Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 9, pp 2295–2317

Patterns, processes and vulnerability of Southern Ocean benthos: a decadal leap in knowledge and understanding

  • Stefanie Kaiser
  • Simone N. Brandão
  • Saskia Brix
  • David K. A. Barnes
  • David A. Bowden
  • Jeroen Ingels
  • Florian Leese
  • Stefano Schiaparelli
  • Claudia P. Arango
  • Renuka Badhe
  • Narissa Bax
  • Magdalena Blazewicz-Paszkowycz
  • Angelika Brandt
  • Nils Brenke
  • Ana I. Catarino
  • Bruno David
  • Chantal De Ridder
  • Philippe Dubois
  • Kari E. Ellingsen
  • Adrian G. Glover
  • Huw J. Griffiths
  • Julian Gutt
  • Kenneth M. Halanych
  • Charlotte Havermans
  • Christoph Held
  • Dorte Janussen
  • Anne-Nina Lörz
  • David A. Pearce
  • Benjamin Pierrat
  • Torben Riehl
  • Armin Rose
  • Chester J. Sands
  • Anna Soler-Membrives
  • Myriam Schüller
  • Jan M. Strugnell
  • Ann Vanreusel
  • Gritta Veit-Köhler
  • Nerida G. Wilson
  • Moriaki Yasuhara
Review, Concept, and Synthesis

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-013-2232-6

Cite this article as:
Kaiser, S., Brandão, S.N., Brix, S. et al. Mar Biol (2013) 160: 2295. doi:10.1007/s00227-013-2232-6

Abstract

In the Southern Ocean, that is areas south of the Polar Front, long-term oceanographic cooling, geographic separation, development of isolating current and wind systems, tectonic drift and fluctuation of ice sheets amongst others have resulted in a highly endemic benthic fauna, which is generally adapted to the long-lasting, relatively stable environmental conditions. The Southern Ocean benthic ecosystem has been subject to minimal direct anthropogenic impact (compared to elsewhere) and thus presents unique opportunities to study biodiversity and its responses to environmental change. Since the beginning of the century, research under the Census of Marine Life and International Polar Year initiatives, as well as Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research biology programmes, have considerably advanced our understanding of the Southern Ocean benthos. In this paper, we evaluate recent progress in Southern Ocean benthic research and identify priorities for future research. Intense efforts to sample and describe the benthic fauna, coupled with coordination of information in global databases, have greatly enhanced understanding of the biodiversity and biogeography of the region. Some habitats, such as chemosynthetic systems, have been sampled for the first time, while application of new technologies and methods are yielding new insights into ecosystem structure and function. These advances have also highlighted important research gaps, notably the likely consequences of climate change. In a time of potentially pivotal environmental change, one of the greatest challenges is to balance conservation with increasing demands on the Southern Ocean’s natural resources and services. In this context, the characterization of Southern Ocean biodiversity is an urgent priority requiring timely and accurate species identifications, application of standardized sampling and reporting procedures, as well as cooperation between disciplines and nations.

Supplementary material

227_2013_2232_MOESM1_ESM.doc (62 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 62 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Kaiser
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simone N. Brandão
    • 1
    • 2
  • Saskia Brix
    • 2
  • David K. A. Barnes
    • 5
  • David A. Bowden
    • 3
  • Jeroen Ingels
    • 7
  • Florian Leese
    • 8
  • Stefano Schiaparelli
    • 9
  • Claudia P. Arango
    • 10
  • Renuka Badhe
    • 6
  • Narissa Bax
    • 11
  • Magdalena Blazewicz-Paszkowycz
    • 12
  • Angelika Brandt
    • 1
  • Nils Brenke
    • 13
  • Ana I. Catarino
    • 14
  • Bruno David
    • 15
  • Chantal De Ridder
    • 14
  • Philippe Dubois
    • 14
  • Kari E. Ellingsen
    • 17
  • Adrian G. Glover
    • 18
  • Huw J. Griffiths
    • 5
  • Julian Gutt
    • 19
  • Kenneth M. Halanych
    • 20
  • Charlotte Havermans
    • 16
  • Christoph Held
    • 19
  • Dorte Janussen
    • 21
  • Anne-Nina Lörz
    • 3
  • David A. Pearce
    • 5
  • Benjamin Pierrat
    • 15
  • Torben Riehl
    • 1
    • 2
  • Armin Rose
    • 13
  • Chester J. Sands
    • 5
  • Anna Soler-Membrives
    • 22
  • Myriam Schüller
    • 8
  • Jan M. Strugnell
    • 23
  • Ann Vanreusel
    • 7
  • Gritta Veit-Köhler
    • 13
  • Nerida G. Wilson
    • 24
    • 25
  • Moriaki Yasuhara
    • 26
    • 27
  1. 1.Biocenter Grindel and Zoological MuseumUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.DZMB, German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research, Senckenberg am MeerHamburgGermany
  3. 3.National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research LtdKilbirnie, WellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.National Oceanography CentreUniversity of Southampton Waterfront Campus European WaySouthamptonUK
  5. 5.British Antarctic SurveyCambridgeUK
  6. 6.Scientific Committee on Antarctic ResearchScott Polar Research InstituteCambridgeUK
  7. 7.Marine Biology DepartmentGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  8. 8.Animal Ecology, Evolution and BiodiversityRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  9. 9.Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences (DISTAV)GenoaItaly
  10. 10.Natural Environments ProgramQueensland MuseumSouth BrisbaneAustralia
  11. 11.Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (IMAS)HobartAustralia
  12. 12.Zakład Biologii Polarnej i OceanobiologiiUniwersytet ŁódzkiLódźPoland
  13. 13.DZMB, German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research, Senckenberg am MeerWilhelmshavenGermany
  14. 14.Laboratoire de Biologie Marine (CP160/15)Université Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium
  15. 15.BiogéosciencesUniversité de Bourgogne, UMR CNRS 6282DijonFrance
  16. 16.Royal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselBelgium
  17. 17.Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)Fram CentreTromsøNorway
  18. 18.Department of ZoologyThe Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  19. 19.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  20. 20.Department of Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  21. 21.Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Sektion Marine Evertebraten IFrankfurt a.MGermany
  22. 22.Unitat de ZoologiaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  23. 23.Department of Genetics, La Trobe Institute for Molecular ScienceLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  24. 24.Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSDLa JollaUSA
  25. 25.The Australian MuseumSydneyAustralia
  26. 26.School of Biological Sciences, Swire Institute of Marine ScienceUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  27. 27.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina

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