1. Broaden our knowledge about the North Atlantic pelagic ecosystems by adding new data to serve as a base-line dataset to monitor spatial-temporal changes in the open ocean.
2. Add data for different trophic guilds using a variety of technologies to enable an integrated approach enhancing our understanding of the ecosystem.
3. Establish a close link with the Census of Marine Life (CoML) field project MAR-ECO, “Patterns and process of the ecosystems of the northern mid-Atlantic”
4. Establish links with other international initiatives (ENBI, GBIF, OBIS, ComarZ)
5. Create links with existing EU Large Scale Facilities, such as that co-ordinated by CETAF and with initiatives such as BIOCASE (Biological Collections Access System for Europe).
6. Create a virtual centre of excellence by bring together an international group of experts.
Description of work
1. Pass on knowledge from the experienced and still active pelagic fauna taxonomists to a new generation. Assess the gaps in taxonomic expertise. Achieve a more complete representation of pelagic oceanic organisms in the ERMS. Generate identification tools. Achieve a better understanding of genetic biodiversity of pelagic organisms by providing guidelines for a workshop focusing on pelagic organism genetics. Assess the possibilities of bar-coding. Consult with and establish links with corresponding centres of excellence and international initiatives outside Europe, including OBIS, GBIF etc. Together with data management group within MARBEF, establish data policy, create database and provide access to web-based analytical tools.
2. Mobilize available expertise to provide adequate description of patterns in North Atlantic oceanic marine biodiversity at the appropriate scales of space and time. Based on material and data from ongoing and planned cruises, facilitate comprehensive analyses and understanding of pelagic ecosystem structure. Integrate the results of past, present and planned activities across Europe and beyond by bringing experts together to complement existing efforts. Identify deep-sea and ocean pelagic sites equivalent to LTBR coastal sites proposed by BIOMARE, and provide guidelines for monitoring. In consultation with strategic research programme 2 (ecosystem functioning), identify additional sites that have served as focal points for experimental and manipulative studies.