lis.lindal.joergensen [ at ]


Currently, > 4,000 Arctic macro- and megabenthic species are known, representing the majority of Arctic marine faunal diversity. This estimate is expected to increase. • Benthic invertebrates are food to shes, marine mammals, seabirds and humans, and are commercially harvested. • Traditional Knowledge (TK) emphasizes the link between the benthic species and their predators, such as walrus, and their signi cance to culture. • Decadal changes in benthos biodiversity are observed in some well-studied regions, such as the Barents Sea and Chukchi Sea. • Drivers related to climate-change such as warming, ice decline and acidification are affecting the benthic community on a pan-Arctic scale, while drivers such as trawling, river/glacier discharge and invasive species have signficant impact on regional or local scales. • Increasing numbers of species are moving into, or shifting, their distributions in Arctic waters. These species will outcompete, prey on or offer less nutritious value as prey for Arctic species. • Current monitoring efforts have focused on macro- and megabenthic species, but have been confined to the Chukchi Sea and the Barents Sea. Efforts are increasing in waters of Greenland, Iceland, the Canadian Arctic, and in the Norwegian Sea. All other Arctic Marine Areas are lacking long-term benthic monitoring. • As a first step towards an international collaborative monitoring framework, we recommend to develop a time- and cost-effective, long-term and standardized monitoring of megabenthic communities in all Arctic regions with regular annual groundfish assessment surveys. Expanding monitoring on micro-, meio- and macrobenthic groups is encouraged.

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Jørgensen, L. L. , Archambault, P. , Blicher, M. , Denisenko, N. , Guðmundsson, G. , Iken, K. , Roy, V. , Sørensen, J. , Anisimova, N. , Behe, C. , Bluhm, B. A. , Denisenko, S. , Metcalf, V. , Olafsdottir, S. , Schiøtte, T. , Tendal, O. , Ravelo, A. , Kędra, M. and Piepenburg, D. (2017): Benthos , In: State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report, State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report, Akureyri (Iceland), Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) .

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