Initiating an Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (AMBON)
Lead PI: Dr. Katrin Iken, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Start Year: 2014 | Duration: 5 Years
Partners: University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, University of Washington, NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research & U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (AMBON) has four main goals in its effort to show feasibility of an operational marine biodiversity observation network (MBON) for the US Chukchi Sea continental shelf. These goals are: 1. To close current gaps in taxonomic and spatial coverage in biodiversity observation on the Chukchi shelf, 2. To integrate with past and ongoing research programs on the US Arctic shelf into an Arctic biodiversity observation network, 3. To demonstrate at a regional level how a MBON could be developed in other regions and ecosystems, and 4. To link with programs on the pan-Arctic level. Through effective data management, integration, dissemination, and outreach AMBON will develop a sustainable biodiversity observation model that includes all levels of diversity from genetic to organismal to ecosystem.
The AMBON aims to integrate with currently ongoing efforts investigating Arctic shelf system biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The AMBON will provide a vehicle to expand ongoing efforts to include important ecosystem components such the microbial and other small size fractions. The AMBON will continue past efforts to create much-needed time series. The latter is essential in the Arctic system, which exhibits extremely high seasonal and interannual variability. Only long-term datasets can provide the basis to distinguish the “noise” of changes due to natural variability and regular cycles (stochastic changes) from the directional change driven by climate changes or sudden impacts from increasing human influences, e.g., pollution such as oil spills. We have assembled an experienced team of multi-institutional and multi-sector partners already involved in a variety of biodiversity observing programs so that these efforts can be better coordinated, sustained, synthesized, and data made available to a broad audience of users and stakeholders, from local to pan-Arctic to global.