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Background

“A biodiversity discovery corridor is a swath of ocean bottom and the water column above it, encompassing a variety of ecologically inter-linked seascapes/habitats that may support a range of biodiversity and may support previously unknown species and processes. Corridors may cut across gradients of depth, productivity, human activity or any other ecologically relevant variables, and may serve as focal points for collaborative scientific studies.” [http://www.marinebiodiversity.ca/en/corridor.html] In January 2004 a workshop was held to organize the Gulf of Maine Biodiversity Discovery Corridor (DC). A clear need arose for a compilation of research in DC waters to highlight knowledge gaps. Later that year this need was addressed by the Atlantic Reference Centre of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre through a Fisheries and Oceans Canada Science and Technology Youth Internship Program grant. Erin Herder, a recent University of New Brunswick graduate, was hired under the grant to compile DC research. This web presentation provides the compilation of that research.

Objectives:

  • compile historic and ongoing biological and physical research in DC waters
  • identify gaps in knowledge of biodiversity, both taxonomic and geographic
  • identify gaps in knowledge of physical parameters and processes that may affect biodiversity
  • post the results on the Centre of Marine Biodiversity web site

The overall purpose of the compilation is to guide future biodiversity research in the DC.

Methods:

Research was compiled through a review of the paper and electronic scientific literature. There were too many species names in the DC to search individually so an alternative approach was developed. Thirty biological and ecological keywords were selected. The DC was divided into six major geographic regions and 120 localities encompassing shore to seamounts and all DC and neighbouring waters. Detailed listings are presented on the Worksheets. The Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts web site was queried with all 3600 keyword/locality combinations as well as by 1172 taxonomic family names. References discovered provided additional references. Time constraints prevented investigation into physical oceanographic research. However, references were compiled on 62 physical parameters and processes examined during biological studies. Information was synthesized in a number of ways using Excel Worksheets.

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