Scientific publication

A fine-tuned global distribution dataset of marine forests

Open-source dataset with distribution records of marine forests compiled from literature, herbaria, digital repositories and citizen science initiatives.

Species distribution records are a prerequisite to follow climate-induced range shifts across space and time. However, synthesizing information from various sources such as peer-reviewed literature, herbaria, digital repositories and citizen science initiatives is not only costly and time consuming, but also challenging, as data may contain thematic and taxonomic errors and generally lack standardized formats.

We address this gap for important marine ecosystem-structuring species of large brown algae and seagrasses. We gathered distribution records from various sources and provide a fine-tuned dataset with ~2.8 million dereplicated records, taxonomically standardized for 682 species, and considering important physiological and biogeographical traits.

Marine forests

A flagging system was implemented to signal potentially incorrect records reported on land, in regions with limiting light conditions for photosynthesis, and outside the known distribution of species, as inferred from the most recent published literature.

Data can be downloaded at github.com/jorgeassis/marineforestsDB as a tabulated file.

We document the procedure and provide a dataset in tabular format based on Darwin Core Standard (DwC), alongside with a set of functions in R language for data management and visualization.

Main reference

Assis, J., Fragkopoulou, E., Frade, D., Neiva, J., Oliveira, A., Abecasis, D., et al. (2020). A fine-tuned global distribution dataset of marine forests. Scientific Data 7, 1–9.

  • Additional featured publications
Global seaweed productivity

Seaweed productivity is strongly related to climatic variables, peaking at temperate latitudes and exhibiting exceptionally high per-area production rates, 10 times higher than coastal phytoplankton in temperate and polar seas.

Major expansion of marine forests in a warmer Arctic

Future expansions of marine forests in response to changing climate will likely elicit major changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functions of the Arctic.

Mapping the global biodiversity patterns of marine forests

Stacked species distribution modelling identifies regions of high and low species richness and endemicity of marine forests of brown algae globally.

Biodiversity connectivity in Western Africa MPAs

Biophysical modelling revealed that connectivity differs sharply among ecological groups, from highly connected (e.g., fish) to isolated ecosystem structuring species (e.g., corals) that might undermine conservation efforts, as they are the feeding or nursery habitats of many other species.

biodiversityDS.

Jorge Assis [PhD, Research Assistant]
Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve [Faro, Portugal]
© 2022 Biodiversity Data Science, All Rights Reserved