrial to marine species. We then review what factors have led to species diversification, and how this knowledge informs conservation priorities. The implications of this understanding for marine conservation are that the species most vulnerable to extinction will be large and endemic. Unfortunately, these species are also the most threatened by human impacts. Such threats now extend globally, and thus the only refuges for these species will be large, permanent, fully protected marine reserves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.060DOI Listing
June 2017

Marine Species Richness Is Bimodal with Latitude: A Reply to Fernandez and Marques.

Trends Ecol Evol 2017 04 28;32(4):234-237. Epub 2017 Feb 28.

Institute of Marine Science, 23 Symonds Street, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.02.007DOI Listing
April 2017

Ocean Depths: The Mesopelagic and Implications for Global Warming.

Curr Biol 2017 Jan;27(1):R36-R38

ESRI, Redlands, CA 92373, USA.

The mesopelagic or 'twilight zone' of the oceans occurs too deep for photosynthesis, but is a major part of the world's carbon cycle. Depth boundaries for the mesopelagic have now been shown on a global scale using the distribution of pelagic animals detected by compiling echo-soundings from ships around the world, and been used to predict the effect of global warming on regional fish production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.042DOI Listing
January 2017

Bimodality of Latitudinal Gradients in Marine Species Richness.

Trends Ecol Evol 2016 09 29;31(9):670-676. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Institute of Marine Science, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Electronic address:

The paradigm for the latitudinal gradient in species richness is that it is unimodal with a tropical peak. For 27 published studies, and global datasets of 65 000 recent and 50 000 fossil marine species, we found that almost all datasets were significantly bimodal with a dip in species richness near the equator. The locations of mid-latitude peaks varied between taxa and were higher in the northern hemisphere where the continental shelf is greatest. Our findings support hypotheses of tropical species evolving in response to temperature variation near the edges of the tropics and available high-productivity habitat. They suggest that the equator may already be too hot for some species and that the modes may move further apart due to climate warming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2016.06.001DOI Listing
September 2016

Contrasting changes in the abundance and diversity of North American bird assemblages from 1971 to 2010.

Glob Chang Biol 2016 12 12;22(12):3948-3959. Epub 2016 May 12.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

Although it is generally recognized that global biodiversity is declining, few studies have examined long-term changes in multiple biodiversity dimensions simultaneously. In this study, we quantified and compared temporal changes in the abundance, taxonomic diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity of bird assemblages, using roadside monitoring data of the North American Breeding Bird Survey from 1971 to 2010. We calculated 12 abundance and diversity metrics based on 5-year average abundances of 519 species for each of 768 monitoring routes. We did this for all bird species together as well as for four subgroups based on breeding habitat affinity (grassland, woodland, wetland, and shrubland breeders). The majority of the biodiversity metrics increased or remained constant over the study period, whereas the overall abundance of birds showed a pronounced decrease, primarily driven by declines of the most abundant species. These results highlight how stable or even increasing metrics of taxonomic, functional, or phylogenetic diversity may occur in parallel with substantial losses of individuals. We further found that patterns of change differed among the species subgroups, with both abundance and diversity increasing for woodland birds and decreasing for grassland breeders. The contrasting changes between abundance and diversity and among the breeding habitat groups underscore the relevance of a multifaceted approach to measuring biodiversity change. Our findings further stress the importance of monitoring the overall abundance of individuals in addition to metrics of taxonomic, functional, or phylogenetic diversity, thus confirming the importance of population abundance as an essential biodiversity variable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13292DOI Listing
December 2016

The past, present and future distribution of a deep-sea shrimp in the Southern Ocean.

PeerJ 2016 23;4:e1713. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Institute of Marine Science, Leigh Marine Laboratory, The University of Auckland , Auckland , New Zealand.

Shrimps have a widespread distribution across the shelf, slope and seamount regions of the Southern Ocean. Studies of Antarctic organisms have shown that individual species and higher taxa display different degrees of sensitivity and adaptability in response to environmental change. We use species distribution models to predict changes in the geographic range of the deep-sea Antarctic shrimp Nematocarcinus lanceopes under changing climatic conditions from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present and to the year 2100. The present distribution range indicates a pole-ward shift of the shrimp population since the last glaciation. This occurred by colonization of slopes from nearby refugia located around the northern part of Scotia Arc, southern tip of South America, South Georgia, Bouvet Island, southern tip of the Campbell plateau and Kerguelen plateau. By 2100, the shrimp are likely to expand their distribution in east Antarctica but have a continued pole-ward contraction in west Antarctica. The range extension and contraction process followed by the deep-sea shrimp provide a geographic context of how other deep-sea Antarctic species may have survived during the last glaciation and may endure with projected changing climatic conditions in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768674PMC
February 2016

Baseline seabed habitat and biotope mapping for a proposed marine reserve.

PeerJ 2015 10;3:e1446. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland , Auckland , New Zealand.

Seabed mapping can quantify the extent of benthic habitats that comprise marine ecosystems, and assess the impact of fisheries on an ecosystem. In this study, the distribution of seabed habitats in a proposed no-take Marine Reserve along the northeast coast of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, was mapped using underwater video combined with bathymetry and substratum data. As a result of the boundary extending to the 12 nautical mile Territorial Limit, it would have been the largest coastal Marine Reserve in the country. Recreational and commercial fisheries occur in the region and would be expected to affect species' abundance. The seabed of the study area and adjacent coastal waters has been trawled up to five times per year. Benthic communities were grouped by multivariate cluster analysis into four biotope classes; namely (1) shallow water macroalgae Ecklonia sp. and Ulva sp. on rocky substrata (Eck.Ulv); and deeper (2) diverse epifauna of sponges and bryozoans on rocky substrata (Por.Bry), (3) brittle star Amphiura sp. and sea anemone Edwardsia sp. on muddy sand (Amph.Edw), and (4) hydroids on mud (Hyd). In biotopes Por.Bry, Amph.Edw and Hyd, there where boulders and rocks were present, and diverse sponge, bryozoan and coral communities. Fifty species were recorded in the deep water survey including significant numbers of the shallow-water hexactinellid glass sponges Symplectella rowi Dendy, 1924 and Rossella ijimai Dendy, 1924, the giant pipe demosponge Isodictya cavicornuta Dendy, 1924, black corals, and locally endemic gorgonians. The habitats identified in the waters to the northeast of Great Barrier Island are likely to be representative of similar depth ranges in northeast New Zealand. This study provides a baseline of the benthic habitats so that should the area become a Marine Reserve, any habitat change might be related to protection from fishing activities and impacts, such as recovery of epifauna following cessation of trawling. The habitat map may also be used to stratify future sampling that would aim to collect and identify epifauna and infauna for identification, and thus better describe the biodiversity of the area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4690383PMC
December 2015

Biodiversity conservation should focus on no-take Marine Reserves: 94% of Marine Protected Areas allow fishing.

Trends Ecol Evol 2015 Sep;30(9):507-9

Institute of Marine Science, Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Conservation needs places where nature is left wild; but only a quarter of coastal countries have no-take Marine Reserves. 'Marine Protected Areas' (MPAs) have been used to indicate conservation progress but we found that 94% allow fishing and thus cannot protect all aspects of biodiversity. Biodiversity conservation should focus on Marine Reserves, not MPAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.06.011DOI Listing
September 2015

The ocean sampling day consortium.

Gigascience 2015 19;4:27. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

InBio/CIBIO, Departamento de Biologia da Universidade dos Açores, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal.

Ocean Sampling Day was initiated by the EU-funded Micro B3 (Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology) project to obtain a snapshot of the marine microbial biodiversity and function of the world's oceans. It is a simultaneous global mega-sequencing campaign aiming to generate the largest standardized microbial data set in a single day. This will be achievable only through the coordinated efforts of an Ocean Sampling Day Consortium, supportive partnerships and networks between sites. This commentary outlines the establishment, function and aims of the Consortium and describes our vision for a sustainable study of marine microbial communities and their embedded functional traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13742-015-0066-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473829PMC
July 2016

Correction to Surface Area and the Seabed Area, Volume, Depth, Slope, and Topographic Variation for the World's Seas, Oceans, and Countries.

Environ Sci Technol 2015 Jun 22;49(11):7071-2. Epub 2015 May 22.

‡Esri, 360 New York St., Redlands, CA 92373, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b01942DOI Listing
June 2015

Biodiversity: the known, unknown, and rates of extinction.

Authors:
Mark J Costello

Curr Biol 2015 May;25(9):R368-71

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, P. Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Electronic address:

How many species are there and how many have we lost? New estimates shed light on this question in the marine realm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.051DOI Listing
May 2015

Conservation of biodiversity through taxonomy, data publication, and collaborative infrastructures.

Conserv Biol 2015 Aug 9;29(4):1094-9. Epub 2015 Apr 9.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System, IODE, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO, Wandelaarkaai 7/61, Ostend, 8400, Belgium.

Taxonomy is the foundation of biodiversity science because it furthers discovery of new species. Globally, there have never been so many people involved in naming species new to science. The number of new marine species described per decade has never been greater. Nevertheless, it is estimated that tens of thousands of marine species, and hundreds of thousands of terrestrial species, are yet to be discovered; many of which may already be in specimen collections. However, naming species is only a first step in documenting knowledge about their biology, biogeography, and ecology. Considering the threats to biodiversity, new knowledge of existing species and discovery of undescribed species and their subsequent study are urgently required. To accelerate this research, we recommend, and cite examples of, more and better communication: use of collaborative online databases; easier access to knowledge and specimens; production of taxonomic revisions and species identification guides; engagement of nonspecialists; and international collaboration. "Data-sharing" should be abandoned in favor of mandated data publication by the conservation science community. Such a step requires support from peer reviewers, editors, journals, and conservation organizations. Online data publication infrastructures (e.g., Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Ocean Biogeographic Information System) illustrate gaps in biodiversity sampling and may provide common ground for long-term international collaboration between scientists and conservation organizations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12496DOI Listing
August 2015

Diversity and distribution of deep-sea shrimps in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

PLoS One 2014 22;9(7):e103195. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Institute of Marine Science, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Although decapod crustaceans are widespread in the oceans, only Natantia (shrimps) are common in the Antarctic. Because remoteness, depth and ice cover restrict sampling in the South Ocean, species distribution modelling is a useful tool for evaluating distributions. We used physical specimen and towed camera data to describe the diversity and distribution of shrimps in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. Eight shrimp species were recorded: Chorismus antarcticus; Notocrangon antarcticus; Nematocarcinus lanceopes; Dendrobranchiata; Pasiphaea scotiae; Pasiphaea cf. ledoyeri; Petalidium sp., and a new species of Lebbeus. For the two most common species, N. antarcticus and N. lanceopes, we used maximum entropy modelling, based on records of 60 specimens and over 1130 observations across 23 sites in depths from 269 m to 3433 m, to predict distributions in relation to environmental variables. Two independent sets of environmental data layers at 0.05° and 0.5° resolution respectively, showed how spatial resolution affected the model. Chorismus antarcticus and N. antarcticus were found only on the continental shelf and upper slopes, while N. lanceopes, Lebbeus n. sp., Dendrobranchiata, Petalidium sp., Pasiphaea cf. ledoyeri, and Pasiphaea scotiae were found on the slopes, seamounts and abyssal plain. The environmental variables that contributed most to models for N. antarcticus were depth, chlorophyll-a concentration, temperature, and salinity, and for N. lanceopes were depth, ice concentration, seabed slope/rugosity, and temperature. The relative ranking, but not the composition of these variables changed in models using different spatial resolutions, and the predicted extent of suitable habitat was smaller in models using the finer-scale environmental layers. Our modelling indicated that shrimps were widespread throughout the Ross Sea region and were thus likely to play important functional role in the ecosystem, and that the spatial resolution of data needs to be considered both in the use of species distribution models.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103195PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106907PMC
November 2015