CoML Census of Coral Reef Ecosystems (CReefs) Dr. Nancy Knowlton, PI Department of Invertebrate Zoology National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution PO Box 37012, MRC-163, Washington DC 20013 Phone: 202-633-0668 (direct line) Fax: 202-357-3043 E-mail: [email protected] Dr. Julian Caley, PI Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville MC, Queensland 4810 Australia Phone: +617-4753-4148 Fax: +617-4772-5852 E-mail: [email protected] Dr. Russell E. Brainard, PI Chief, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite # 1110 Honolulu, HI 96814 USA Phone: (808) 944-2110 Fax: (808) 941-8705 E-mail: [email protected] Megan Moews, Project Manager, Education/Outreach Network Liaison Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, RCUH Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite # 1110 Honolulu, HI 96814 USA Phone: (808) 944-2120 Fax: (808) 941-8705 E-mail: [email protected] Mary Wakeford/Shawn Smith - Project Manager, OBIS Liaison Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville MC, Queensland 4810 Australia Phone: +617-4753-4399 Fax: +617-4772-5852 E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected] Dr Laetitia Plaisance, Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Invertebrate Zoology National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution PO Box 37012, MRC-163, Washington DC 20013 Phone: 202-633-0684 (direct line) Fax: 202-357-3043 E-mail: [email protected] http://www.coml.org/descrip/c-reefs.htm http://www.creefs.org 1. 2008 ACCOMPLISHMENTS & SCIENTIFIC HIGHLIGHTS Field Efforts Hawaii CReefs Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), led a multinational scientific expedition in October 2006 to improve understanding of the biological diversity of understudied invertebrate, algal, and microbial species at French Frigate Shoals (FFS) in the largest fully protected marine conservation area on the planet—the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Initial estimates predicted discoveries of over 100 new species and records, using a wide variety of new and proven methods over a diverse range of habitats. As a follow up to this effort, since 2007, scientists from NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Bishop Museum, Instituto de Ciencias do Mar at the Universidade Federal do Ceara in Brazil, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have been sorting, identifying, and curating the 4,150 sample lots and estimated 2,100 unique morphospecies collected during the cruise. Over 1,2790 DNA subsamples were collected for the Barcode of Life initiative. Complementing the data obtained from the French Frigate Shoals sampling effort and Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure retrieval (see ARMS discussion below), CReefs scientists are analyzing samples of the algal and invertebrate communities living on derelict fishing gear collected during a September/October 2007 NOAA marine debris removal expedition in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Specific goals for the survey were to bring together a skilled scientific team to assess the diversity of species living on derelict fishing nets, document and preserve the specimens found for analysis, and create end products that spatially depict the findings in a way that is useful to managers and future researchers. Investigations could assist managers in finding out if the debris serves as a possible vector for accelerating the introduction of alien species to the region. The Report from this effort includes a database of species found living on the debris and could contribute significantly to effective management of invasive species globally (Godwin et al, 2008). Multi-institutional scientists analyzing samples from these efforts have recently submitted an update of specimens currently being processed. ~1600-2150 Unique morphospecies ~1279 DNA subsamples Most photographed alive Algae: 366 specimens catalogued (~160 morphospecies) 179 described taxa reported previously at FFS (Vroom, 2006) 7+ genus/species records Undergoing nuclear LSU, mitochondrial COI barcode, plastic UPA sequencing General Invertebrates: At least 30-50 new species and at least 100 new records for region Probable new species among sponges, corals, anemones, flatworms, segmented worms, hermit and other crabs, sea slugs, bivalves, gastropods, octopus, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and sea squirts (6 octopus were collected representing 6 different species, 3 may be new) Ascidians: >50 species documented, new species and family records for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), new species Only 67 species previously recorded from entire Hawaiian Archipelago Opisthobranchs: ~500 species reported previously from HI, 140 from NWHI 62 species collected 48 likely new records for FFS 27 likely new records for NWHI 4 new records for HI 3 may be undescribed Annelids: ~1052 individuals among 115 morphospecies in 28 families were found. (Eunicidae, Syllidae, and Nereidae dominant) Cryptic polychaetes and other worms underrepresented due to sampling methodology Most specimens undergoing ID Undescribed genus of sabellid found on Oahu practice dive Undescribed Haplosyllis with undescribed parasite found Potential new genus for a eunicid Crabs & symbionts: 1 new hermit 1 new HI record hermit likely 2 new anemones 2 new flatworms likely new oyster At least 7 families of decapods and ~20 genera and 33 species reported from FFS for the first time Many HI and NWHI genus, and species records, undescribed species According to Dr. Tito Lotufo in Brazil, many species of didemnids of the genus Leptoclinides, have been found in the FFS samples. Lotufo informed the project that although it is a common genus in the Pacific, it usually is not abundant or diversified, so this appears to be a peculiarity of the ascidian fauna from that region. Recently, in 2008, a paper was published regarding a new record for the Hawaiian Archipelago: Godwin, L.S. and I. Baums. 2008. The hermit crab Calcinus isabellae Poupin (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura: Diogenidae), a new record for the Hawaiian Archipelago, including a review of the genus Calcinus Dana in Hawaii. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 100: 52-54. The following manuscript submitted to Zootaxa is pending: Martin, J.W., L.S. Godwin and R. Moffitt. 2008. Additions to the decapod crustacean fauna of the Hawaiian Islands, I. A new species of the crab genus Sakaila Manning and Holthuis, 1981 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Calappoidea) from French Frigate Shoals, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Godwin et al. 2008 recently provided a report summarizing invertebrate fauna found on derelict fishing gear recovered by NOAA at FFS in 2007. Identification and analysis of these specimens can be a time consuming process, thus there are likely to be many more discoveries as the specimens are further analyzed. Such discoveries will be documented in multiple joint publications and the data placed in OBIS. By providing scientists and managers with a more complete picture of what exists in coral reef ecosystems, they will be better equipped to manage them and in particular watch for and manage changes over time. With the integration of further investigations, there can be a greater understanding of biodiversity over gradients of human disturbance. CReefs and NOAA have been invited to collaborate with several institutions of the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium (PARC), including the California Academy of Sciences, the American Museum of Natural History, University of Hawaii, University of California San Diego, Stanford University, and Victoria University, to develop a funding proposal to the Gordon Moore Foundation and a ship time request to NOAA to conduct a comprehensive CReefs biodiversity census at Palmyra and Kingman Atolls in the central Pacific. This proposal will be submitted in November 2008 and the proposed field surveys, if funded, would be conducted in 2010. Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) CReefs scientists are continuing the development and testing of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) as a systematic, consistent, and comparable method to monitor indices of cryptic invertebrate diversity and a CoML legacy. These long-term collecting devices, designed to roughly mimic the structural complexity of a coral reef and attract colonizing invertebrates, are being developed and used as a standard method for taxonomic and molecular analysis to assess indices of invertebrate biodiversity and improve the ability to measure and monitor the biodiversity of these understudied organisms on a global scale over time. With an increasing scarcity of trained invertebrate taxonomists, ARMS will enable researchers to obtain information utilizing molecular techniques that would otherwise be challenging and time consuming using traditional morphological analyses. Furthermore, while coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, methods to assess this diversity can be problematic, particularly for small and cryptic organisms. Through retrospective analysis and the development of this monitoring tool, ARMS have the potential to greatly enhance the capacity for ecosystem-based management and increase the ability to monitor and predict ecological impacts of global climate change, particularly ocean warming and ocean acidification. Beginning in the Hawaiian Archipelago and expanding globally, ARMS have been deployed throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (Main Hawaiian Islands and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument), Line Islands, Phoenix Islands, American Samoa, Australia, and Brazil, with proposed deployments in Panama, Reunion (Indian Ocean), Mariana Islands, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands, along with other locations that are currently being discussed. Schematics of the final ARMS design have been created to allow future production to occur in-country utilizing standard materials and labor. Consequently, ARMS deployed during the recent 2008 Australia field efforts were produced by the AIMS workshop and are scheduled for re-collection during the second round of trips in 2009. The first set of ARMS deployed in 2006 at French Frigate Shoals, were recovered in October 2007 and initial identification of invertebrates colonizing the ARMS is currently underway, with molecular and taxonomic analyses continuing through 2008. These ARMS were deployed at sites selected on the basis of habitat characterization and the analyses were designed to look at both the effectiveness of the instruments across the range of habitats and the taxa collected. ARMS were most productive in sampling mollusks (28%), ascidians (24%), crustaceans (19%) and bryozoans (11%) in fore reefs and lagoon patch reef habitats. These results suggest that coupling ARMS with taxonomic and molecular analyses can be an effective method to assess and monitor understudied coral reef invertebrate biodiversity. Interestingly, Godwin et al. 2008 found three new records of alien species colonized on the ARMS at French Frigate Shoals, suggesting that ARMS may serve as a useful tool to detect cryptic alien species. In 2008, NOAA’s Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) deployed 81 ARMS throughout the Line and Phoenix Islands and American Samoa, 75 ARMS throughout the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and 36 ARMS in the Main Hawaiian Islands. In addition, CReefs sent 9 ARMS to Brazil that were collaboratively deployed on the Abrolhos Reefs as part of the Pro- Abrolhos Reef Project. These structures will remain in the field collecting data for approximately 1-2 years. Additional ARMS development and testing is currently taking place off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, where 14 ARMS were deployed in August 2007. They will be retrieved in December 2008, as part of a planned Workshop on ARMS Recovery, Processing, and Analyses. This workshop will bring together leading taxonomists and molecular biologists to jointly develop and test methods for retrieval, sorting, processing, and analyzing the samples using both molecular and taxonomic methods. As a spinoff to the ARMS development effort, CReefs and the NOAA PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division are exploring the development of similar systematic and comparable calcification plates to monitor spatial and temporal patterns of calcification in response to ocean acidification. The goal is to develop simple, inexpensive, and stable structures (with minimal footprint) that will improve our understanding of the ecological impacts of ocean acidification. Australia CReefs Australia began field expeditions this year and has now completed three of nine planned expeditions to three Australian sites. Each expedition will be 3 weeks long and involve approximately 25 people. This field program has been generously supported by BHP Billiton, the world’s largest resources company. This funding will continue until 2011. Milestones reached to date include: A CReefs Australia Steering Committee has been established and its Terms-of-Reference agreed between CReefs PI Julian Caley and a representative from each of five Australian Museums (recently expanded to six), in November 2007. The Steering Committee has communicated through a series of face-to-face meetings, conference calls and email correspondence. A thorough examination and assessment of gaps in taxonomic knowledge has been completed and a list of priority taxa established that will be targeted in surveys of the three Australian field sites. Completion of three field expeditions – Lizard Island (Apr 08), Ningaloo Reef (June 08) and Heron Island (Aug/Sep 08). These expeditions were very successful collecting hundreds of new species and adding new locations for many others. These expeditions ran smoothly without incident and received considerable media attention. Activities supporting these expeditions included extensive logistical planning, upgrading and updating AIMS’ staff diving and first aid qualifications, management of OHS&E risks encompassing the many different collaborating institutions, hazards specific to each field location, sampling protocol revision, implementation of a collection database for linking images and data, uploading existing taxonomic classifications and allowing automated searching, and sample tracking. These procedures will be further developed and refined for use during upcoming expeditions. In April 2008, the project was endorsed at the institutional level by the Council of Australian Museum Directors. This endorsement allows the institutions’ contributions to be officially acknowledged through a variety of means including use of their logos on CReefs materials and websites. It also creates greater opportunity for these institutions to co-invest in the project while contributing to their strategic needs. The Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), the main funding body for taxonomy and systematics in Australia, agreed in early June 2008 to co-invest with the CReefs Australia Project an additional $600,000 to support the taxonomic and systematic analyses of the samples collected as part of the project. The process for allocating the CReefs funds for taxonomy support and the additional funds from ABRS has also been agreed upon. The Manager of Science Communications at AIMS, Steve Clarke has been involved in developing a communications plan for the CReefs Australian project and attended the Census of Marine Life, All Programs Meeting in Auckland in November 2007. A large library of high quality imagery (stills and video) documenting CReefs activities and collection material has been established. Gary Cranitch, a Queensland Museum Photographer, was awarded the 2008 Professional Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the year award by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography based on his photography associated with CReefs expeditions. Recruitment of a Postdoctoral Fellow to the CReefs Australia Project, Dr. Rebecca Fisher, has been completed. She will officially begin work 17 November 2008. Her role will be to focus on the analysis of large-scale coral-reef biodiversity patterns. CReefs Collection Database (Long-term Legacy) The CReefs Collection Database was used as the central data management system for all three 2008 Australia collection trips. Gavin Ericson developed an access database based on the format of the Excel spreadsheets used during the first CReefs cruise to French Frigate Shoals, with the aim to create a product that was user-friendly, simplified data entry and image storage, provided features to assist subsequent taxonomic analysis and provide much greater data security than is possible with spreadsheets. During the Australian field expeditions, each group of researchers had a copy of the database loaded on their computer and entered data directly into the database, rather than into spreadsheets to be verified and uploaded at a later date. The table structure reflected the need to have mandatory fields for referential integrity and also to match the OBIS structure. Researches were able to upload pre-existing classifications into the database to be accessed via drop-down lists whist entering taxonomic information. The process of matching Specimens with photographs was greatly simplified by having a button on the form “Add Images” that allowed researches to search for relevant folders and images on the desktop, select a number of images which were then automatically copied, renamed, saved and linked in the database to the relevant Specimen. Each Specimen could also have an entry in the DNA table and Lots table. To make data entry more efficient, a Defaults section allowed researches to set default values for a range of fields, i.e. Custodian, Habitat, Substrate, Relaxant and Fixative. The Participant table could be updated and Collector Groups created allowing a group name to be entered rather than several entries for each participant. Searches of the data, particularly by taxonomy, allowed images for all entries of a particular species to be viewed and compared - which was a very useful tool for parataxonomists and when a new morphospecies was created. Upon completion of the trip, researchers took a copy of the database with them or exported Specimen data by selecting the fields of interest and saving as an Excel spreadsheet. All data from the databases were appended to one location and reside at AIMS. Future updates to taxonomy by researchers at museums around Australia will be done via 1) a web login system and 2) a synchronized access database. These two applications are currently being developed. Indian Ocean and East Africa rollout Three arenas remain promising for extending CReefs to the Indian Ocean: The Royal Society-Chagos Archipelago Project (Contact: Dr Alex Rogers, Zoological Society of London). The Royal Society contacted CReefs concerning a proposal to work in the Chagos Archipelago. The proposal is for lengthy research programmes (5 years) including expeditions employing the methods CReefs has developed for standardized sampling. The Chagos Archipelago is of particular interest as a CReefs field site for a number of reasons: 1) the remoteness and hence relatively pristine nature of these reefs, 2) the general lack of information for reefs of the Indian Ocean, and 3) the role of the Chagos as a stepping stone for dispersal in the region. However, we have not received any word about the success of their proposal. Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) Conference. CReefs PI Dr. Julian Caley met with interested parties at the WIOMSA Conference in Durban (Oct. 2007) to discuss potential funding opportunities and collaboration to expand CReefs into the Indian Ocean. Opportunities exist to develop sites for CReefs off the East African coast, the Seychelles, and Reunion Is. ARMS deployment in this region is generating considerable interest and is likely to be achievable before funding can be secured for full fledged sampling expeditions. ARMS deployments in Western Indian Ocean. CReefs PI Dr. Rusty Brainard initiated collaborative discussions with Dr. Henrich Bruggemann at the University of Reunion and Dr. Gustav Paulay at the University of Florida Museum of Natural History regarding deployments of ARMS in 1) Reunion - restricted access sanctuary zones have been established on the reef flats and outer reef slopes as part of the new MPA; 2) the uninhabited French Eparse Islands situated along a South-North gradient in the Mozambique Channel (Europa, Juan de Nova, Mayotte, Gloriose Islands) and Tromelin located NE of Madagascar. These islands are strict sanctuaries with military presence; and 3) Seychelles - a BIOTAS mission. All Taxa Biotic Survey Knowlton has been invited by the Keck Foundation to submit a proposal for the first all taxon biotic survey of a coral reef, now in the final stages of preparation, for ~1.3 million dollars. This project will be in collaboration with Philippe Bouchet, Gustav Paulay, Chris Meyer, and the Marine Barcode of Life initiative. If funded, the two-year project will begin in July 2009, and will focus initially on mass molecular sampling of reef multicellular organisms in order to obtain an estimate of how much coral reef biodiversity remains to be documented (narrowing the scope of the unknown) and what is being lost associated with reef degradation. Molecular approaches for categorizing marine biodiversity of coral reefs A paper on the diversity of crustaceans in Moorea (French Polynesia) and in the Line Islands has been submitted to Coral Reefs, in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Meyer, of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History/Univ. California Moorea Biocode Project and Dr. Gustav Paulay, of the University of Florida’s Florida Museum of Natural History. In this study, >400 individual crustaceans were sequenced, and 135 distinct sequences detected. Although most could be morphologically assigned to described species or species complexes, none matched at the species level any sequence in GenBank, indicated how lacking are the genetic data for reef organisms. Strikingly, this relatively small sample (collected from just 22 heads of dead coral) contained 65 species of brachyuran crabs, 30% of the total described for Europe and 1% of the global total. The data from this study will be served in the Barcode of Life data system. Quantitative sampling of reef-associated organisms has taken place in all three Australian localities investigated in 2008 (Lizard and Heron Island and Ningaloo reef). DNA barcoding is underway for these collections. Initial identification of invertebrates colonizing the surfaces of ARMS retrieved from French Frigate Shoals is also underway, with molecular and taxonomic analysis continuing through 2008. Numbers of samples are: Lizard Is, GBR: 670 (all taxa); Heron Is, GBR: 1100 (all taxa); Ningaloo, Western Australia: 600 (all taxa); ARMS (Hawaii): 800 (crustaceans only). In addition to DNA barcoding, which is now widely used for species identification, discovery and inventory, we are actively developing environmental sampling and high throughput sequencing methods. These methods will allow determination of thousands of sequences from a single collection; it is especially useful for those groups of organisms that are too small to voucher effectively and in groups for which species richness is often overlooked. This will be the subject of a field workshop in December 2008, using the Hawaiian ARMS to be collected at that time. New Species Descriptions Seven papers are published or in press with news species descriptions from the Knowlton lab (see CoML database). These concern snapping shrimp in the genus Alpheus, the archetypal megadiverse reef group which may have over 1000 species in total. In addition to publications, species pages are available on a Smithsonian website. Other species descriptions are underway associated with a large number of taxonomists who participated in the Hawaiian and Australian expeditions, for example a paper in press in Crustaceana on a new species of isopod. 2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT & INTERNAL COMMUNICATION The project is led by the three PIs: Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Dr. Julian Caley, and Dr. Russell Brainard and is coordinated by project managers residing at each node. Each node has different areas of responsibility, as follows: Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History/Scripps Institution of Oceanography- Nancy Knowlton (PI), Penny Dockry- (Admin. funded by SIO), Laetitia Plaisance (postdoctoral fellow funded by CReefs). Knowlton, with Plaisance, coordinates the development of molecular tools and analyses and is responsible for developing a Caribbean field project. She also provides links with efforts being undertaken by the World Bank Coral Reef Targeted Research Program, the BioCode Project in Moorea, the Santo Project and future all taxa survey run by Philippe Bouchet (with Plaisance), marine Bar-Coding projects, and other CReefs-associated projects in Palmyra. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), NOAARussell Brainard (PI), Megan Moews (node coordinator/outreach liaison funded by CReefs/Sloan Foundation), Russell Moffitt (database/field specialist funded by CReefs/NOAA), Molly Timmers (invertebrate/field specialist funded by CReefs/NOAA), Bonnie DeJoseph (outreach/field specialist funded by CReefs/NOAA), Daniel Merritt (engineer/methods development, funded by NOAA). Brainard, with Moews, is responsible for coordinating all CReefs Central, Western (except Australia) and South Pacific projects, NOAA Pacific RAMP, and education/outreach. Moffitt and Timmers assist the project ~50% of their time providing database, methods development, and field assistance. Merritt provides engineering expertise for ARMS and the upcoming ocean acidification measurement methods. DeJoseph assists 50% of her time with logistics and outreach/education. The project is continuously provided support by CRED staff. Australian Institute of Marine Science- Julian Caley (PI), Mary Wakeford (Project Manager), Shawn Smith (CReefs Australia Field Manager), Gavin Ericson (CReefs Database developer/administrator). Caley, with Wakeford/Smith/Ericson, is responsible for delivering relevant coral reef records into OBIS, undertaking a series of field expeditions to 3 Australian reef sites (see above), and development/management of the CReefs Collection Database. The three nodes each have clearly defined milestones that are addressed at the node level. For milestones concerning CReefs as a whole, coordination between the nodes is maintained by email contact, conference calls and occasional face-to-face meetings. A web-based content management system in Plone serves as the central hub for project documents, milestone progress, meeting minutes, forums and upcoming events. 3. 2008 EDUCATION & OUTREACH EFFORTS Websites A partnership has been established between renowned photographer Susan Middleton, CReefs, NOAA, the Papahanaumokuakei Marine National Monument, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, AIMS, the Smithsonian, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create a web presentation prototype from the 2006 FFS photographs and engage the general public with powerful imagery to convey the importance of understanding marine biodiversity and the function of lesser known organisms in coral reef ecosystems. This project was awarded funding by the 2008 International Year of the Reef Initiative (IYOR 2008) and is currently in progress. Because of the quality of Middleton’s work as well as the success of her previous endeavors, it is anticipated that this effort will be highly successful, reaching a wide audience of internet users. Also in conjunction with IYOR 2008, CReefs and ad2 developed the CReefs Biodiversity Resource Locator (CBRL) in time for the International Coral Reef Symposium in July 2008, where CReefs held a booth (as well as presented). CBRL (http://www.creefs.org/resourcelocator.html), housed on the CReefs website (www.creefs.org) has been designed as a searchable, web-based database updated by its users, allowing users (individuals needing information about a given area, species, etc associated with coral reefs) to connect with institutions, managers and scientists associated with coral reef biodiversity around the world. The site was developed so that further expansion can take place, allowing for additions such as literature and database search capabilities. By adding such content, CBRL will be an invaluable tool allowing users to research multiple facets of available material relating to coral reef biodiversity. While its initial introduction at ICRS was a success, drawing in 82 members, CBRL (along with other CReefs efforts) was further introduced at the Hawaii Conservation Conference as well as through business cards and brochures. A largescale, web-based announcement will take place in November 2008. In addition to the CBRL, CReefs, partnering with AIMS and NOAA, is focusing on further web expansion during 2008 and 2009 to transform the site into a one-stop site for coral reef biodiversity information. CReefs is also pursuing the possibility of partnering with the Smithsonian Ocean Portal (ocean.si.edu/oceanhall) as the Portal is developed. This website, associated with the opening of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall, featured several pieces on conservation related to coral reefs written by Knowlton and her assistant Christine Hoekenga. Australian Field Expeditions The 2008 Australian field expeditions were launched at the Museum of Tropical Queensland on 31 March by BHP-Billiton, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and AIMS with many CReefs participants and local dignitaries present. The launch received much positive press coverage and the events of each expedition were extensively blogged on the CReefs website (www.creefs.org). The three expeditions undertaken in 2008 were the subject of a very successful global media campaign, developed in partnership with the Education and Outreach group of the Census of Marine Life. Media coverage included all the major wire services, media pieces in 18 languages across 51countries (see the summary under construction online at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p Rwdzmg01IrRpiC7PrOQTXA&hl=en), and at least 55 media pieces in Australia. A large library of high quality imagery (stills and video) has also been generated documenting CReefs activities and collection material. Gary Cranitch, a Queensland Museum Photographer, was awarded the 2008 Professional Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the year award by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. The prize-winning images were all from Gary’s participation in the Lizard Island expedition of CReefs. Richard Morris joined the Heron Island expedition and produced high resolution video on CReefs activities and interviews. This footage, along with stills imagery, was put to extensive use in the recent media campaign. Discussions have also been held between the Education and Outreach group of the Census and CReefs Australia about possible opportunities for a television documentary on coral reefs. As part of CReefs Education and Outreach activities, the most recent CReefs Australia expedition was joined by a science teacher from San Diego, Zamaria Rocio who was sponsored by the ARMADA Program. Zamaria worked primarily as an assistant to Laetitia Plaisance, who is sampling biodiversity in dead coral heads. Zamaria reported back to her classes on her activities directly from Heron Island and will use her experience of the expedition in curriculum development. CReefs Australia is discussing opportunities with BHP Billiton to include an Australian science teacher on a CReefs expedition as a prize in the BHP-Billiton Science Awards Other Press and Public Conferences During the AAAS meeting in Boston in February 2008, Knowlton was one of four presenters at a press conference on the topic of climate change and acidification, and discussed these themes with respect to coral reef biodiversity. She was also the plenary speaker for the US Coral Reef task force and a speaker for the coral reef panel of the Congressional Hill Ocean Week, where she discussed resilience and biodiversity. Finally, at the International Coral Reef Symposium in July 2008, she was a participant for a press conference and a TV/web interview on coral reef biodiversity extinctions, and participated on a panel consisting of scientists and media representatives, led by Seaweb, to help the two groups work together more effectively. Brainard provided an interview about coral reef biodiversity for the syndicated National Geographic Weekend radio show hosted by Boyd Matson. He is also working closely with Greg Marshall of National Geographic on a long-term documentary about monitoring the impacts of climate change on coral reef biodiversity. Greg is presently (October 2008) participating on a NOAA Pacific RAMP research cruise in the main Hawaiian Islands. 4. SOCIETAL BENEFITS, IMPACT & APPLICATIONS Marine Policy Press conferences described made a strong recommendation for the importance of local protection as a builder of coral reef resilience in the face of global change. Related to this theme, Knowlton was one of three scientists asked by the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, James Connaughton, to brief the Council and affiliated agencies on the importance of the central Pacific atolls with respect to evidence for the efficacy of local protection; the presentation was so well received that the panel was asked to repeat it for representatives of recreational fishing organizations. As part of the same effort to assess increasing protection and conservation of the Pacific Remote Islands areas of the central Pacific, several islands in the Northern Mariana Islands, and Rose Atoll in American Samoa, Brainard was asked to lead a series of three scientific presentations about the coral reef ecosystems of the Pacific region to Chairman Connaughton. Knowlton was also asked to participate in a panel on a related topic for congressional staff on the use of the term “resilience” in coral reef management, followed by a visit to key staff members; the term was later included in legislative language. Knowlton was one of four scientists invited to a senate breakfast discussion of climate change organized by Senator John Kerry. Finally, she led Senator Chris Dodd on a tour of the new Sant Ocean Hall, including a discussion of the threats to coral reefs which are prominently displayed in the only living portion of the exhibit. The results of the 2006 FFS CReefs/NOAA census provided managers with information cited in the Papahanaumokuakea World Heritage Site Nomination. Furthermore, the significance of this large scale census has led to a request by PARC that CReefs conduct a census at Palmyra and Kingman Atolls in the Line Islands. The importance of obtaining/utilizing coral reef ecosystem biodiversity information is further becoming a priority within NOAA as well. As a result of the Fall 2007 investigation which examined biofouling organisms associated with derelict fishing gear in the Pāpahanaumokuākea Marine National Monument (in conjunction with a study conducted in 2000), the need for future debris removal efforts to note and collect rare fauna recruiting to debris will likely be factored in to future management decisions. There were 8 new records from 4 different phyla recorded for the NWHI during this preliminary effort. All these records were cryptic species that are difficult to obtain, except during efforts focused on species inventory for the purpose of assessing biodiversity (“The marine invertebrate species associated with the biofouling of derelict fishing gear in the Pāpahanaumokuākea–Marine National Monument: A focus on marine non-native species transport,” Preliminary Report, Godwin, et. al, 2008). New Technologies It is a CReefs goal that sampling methodologies and protocols developed for CReefs field operations be adopted by researchers when assessing the status of understudied coral reef species as well as climate change. In particular, CReefs is developing and testing Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) as a CoML legacy (see section 1). The schematics for ARMS construction have been standardized to support efforts to measure indices of invertebrate biodiversity on a universal level. As noted previously, in association with NOAA Pacific RAMP and CReefs efforts, ARMS have been deployed throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (Main Hawaiian Islands and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument), Line Islands, Phoenix Islands, and American Samoa. Other CReefs associated ARMS deployments are taking place in Australia and Brazil, with proposed deployments in Panama, Reunion (IO), Mariana Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands. The interest in ARMS continues to increase globally. The “suction sampler”, which gently suctions/filters invertebrates and sand, originally developed by Philippe Bouchet, is also expanding its horizons from Santo Vanuatu to the Hawaiian Archipelago; it is currently being utilized in Moorea by Gustav Paulay and team associated with the affiliated Moorea Biocode Project. In addition, a method of standardized biodiversity sampling in natural habitats that has been used in Hawaii, the Line Islands and Australia, consists of sampling the biodiversity inhabiting in dead coral heads (Pocillopora). Two papers that report scientific results related to these efforts were presented at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Florida, July 2008, and one paper was presented at the Ocean Sciences meeting in Florida, March 2008. Plaisance, L., Meyer, C. Paulay, G., Brainard, R., Hall, A., Caley, M. J., and Knowlton, N. 2008. Standardized sampling and molecular approaches for assessing marine biodiversity of coral reefs. 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, USA. Hall, A., Brainard, R., Caley, M. J. et al. 2008. Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS): a tool for monitoring indices of biodiversity. 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, USA. Plaisance, L., Meyer, C. Paulay, G. and Knowlton, N. 2008. Molecular approaches for categorizing marine biodiversity of coral reefs. 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, USA. CReefs and the NOAA PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division are currently exploring the possibility of developing settlement and accretion plates. The goal during 2008-2009, is to develop simple, inexpensive, and stable structures (with minimal footprint) that will help create a better understanding of acidification in tropical reef areas, for use on a global scale. In addition to the collection protocols, CReefs will encourage the use of the CReefs Collection Database as a data repository and sample management tool for similar biodiversity studies requiring data identification, storage, update, and tracking. Requests to use this database have been received from other marine biodiversity survey projects. Data from this database will be served to OBIS. CReefs collection data will provide valuable baseline information for future monitoring studies at selected locations. CReefs outreach (see Outreach/Education section), and in particular the CReefs website, will provide significant coral reef biodiversity information and will be linked with the CReefs Database via the newly developed resource locator (described above). Discussions are now underway to link the CReefs website with the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal, which will be launched in 2009. 5. PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATIONS Organization Name Point-of-Contact (Name) Nature of Relationship Nancy Knowlton CReefs Lead Principal Investigator links with Northern Line Islands cruises and other biodiversity scientists Nancy Knowlton CReefs Lead Principal Investigator links with other biodiversity scientists and Sant Marine Initiative Nancy Knowlton/Marea Hatziolos CReefs Lead Principal Investigator chairs targeted coral reef research project, whose network links 4 centers of excellence (Univ. Queensland, Philippines, Mexico, Zanzibar) and >50 reef scientists worldwide Russell Brainard, Megan Moews CReefs Principal Investigator (Brainard), NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division leads integrated coral reef ecosystem assessments and monitoring at 50 islands and atolls across the Pacific as part of NOAA Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program. Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Julian Caley, Shawn Smith, Mary Wakeford, Gavin Ericson, Rebecca Fisher CReefs Principal Investigator (Caley), links with other AIMS and Australian reef scientists, web/marketing consultants photographers, videographers, journalists BHP-Billiton Melinda Buckland Scripps Institution of Oceanography Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History World Bank National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Group Manager Community Programs HSEC &Sustainability NOAA: NCCOS; Coral Reef Conservation Program; NWHI-MNM; CoRiS Mark Monaco; Andy Collins National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science; outreach; outreach/NWHI-MNM co-trustee management agency; Pacific Region Integrated Data Enterprise (data integration); Florida Museum of Natural History Gustav Paulay, John Starmer, Sea McKeon, Arthur Anker Collaborative biodiversity surveys and systematic projects Museum national d'Histoire naturelle Philippe Bouchet Collaborative Projects throughout Pacific, including Santo Expedition and New Caledonia Berkeley/Smithsonian Moorea Biocode Project Christopher Meyer Project Coordinator Moorea Biocode Project National Geographic Society Enric Sala Coordination with Smithsonian in web and other ocean efforts Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Jo-Ann Leong; Scott Godwin Scientific Collaboration for Pacific Islands and with ARMS University of Hawaii Tom Schroeder; Alison Sherwood JIMAR resources; UH Botany CSIRO, AIMS Roland Pitcher, Peter Doherty PIs for Seabed Biodiversity Project U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Don Palawski, Jim Maragos NWHI-MNM co-trustee management agency NBII Pacific Basin Information Node Mark Fornwall, Derek Masaki OBIS Regional Node, CReefs web host, data management Bishop Museum Lu Eldredge, Richard Pyle Advisory Committee Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Joel Martin, Leslie Harris, Gordon Hendler Collaborative biodiversity surveys and systematic projects Ocean Biogeographic Information System Mark Costello, Tony Rees Collaboration, advisor State of Hawaii Dan Polhemus NWHI-MNM co-trustee management agency University of Miami Carla Hurt DNA barcoding (alpheid shrimp) Brown-Marine Biological Laboratory/ICoMM Mitch Sogan, Linda Amaral Zettler Microbial consultation, ICoMM San Diego State University Forest Rohwer, Katie Barott Australian Museum Patricia Hutchings Western Australian Museum Diana Jones Scientific collaboration (molecular analysis of environmental samples) CReefs Australia Steering Committee CReefs Australia Steering Committee Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Barry Russell South Australian Herbarium Andy Lowe University of Puerto Rico, Ernesto Weil, Emmanuel Irizarry CReefs Australia Steering Committee, Department of Natural Resources Environment and the Arts, Northern Territory CReefs Australia Steering Committee Scientific Consultation Caribbean University of the Philippines University of Hawaii University of Kansas Independent Pacific Invertebrate Specialist Independent Photographer Universidad Federal do Ceara, Brazil National Park Service National Park Service Independent systematist Soto Ed Gomez Cheryl Squair, Celia Smith, Les Watling, Kris Coontz Daphne Fautin Corydon Pittman Susan Middleton Tito Lotufo Rebecca Most Caroline Rogers Kevin Tilbrook Scientific Consultation Scientific Consultation Scientific Consultation Scientific Consultation Outreach and Education (see outreach section) Scientific Consultation Scientific consultation Scientific consultation Scientific Consultation, Bryozoan taxonomists Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium (PARC-partnership of 10 institutions) Healy Hamilton, Eleanor Sterling, Stuart Sandin Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium (Calif. Acad. Of Sci, Amer. Mus. of Nat. Hist., UCSDSIO) collaboration to conduct CReefs biodiversity census at Palmyra and Kingman Atolls. University of California, Merced/ICoMM Monica Medina Microbial consultation Murdoch Rainbo Dixon PhD algal taxonomy Australian Institute of Marine Science Dr Katharina Fabricius Octocoral taxonomist Queensland Museum Dr Merrick Ekins, Dr Monika Schlacher, Patrisha Hendricks, Dr Niel Bruce; John Hooper, Gary Cranitch Octocoral/sponge/isopod taxonomists; CReefs Australia Steering Committee (Hooper), photographer (Cranitch) Museum Victoria Dr Phil Bock, Dr Magda Blazewicz, Tim O’Hara Bryozoan/tanaid/echinoderm taxonomists; CReefs Australia Steering Committee (O’Hara) CERF Dr. Camille Mellin Post doc Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory Dr Chris Glasby, Dr Charlotte Watson, Gavin Dally, Steven Gregg Polychaete taxonomists, taxonomic support South Australian Herbarium /University of Adelaide Dr Fred Gurgel, Elizabeth Perkins, Algal taxonomy Western Australian Herbarium /Murdoch University Dr John Huisman Corey Bradshaw Algal taxonomist Museum Victoria Ms Joanna Browne PhD student- Gelatinous zooplankton National Geographic Mr. Greg Marshall, Birgit Buhleier Outreach and Education. Documentation of scientific efforts to conserve coral reef biodiversity 6. LIAISONS CoML Group Liaison / Primary Point of Contact Email Synthesis OBIS Mapping & Visualization Barcoding Education & Outreach Nancy Knowlton Mary Wakeford David Crossman Nancy Knowlton Russell Brainard, Megan Moews [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected], [email protected] 7. APPENDICES 7A. Synthesis Plans: Broad overarching synthesis themes/outcome from your project More precise estimation of coral reef diversity worldwide. Contribution to the identification of patterns of species diversity for understudied reefassociated groups. Estimation of biodiversity loss across gradients of human disturbance. Identification of prospects for maintenance of species diversity on reefs suffering from various levels of human impacts. Identification of taxonomic and ecological information required to manage reefs effectively. Development of effective tools to monitor and assess coral reef biodiversity (ARMS). Development of a resource locater as a tool for the scientific community to research coral reef biodiversity information. Complete interoperability with OBIS Synthesis management structure for your project Title CReefs Synthesis Team Leader Name Nancy Knowlton Contact [email protected] CReefs Synthesis Writing Team Nancy Knowlton, Rusty Brainard, Julian Caley Julian [email protected] [email protected] .gov [email protected] Responsibility To ensure the synthesis proceeds on schedule, solicitation and coalition of the groups opinions, communication with CoML secretariat and to provide the lead for the CReefs Synthesis Plan Synthesis write-up will involve a team of CReefs associated scientists. A committee will further be designated for compilation of sections and editing. [email protected] To synthesize the major activities in the Western Pacific/Indi an Ocean region synthesizer Central and Western (nonAustralia) Pacific region synthesizer Caley Russell Brainard (Megan Moews,) [email protected] .gov Same as above Caribbean region synthesizer Molecular methods synthesizer Nancy Knowlton [email protected] Same as above Laetitia Plaisance [email protected] Outreach Megan Moews [email protected] .gov Methods Developme nt Megan Moews, Russell Moffitt Russell Moffitt, David Crossman Shawn Smith [email protected] .gov, [email protected] .gov [email protected] .gov To summarize the various molecular and sampling methods developed for CReefs and by others, and to summarize molecular results To develop publication plans and establish links with related efforts and existing media; finalize informational website To summarize the CReefs sampling methods (other than molecular) Mapping & Visualizatio n Database synthesizer region, both directly sponsored by CReefs and in parallel with CReefs efforts. Identify databases for incorporation. [email protected] Hawaii Liaison for Synthesis Mapping and visualization To coordinate the accession of new information for databases and the methods needed for uploading this information now and in the future Outline of your chapter for Contributed Synthesis Volume The Known (Status of discipline prior to Census) Basic coral reef biology (see Knowlton 2008 review in Curr. Biol.) Historical perspective on coral reefs studies (Knowlton chapter in Cote volume provides a short working history to start with). Historical perspective on biodiversity studies (Bouchet chapter provides a good starting summary) Web-based analysis of what has been published in what fields prior to start of CReefs, with special emphasis on biodiversity From Unknown to Known (Evolution of discipline during the Census) Major gaps relate to the lack of information on poorly studied organisms that make up the bulk of the biodiversity; this is true even on well studied reefs. This is a reflection on both the scale of the problem (upwards of 9 million species worldwide) and the lack of effort (including the demise of taxonomy in universities) To close these gaps requires both new technologies and new scales of approach – business as usual will mean that it could take centuries to describe all coral reef life. Massive application of standardized sampling methods and molecular analyses are essential – we will not be able to put a name on all the diversity that is detected. Major findings include a better estimate of global reef diversity, an estimation of biodiversity loss associated with habitat destruction, and the fact that even with preliminary sampling, we are uncovering substantial proportions of previously recorded diversity (e.g. brachyuran crab species on 22 dead heads of corals from a single depth on 5 central Pacific Islands totaled 30% of all named European crab species. In addition, most coral reef species are rare, and genetic barcodes for these species are almost entirely lacking in major databases such as GenBank. Finally, even for well known groups such as corals, our understanding of species relationships is very poor – our recent analysis showed that 17/18 families of scleractinian corals were not properly defined. Primary ramification of these discoveries is that coral habitat destruction could result in widespread extinctions, comparable in terms of percentages to past mass extinctions. Because of the scale of the diversity and the difficulty of caring for these organisms, a “California condor” approach to the conservation of reef biodiversity will not succeed (although aquaria might serve as a shelter of last resort for some species). The loss of biodiversity on this scale could have many consequences to human health (e.g. drugs from sea such as cone shells provide) in addition to impoverishing the planet in a more general sense. New questions include what mechanisms underlie the staggering diversity of reefs, and the related question, how do rare species persist? The Currently Unknown (remaining gaps) By the end of the census, we will still have at best an imperfect knowledge of coral reef biodiversity – the scale of the problem is enormous (e.g. compare the number of species that live in the plankton with the number of species that live on coral reefs). We will have partial censuses at a number of sites, and a complete census will have been started (in New Caledonia) for a mega-diverse site, and we will have molecular results from ARMS from around the Pacific. However, it will still be difficult to extrapolate to reefs around the globe. We will have an inkling of the anticipated patterns of loss related to global change (e.g. warming, ocean acidification) and local degradation (e.g. effects of overfishing and poor water quality) from several surveys across gradients of human disturbance. However, accurate predictions of future human actions and the details of ecosystem responses to these actions will still be out of reach. How Can we Move From Unknowable to Knowable (novel approaches) We need to scale up efforts from partial censuses (e.g. limited number of taxonomic groups) to all taxa inventories, and we need to scale up the number of sites for which large or all taxa inventories are attempted. We need to push the limits because we have so much to learn about the staggering amount of diversity on reefs, and we are in clear danger of losing it (e.g. 80% loss of Caribbean coral cover in three decades). Conservation priorities cannot be established without having a better idea of what is at stake and where. Our primary dream to “move the goalposts” involves real time sequencing at centers of reef biodiversity, which is planned for the first time in New Caledonia in 2009 and 2010. We would also like to make a global effort at reef environmental sampling and barcoding, by using these methods at key sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The key obstacle is money (e.g. a 454 sequencing effort for a single environmental sample costs $510,000). Conclusions (major findings and major gaps, how to move forward) The major conclusion is that reef diversity still verges on the unmeasurable, that we may be on the verge of massive reef extinctions, and that we are still struggling with the methods to characterize reef diversity and its loss. We need to expand the number of reefs that are well sampled from a handful to at least twenty. We need to use quantitative sampling to estimate how diversity compares across nested geographic scales at all twenty sites. We need to improve methods of molecular analysis and apply them globally. Of particular importance is to develop reliable methods of sampling the small organisms that are larger than bacteria but too small to easily barcode in a time efficient fashion. CReefs will have made important progress in this regard, but there will be more work to do because of the variation in individual biomass, abundance, and ease of amplification that makes this a much harder task than it is with microbes. Within-project synthesis plans For science audiences: Book on coral reefs (Knowlton, probably Island Press). This book will be about 200 pages and cover coral reefs present, past and future. It has already been outlined and some chapters written. CReefs website – Resource Locater Input of reef biodiversity data collected by others into databases (OBIS, Genbank), OBIS interoperability Overall analysis of molecular data generated by quantitative reef surveys (initial results from New Caledonia would be submitted to Science or Nature) Coordination with bar-coding efforts (via Smithsonian) Synthesis of methods for assessing biodiversity sampling (Marine Biology?) Other scientific papers, and perhaps a special issue journal (Coral Reefs?) For public audience: General CReefs website and Smithsonian Ocean Portal coral reef entries CReefs photos taken during the French Frigate Shoals expedition and Australian expeditions Popular articles on expeditions Documentary production For marine stakeholder audience: Synthesis of quantitative methods for assessing biodiversity sampling Collection and data management protocols of use to state and federal monitoring efforts (e.g. NOAA, GBRMPA) For policy audience: CReefs and Smithsonian web portals articles on coral reef conservation, and coordination with National Geographic ocean web initiative Presentations as requested for state and national governments (e.g. see above for activities of Knowlton and Brainard during past year) Cross-project synthesis plans (what product and who?) “Role of the Rare”: Knowlton and Caley are participants and will be attending organizing meetings in 2009. Our quantitative surveys clearly indicate that ~half of all coral reef organisms are singletons in collections, so that reefs are highly relevant to this discussion. Barcoding: Knowlton (with L. Plaisance) will continue to contribute to this initiative – it is a core component of CReefs. “How many species live in the oceans”: Caley is a participant. “New Biogeographies”: Caley is a participant. A-Z book for the public on marine biodiversity (Knowlton, being coordinated by CoML with National Geographic Society if possible) Visualization outputs for your project Coral Reef book (some maps) Images from expeditions (e.g. pictures of singletons to illustrate beauty of the rare) Graphs of potential numbers of new species to be detected based on knowledge at hand GIS biodiversity animation Timelines/milestones for your deliverables July 2008 – International Coral Reef Symposium (accomplished)-PIs met in person July 2008 – Outline of plans for Knowlton/Bouchet Philippine Initiative (accomplished) Fall 2008 –Annual Report submitted (accomplished) Oct 23-25 – Russell Moffitt (NOAA) and David Crossman (AIMS) representing CReefs at Mapping and Visualization Workshop (Durham, NC USA) Nov 2008 –planning session with Moffitt and Crossman post-M&V workshop Nov 2008 – Proposal to Keck Foundation to fund all taxa survey project in New Caledonia (accomplished) Nov 2008 – Proposal to Moore Foundation to conduct CReefs biodiversity census at Palmyra and Kingman Atolls Dec 2008 – Summary of Hawaii census results Dec 2008 – Launch of newly populated CReefs website and photos from the CReefs expedition to French Frigate Shoals Dec 2008 – Detailed outline of Coral Reef book developed Dec 2008 – Field workshop on ARMS retrieval, processing, and analyses Jan 2009 – Submission of NSF grant to fund systematics of snapping shrimp (Knowlton) Jan 2009 – Submission of Synthesis proposal for 2010 Feb 1-5, 2009 – Synthesis workshop aboard the Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA) Feb 2009 – AAAS symposium on ocean conservation success stories (incl. coral reefs) Mar 2009 – Pacific Science InterCongress, Biodiveristy Session, Tahiti May 2009 – Public symposium at Smithsonian associated with International Marine Conservation Congress on ocean conservation success stories (incl. coral reefs) July 2009 – Beginning of New Caledonia survey project (pending funding) Aug 1, 2009 – Draft Cross-Project synthesis outputs due for review by Synthesis Group Aug 1,2009 – Draft within-project synthesis (Macintyre chapter) due Fall 2009 – Summary of first Australia census Dec 1, 2009 – Final Cross-Project synthesis outputs due (incl. chapter, A-Z book) Dec 1, 2009 – Final Individual Project chapters due to Synthesis Group July 2010 – Completion of coral reef book Jan 2010 – Summarize results of 2nd and 3rd Australia censuses August 2010—all remaining processed CReefs data entered into OBIS Summer 2010 – Final version of website launch Summer 2010 – First molecular counts of New Caledonia reef diversity announced if project is funded – major finding to be used at Grand Finale. Note that although this survey will continue beyond the Census, important molecular analyses will be completed by the time of the time of the grand finale. In the event that Keck funding is not received, we will use molecular data from other sites that have already been censused. Regardless of the source, this will be a major finding as it will be the first such attempt that includes the small in usually unstudied mega-diversity of reefs. Oct 4-7, 2010 – Census “Grand Finale” 7B. Milestones 7C. OBIS Report Provided by: Mary Wakeford Project Manager, OBIS Liaison Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville MC, Queensland 4810 Australia Phone: +617-4753-4399 Fax: +617-4772-5852 E-mail: [email protected] 1. Has the person responsible for liaison with OBIS from your project been in communication with OBIS? The CReefs project has not served additional records to OBIS since the last reporting period, as the focus in 2008 centered on completing 3 field expeditions - the data from which will be served to OBIS once taxonomic identifications have been verified by Australian Museums (2009). In preparing for the Australian Collection trips considerable effort was directed toward developing the CReefs Collection Database to facilitate data entry, imagery attachment and taxonomic classification/updates. Consequently communication with OBIS has been minimal for 2008. A number of datasets from various Australian Museums have been identified for delivery to OBIS in 2009. 2. Has dialogue begun with OBIS on how the OBIS portal may benefit your project (e.g. through personal communication to the OBIS Chair or by answering questionnaires)? J. Caley attended the OBIS Biogeography Meeting at the All Programs meeting in Auckland, New Zealand in November 2007 and discussed opportunities and developments regarding the OBIS portal. 3. Please provide numbers on the following as published through OBIS at this time: Name AIMS - GBR Nearshore Coral Date Served 16-Jun-06 Records 16,489 Species 285 Genera 69 Locations 176 Diversity AIMS - Bioresources Library 16-Jun-06 1,093 580 340 462 AIMS - Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) 18-Aug-06 18,541 638 233 610 AIMS - LTM Nearshore Corals 18-Aug-06 8,906 310 97 75 AIMS - LTM Fish 16-May-07 41,695 236 52 267 Northern Barrier Marine Life (Aquarium Fish Trade) 28-Jun-07 869 216 100 6 AGRRA - Benthic (Scleractinia) 28-Jun-07 66,248 26 60 731 AGRRA – Fish 28-Jun-07 50,088 26 69 675 203,929 2,317 1,020 3,002 4. Please provide numbers on following as projected to be published through OBIS and indicate, to the best of your knowledge, when these will published (Month and Year): To be published in OBIS Datasets Number Anticipated date (month, year) 1) NOAA CRED 345 datasets 2,500spec w/ location 345 unique locations 25,000 total by location 25,000 more Dec 2008 Dec 2008 Dec 2008 Dec 2008 Dec 2010 2) NOAA NCCOS 10,000 Dec 2009 3) Australian Museums – serve taxonomic information from various Australian Museums as available (many of the datasets may be served to OBIS through OZCAM) TBA Nov 2008 – Dec 2009 4) CReefs Australia Collection Trips 2008 TBA Dec 2009 5) All remaining processed CReefs data TBA August 2010 5. How many species do you expect your project to observe and/or collect as part of CoML-related efforts through 2010? Ultimately, how many new species would you estimate may be described as a result of CoML activities, even if this work continues beyond 2010? The first CReefs collection trip took place in Oct 2006 to French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Preliminary analysis indicate that ~1611-2151 unique morphospecies were documented, with >100 new species/new records. There have been delays in serving this data in 2008, and the revised date is 2009. Three Australian Collection sites (Lizard Island, Heron Island and Ningaloo Reef) are to be sampled 3 times over the next 4 years. The first round of trips was completed in September 2008 using similar sampling protocols/effort to those employed during the French Frigate Shoals trip. Successive collections at each of the sites are likely to result in reduced collection numbers. The target for serving the 2008 Australian collection data to OBIS is Dec 2009. The following summarizes findings so far: Ningaloo Reef 950 sample lots were given field identification – of which some will be split into separate species and others grouped at a later date. 305 unique species were identified in the field. Lizard Island 1781 sample lots were given field identification. 150 distinct species. Heron Island Field trip completed September 2008, data not yet summarized. 6. Has discovery metadata been provided directly to OBIS for each dataset published? Yes, discovery metadata was provided for each dataset published and has been updated or added to as requested by OBIS. Metadata has been provided to OBIS through Phoebe Zhang (Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences Rutgers) and Melanie Meaux (for NASA’s Global Change Master Directory data). 7. Are there any particular difficulties in publishing data through OBIS? AIMS has served data to OBIS since 2006 and the process has developed to reflect the changes occurring at OBIS for this process. An online document builder is now used to create metadata records. 8. Are you using any controlled vocabularies in your data management (e.g., taxonomic reference lists, gazetteer/locality names standard list, habitat types, biological sampling protocol, physical oceanography parameters, etc.)? If so, please list these below and indicate how/where they originated (e.g., in-house or via another source – list source). This information is essential for data integration. The taxonomic reference, Catalogue of Life, was used for all data sets submitted to date. During the 2008 CReefs Australia collection trips, taxonomists from Australian Museums used their own preferred classifications – however it is proposed that the Catalogue of Life classification will be followed when these records are served to OBIS. The CReefs Collection Database also has drop-down lists for habitat and substrate selection (created in-house) 9. What ecological information are you recording in your data management system (e.g., habitat type, temperature, salinity, pH, nutrients, etc.)? And would you be willing to share this with OBIS? This information will help OBIS design an interface to help link species to habitats and ecosystems. Various types of ecological information are associated with each of the datasets - general habitat descriptions, i.e. depths, fore-reef, back reef, lagoon, seabed. There is also abundance information. In many cases researchers are less willing to make this type of data available (especially species abundance) although this would be negotiable through direct contact with the data custodian. 10. Have you used data in OBIS (other than those provided by your project) for research or analyses? If so, please provide brief description of study and, if applicable, citation for publication. Not to date. 7D. Current Funding Report Provided as a separate appendix 7E. Future Funding Needs Report Provided as a separate appendix 7F. Shiptime Report Provided as a separate appendix 7G. Images Numerous images from the Australian expeditions have already been provided, from which you are free to choose.