An analysis of gaps in knowledge of marine biodiversity in Europe

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Gaps in marine taxonomy
resources in Europe
Mark J. Costello
Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland,
New Zealand.
[email protected]
Chris S. Emblow
Ecological Consultancy Services Ltd (EcoServe),
Ireland
Philippe Bouchet
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris,
France
Anastasios Legakis
National and Capodistrian University of Athens,
Greece
Taxonomic resources
• People – taxonomists, identification skills
• Identification guides
• Collections of specimens
• Inventories of species
This talk
• Aim – what are gaps in taxonomic resources
for marine biodiversity in Europe?
• What we did – project, ouputs, scope
• Expectations
• What we found
• Implications for research and management
The project
= European Register of Marine Species
EU part-funded project
• 22 partner organisations
• 170+ participating
scientists
• 385,000 euro, 2 years
• communication with 42
organisations *
• Data management plan
• Intellectual Property
Rights Agreement
* Aim of external
communications
• data exchange
• awareness of project
• invite end-user comments
• maximise synergy of
effort, minimise overlap
• stimulate related activities
• foster collaboration
• promote use of results
ERMS - outputs
 Web site providing results
 Book listing marine species *
 Register of 600 experts (in 37 countries) in European marine




species identification
Bibliography of 840 identification guides
Gaps in identification expertise and guides, knowledge of
species groups, and marine species collections
New scientific society for the long term management of
biodiversity data (intellectual property)
Model and foundation for future projects (e.g. Fauna Europaea,
BIOMARE, MARBEF)
* Costello, M. J., Emblow, C and White R. (editors) 2001.
European Register of Marine Species. A check-list of marine species in Europe and
a bibliography of guides to their identification.
Patrimoines naturels 50, 1-463. ISBN 2-85653-538-0; ISSN 1281-6213
ERMS scope
• North Pole to 26oN
• Mid-Atlantic Ridge to
•
Black Sea
0.5 ppt to deep-sea
Excluded
• Saltmarshes
• Lichens, diatoms,
cyanobacteria, bacteria
Our expectations
• species – total 20,000 – 25,000
• identification guides – decreasing adequacy
with smaller body size taxa
• taxonomists - most 60-70 years of age
• collections – most in museums
How many species?
• 88 experts compiled
•
•
species lists
No Mediterranean lists for
Rotifera and Brachiopoda
No list for non-halacarid
Acarina
Listed
30,000
+ 4,000 omitted
+ 2,000 to be described
36,000 total
• Experts under-estimated
by 40-60% !
Weaker lists
Preliminary lists
• Crytophytes
• heterotrophic euglenoids
• Haptophytes
• Prasinophytes
Compiled from literature
• Apicomplexa (free-living species)
• Dinoflagellates
• Kathablepharids
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Placozoa
Ctenophora
Rotifera
Hirudinea
Thermosbaenacea
Isopoda – excluding Epicaridea
Brachiopoda
Appendicularia
Cephalochordata
Geographic coverage may be
incomplete
Non-protist
• Mesozoa
• Gnathostomulida
• Euphausiacea
• Hemichordata
• Fungi
• Porifera
• Siphonophora
• Chilopoda
• Diplopoda
• Insecta
• Phoronida
Protists
• Ciliates – aloricate oligotrichs
• Ciliates – Chonotricha
• Ciliates – folliculinids
• Ciliates – Rhynchodida
• Amoebae – testate
• Apusomonads
• Choanoflagellates
• Euglenids - kinetoplastids
• Bicosoecids
• Labyrinthulids
• Thaustrochytrids
• Stramenopiles incertae sedis
• Thaumatomonads
• Protista incertae sedis
(heterotrophic species)
• Amoebae – naked
• Xenophyophora
Geographic coverage complete
Arthropods
• Pycnogonida
• Remipedia
• Branchiura
• Cladocera
• Mystacocarida
• Copepoda
• Tantulocarida
• Cirripedia
• Decapoda
• Mysidacea
• Isopoda
• Insecta
• Stomatopoda
• Acarina
• Ostracoda
• Amphipoda
• Cumacea
• Tanaidacea
Worms
• Cestoda
Other taxa
• Nemertea
• Acanthocephala • Macroalgae
• Seagrass
• Turbellaria
• Aspidogastrea • Chaetognatha
• Digenea
• Myxozoa
• Monogenea
• Gastrotrichia
• Oligochaeta
• Cephalorhyncha
(= Loricifera,
• Nematoda
Priapulida,
• Polychaeta
Kinorhyncha,
Nematomorpha)
• Pogonophora
•
•
•
•
•
Tardigrada
Echiura
Sipuncula
Pentastomida
Mollusca
• Foraminifera
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Actiniaria
Antipatharia
Hydrozoa
Octocorallia
Scleractinia
Cubozoa
Scyphozoa
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ascidiacea
Thaliacea
Pisces
Tetrapoda
Bryozoa
Cycliophora
Entoprocta
Echinodermata
•
Rates of species discovery
Aves, birds
100
0
1747
1768
1789
1810
1831
1852
1873
1894
1915
1936
1957
1978
1999
Ye a r
30000
All species
25000
Mammalia
20000
100
0
1747
1768
1789
1810
1831
1852
1873
1894
1915
1936
1957
1978
1999
15000
Y ear
10000
Osteichthyes, fish
5000
1500
0
1000
500
1750
1850
0
1747 1797 1847 1897 1947 1997
Y ear
Year
1950
Major benthic, some pelagic
Mollusca
Siphonophora
4000
150
100
50
0
2000
0
1747 1768 1789 1810 1831 1852 1873 1894 1915 1936 1957 1978 1999
1747 1768 1789 1810 1831 1852 1873 1894 1915 1936 1957 1978 1999
Y ear
Year
Amphipoda
Polychaeta
1500
2000
1500
1000
500
0
1000
500
0
1747 1768 1789 1810 1831 1852 1873 1894 1915 1936 1957 1978 1999
Ye a r
1747
1797
1847
1897
Y ear
1947
1997
Meiofauna
parasites
Turbellaria
Nematoda parasitic
2000
400
1000
200
0
1747 1768 1789 1810 1831 1852 1873 1894 1915 1936 1957 1978 1999
0
Y ear
1747
1768
1789
1810
1831
1852
1873
1894
1915
1936
1957
1978
1999
Y ear
Harpacticoida
Myxozoa
2000
400
1000
200
0
1747 1768 1789 1810 1831 1852 1873 1894 1915 1936 1957 1978 1999
Year
0
1747 1768 1789 1810 1831 1852 1873 1894 1915 1936 1957 1978 1999
Ye a r
Bryozoa in Europe and New Zealand
800
600
Number of
Bryozoa
described
400
Europe
200
0
1750
New
Zealand
1850
Year
1950
Coverage of identification
guides
• 842 guides
• 58% Northern Europe
• 43% published in
• 26% Mediterranean
special series (e.g.
Synopses British
Fauna)
• 11% Lusitanian Macronesia
Trends in publications of
guides
50
40
Number of
publications
30
20
10
0
1900
1920
1940
1960
Publications per year
1980
2000
Mammalia
Stomatopoda
Aves
Ctenophora
Branchiopod
Hirudinea
Anthozoa
Cirripedia
Mysidacea
Reptilia
Brachiopoda
Cumacea
Pisces
Decapoda
Echinodermat
Oligochaeta
Scyphozoa
Chaetognatha
Chelicerata
Mollusca
Porifera
Algae
Tunicata
Bryozoa
Acanthoceph
Amphipoda
Fungi
Polychaeta
Hydrozoa
Tanaidacea
Gastrotricha
Isopoda
Plathelminthe
Nemertea
Ostracoda
Copepoda
Foraminifera
Nematoda
0.00
More guides/number
species for more
conspicuous taxa
1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00
5.00
6.00
Ratio identification guides to number of species
7.00
Expertise
• Database 1,200 persons in 38 countries
(29 European countries)
• 614 respondents
• 80% employed in public sector (including
universities)
Identification experts
Taxonomic experts
Linear (Identification experts)
Linear (Taxonomic experts)
180
45
160
40
140
35
120
30
100
25
80
20
60
15
40
10
20
5
0
0
8000
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
No. of species
5000
6000
7000
No. of taxonomic experts
No. of identification experts
Identification & taxonomic
expertise by taxa
Positive but
poor
correlations
between
species/taxa
and number of
identificiation
and taxonomic
experts
Age structure of all experts
Average age = 47
30
Range 23 to 89
25
Taxonomists older than
identification experts (=ecologists?)
No. of respondents
20
15
10
5
0
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
Age - years
60
65
70
75
80
85
State of specimen collections
• 500 questionnaires
• 80 institutes responsed
• ½ in universities !
Private
Government
University
Society, NGO
State of specimen collections
•
•
•
•
•
60% managed by < 4 staff
½ global coverage of species
¼ limited to national species
60% have type specimens
8 institutes > 10,000
specimens
• 60% institutes < 1,000
specimens
How well catalogued?
•
•
•
•
20% - none
36% - complete
40% - no electronic
10% - full electronic
Expectations and findings
• species
• 36,000 !
• taxonomists
• Average age 47
– 20,000 to 25,000
– most 60-70 years of age
• identification guides
– decreasing adequacy
with smaller body size
taxa
• collections
– most in museums
• True, but also less for
southern European seas
• Most in universities, all
poorly resourced,
catalogues insufficient
Conclusions
• High rates discovery in these taxa
– most diverse least least well known
– thousands species remain to be discovered
• Know less conspicuous taxa least
– more guides required in these groups
• More ident’ guides for southern European species
• No evidence of taxonomists going extinct
• Collections not limited to museums, most poorly
catalogued
– Awareness, knowledge inaccessible as not in databases
How to fill gaps?
1. Revise and expand checklist (ERMS 2.0)
2. Fund guides to southern European taxa
3. Focus taxonomic and ecological studies
on least well known taxa in least well
studied places
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