ESR 24:181-190 (2014)  -  doi:10.3354/esr00591

Spatio-temporal assessments of biodiversity in the high seas

Ei Fujioka*, Patrick N. Halpin

Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, PO Box 90328 Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Biological diversity is one of the most important measures for marine conservation in the high seas. However, data and tools to assess and quantify biodiversity in the high seas are still not well developed. This hinders the development of the open-access tools necessary to assess biodiversity across space and time. Here, we examine prototype online mapping and visualization tools we developed within the OBIS-SEAMAP data center, a thematic node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) specializing in marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle observations, to facilitate spatiotemporal assessments of biodiversity in the high seas. Our aims are to (1) summarize basic data needs for assessing biodiversity issues in the high seas; (2) discuss technical challenges to address such needs and establish a publicly accessible framework for biodiversity assessments; and (3) demonstrate how our prototype framework facilitates these assessments using a preliminary case study. We anticipate that this will serve as a model for marine researchers and managers to develop similar frameworks or improve the existing ones for ecological assessments. Of special importance is the application of these assessment tools to emerging high seas biodiversity identification processes such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas.


KEY WORDS: Biogeographic database · Spatio-temporal ecological assessments · High seas · Marine conservation


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Cite this article as: Fujioka E, Halpin PN (2014) Spatio-temporal assessments of biodiversity in the high seas. Endang Species Res 24:181-190

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