The task of truly understanding biodiversity requires the integration of biological and ecological information at many scales, from species-level biology, community ecology, and regional ecology. This integration, or synthesis, of information about the many species in the Gulf of Maine is the ultimate goal of the Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life project.

GoMA’s goal is to describe marine biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine region, including estimates of the unknown, and describe the ways that patterns of biodiversity affect attributes and functioning of the ecosystem. Although the Gulf is a well-studied region, our focus on biodiversity and function at the regional system level will be unique. Our collaboration with senior scientists at US and Canadian federal fisheries agencies and key conservation-oriented non-governmental organizations will help ensure another goal: that our accomplishments and communications prove useful in the broader conservation and ocean management realm.

For our final project phase (2008-2010) we have defined four synthesis themes to provide rallying points for the program and our regional research community:

  • Biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine Area
  • Bioinformatics and Visualization
  • Biodiversity Attributes in Relation to Ecosystem Approaches to Management (EAM)
  • GoMA Lessons Learned and Ecosystem Comparisons

We hope to capture public attention at a large scale via magazine and newspaper articles, websites, a student video contest, and several proposed film productions. These outreach products, as well as our contributions to data systems and ocean observing, will stand as legacies of GoMA contributions to global society.

The project has recently entered its synthesis phase. This web page will be updated over the coming years as scientists complete projects that integrate multi-scale (species-scale, community-scale, and regional-scale) biodiversity knowledge.

Synhtesis Publications

  • Fautin, D., P. Dalton, L.S. Incze, J.C. Leong, C. Pautzke, et al. 2010. An overview of marine biodiversity in United States Waters. PLoS One 5(8): e11914 PDF
  • Kelly, N.E., E.K. Shea, A. Metaxas, R.L. Haedrich, and P.J. Auster. 2010. Biodiversity of the deep-sea continental margin bordering the Gulf of Maine (NW atlantic): relationships among sub-regions and to shelf systems. PLoS ONE 5(11): e13832. PDF

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