Biodiversity and Biogeography of the Lower Trophic Taxa of the Pacific Arctic Region: Sensitivities to Climate Change
R. John Nelson, Carin J. Ashjian, Bodil A. Bluhm, Kathleen E. Conlan, Rolf R. Gradinger, Jacqueline M. Grebmeier,
Victoria J. Hill, Russell R. Hopcroft, Brian P. V. Hunt, Hyoung M. Joo, David L. Kirchman, Ksenia N. Kosobokova,
Sang H. Lee, William K. W. Li, Connie Lovejoy, Michel Poulin, Evelyn Sherr,
Kelly V. Young
Department of Biology, Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.
The lower trophic level taxa underpin the marine ecosystems of the Pacific Arctic Region (PAR). Recent field observations indicate that range shifts, and changes in the relative abundance of particular taxa have occurred within the last decade. Here we provide a region wide survey of the diversity and distribution of viruses, bacteria, archaea, auto- and heterotrophic protists, as well as metazoan zooplankton and benthic organisms in the PAR. Our aim is to provide a foundation for the assessment of the changes within the lower trophic level taxa of the PAR and to document such change when possible. Sensitivities to the effects of climate change are also discussed. Our vision is to enable data-based predictions regarding ecological succession in the PAR under current climate scenarios, and to deepen our understanding regarding what the future holds for higher trophic level organisms and the carbon cycle.