During an Arctic Frontiers Seminar Abroad in Bremen, titled "Arctic biodiversity – Current state and research perspectives" the participants identified pivotal themes and challenges of future research on and conservation of Arctic marine biodiversity.

 

-full article available in English only-

Research Challenges and Priorities Arctic Marine Biodiversity

  • Arctic marine biodiversity change is primarily driven by climate-triggered alterations of sea-ice dynamics, hence the cascading effects of sea-ice change on ice-associated, pelagic and benthic ecosystems need to be elucidated with priority.
  • The national and international efforts in marine biodiversity research in the Arctic should be harmonized and integrated in a pan-Arctic context, with the aim to develop integrated ecosystem-based conservation and management approaches.
  • A pan-Arctic perspective on marine biodiversity change requires improved international data sharing and the use of a common international Arctic database of biodiversity-relevant information.
  • Long-term changes need to be assessed and documented in selected key regions, using modern technology, to develop appropriate model components for prediction of biodiversity changes in the Arctic seas.
  • Trait-based approaches to assess functional diversity and ecosystem services should be applied more frequently in marine Arctic ecosystem research and management.
  • The response of ecosystem components and the potential of adaptation of species to environmental change should be assessed using a wide application of comparative experimental approaches
  • The efforts to communicate research findings and conclusions of biodiversity research to the general public should be strengthened.

The contributors to this list acknowledge that these items underpin and enhance many of the action points described in, e.g., The United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment or the Arctic Council's Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. They feel, however, that it is critical to update and focus these priorities periodically to reflect both new scientific understanding and the developing needs of research and management. They should contribute to realizing recently developed plans and goals for protection of the marine environment and for sustainable development within the Arctic.

Participants list (in alphabetical order):

Melanie Bergmann, Bodil Bluhm, Katrin Bluhm, Michael Däumer, Renate Degen, Hauke Flores, Maria Fossheim, Gerlis Fugmann, Heike Link, Karin Lochte, Ole Øvretveit, Dieter Piepenburg, Lars-Otto Reiersen, Paul Renaud, Harald Steen