Benthos Expert Network

The Benthos Expert Network of the CBMP-Marine provides information on the status and potential changes in benthic biodiversity and advice for monitoring.

The Benthos Expert Network of the CBMP-Marine is tasked with advising on how to implement related components of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. Benthos biota have been identified as a Focal Ecosystem Component (FEC) in the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. FECs are key elements of the Arctic marine ecosystem. Changes in FECs status likely indicate changes in the overall marine environment.

The benthos FECs are:

  • Macrofauna (organisms > 1.0 mm)
  • Megafauna (organisms that can be identified from seafloor photographs or are caught by trawls)

Long-term monitoring programs on benthic fauna are missing for large areas of the Arctic. In areas where repeated monitoring has occurred, it is difficult to compare data due to different sampling approaches and different targets of monitoring efforts. There is a need for an international standardization of long-term benthic monitoring.

The CBMP Benthos Expert Network has identified potential ways to improve benthic monitoring coverage, including adding two benthic experts on board national scientific fishery research vessels. This would allow all species to be analyzed, thus increasing knowledge of marine biodiversity and the possibility to monitor all components of the environment while effectively managing resources of time and cost. This approach is already implemented in the Barents Sea (Institute of Marine Research) and the CBMP Benthos Expert Network continues to explore opportunities for implementation in the North Atlantic.

Benthos publications

  • Cobb D.G., Roy V., Link H., Archambault P (in press). Information to support the re-assessment of original ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) in the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2014/nnn.
  • Divine LM, Iken K, Bluhm BA (2015) (in review) Regional benthic food web structure on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea shelf. Marine Ecology Progress Series.
  • Jørgensen LL, Archambault P, Armstrong C, Dolgov A, Edinger E, Gilchrist G, Hildebrand J, Piepenburg D, Smith W, Quillfeldt C, Vecchione M, Bjørge A (in review). Arctic Marine Biodiversity (2015) (chap 36G). In: Global Integrated Marine Assessment under the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects R12; the World Ocean Assessment I.
  • Jørgensen LL, Planque, B., Thangstad, TH, Certain, G. (accepted with changes) Vulnerability of megabenthic species to trawling in the Barents Sea. ICES Journal of Marine Science; Special issue on Trawling Impact.
  • Roy R, Iken K, Gosselin M, Tremblay J-É, Bélanger S, Archambault P (in review) Benthic food-web responses to marine biological productivity and depth across the Canadian Arctic. Deep-Sea Research Part I
  • Roy R, Iken K, Archambault P (in review) Regional variability of megabenthic community structure across the Canadian Arctic. Arctic.
  • Roy V., Archambault P., Conlan K., Hendrycks E., Aitken A. (in review) Predictive models of macrobenthos patterns in the southeastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf. Journal of Marine Systems
  • Tu KL, Blanchard AL, Iken K, Horstmann-Dehn L (in press) Small-scale variability in benthic food webs in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series. Doi: 10.3354/meps11216
  • Denisenko S.G., Zgurovskyb K.A. (eds) 2013. Impact of bottom trawling on benthic ecosystem of the Barents Sea and the possibility of reducing the negative effects. Murmansk. WWF. 52 p. (In Russian)