Working Group: Ecology of Seamounts
  • Acronym: WG-47
  • Parent Committees: BIO
  • Established: PICES-2020
  • Duration: PICES-2020 - PICES-2023
Merits
  • Application of concepts developed by WG-32 on how to undertake ecological research, including predictive modelling, related to unique and abundant ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean.

  • New and readily available data from PICES countries can be integrated to better understand factors that influence the distribution and trends in seamount biodiversity, including those related to oceanic fronts and eddies and to future climate-change scenarios, and test key questions about the interactions among taxa that differ in life history (e.g. plankton, filter feeders, fish, mammals).

  • The gathering of knowledge, assessing the distribution of biodiversity, identifying indicators to monitor change, and developing hypotheses to forecast responses to multiple stressors is aligned with the spirit of FUTURE. Moreover, the key outputs of this working group (e.g. maps of the distribution of pelagic, demersal, and benthic biodiversity and its indicators) would be of broad interest outside of PICES.

  • The Working Group would address a set of targeted ecological questions that can lead to scientific products within a period of 3 years.

  • This is a new research avenue for PICES with clear linkages to the activities of other PICES expert groups, including BIO Committee, FIS Committee, and the Joint PICES-NPFC SG which prepared the Framework for Enhanced Scientific Collaboration in the North Pacific Ocean (where NPFC = North Pacific Fisheries Commission). This proposal is also aligned with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science, which promotes learning about our marine ecosystems to inform sustainable development in the oceans.
Terms of Reference and Workplan
Year 1
  • Gather data on the distribution and life history of pelagic, demersal, and benthic taxa, including fish and invertebrate assemblages associated with seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean and facilitate their submission to appropriate biodiversity databases, e.g., Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS).

  • Gather data on key environmental variables (e.g. temperature, depth, steepness, substratum, current velocity, isolation, ocean acidification) hypothesized to influence the distribution and diversity of species associated with seamounts.

  • Convene a 2-day workshop on “Distributions of pelagic, demersal, and benthic species associated with seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean and factors influencing their distributions”.

  • Annual WG business meeting, in association with the PICES Annual Meeting.

Year 2
  • Identify environmental and ecological predictors of patterns in the distribution and biodiversity of pelagic, demersal, and benthic taxa associated with seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean.

  • Apply one or more modeling approaches (e.g. MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Trees, or high-resolution bathymetry-based models) to predict the distribution of pelagic, demersal, and benthic biodiversity associated with seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean.

  • Use available data to predict climate induced changes in the distributions of seamount fauna.

  • Convene a topic session on the pelagic, demersal, and benthic species associated with seamounts at the PICES Annual Meeting.

  • Annual WG business meeting, in association with the PICES Annual Meeting.

Year 3
  • Identify potential indicators for assessing and monitoring the biodiversity of pelagic demersal, and benthic taxa associated with seamounts.

  • Use cluster analysis and/or association analysis to review and document ecological interactions among seamount taxa.

  • Prepare scientific reports for dissemination of results.

  • Annual WG business meeting, in association with the PICES Annual Meeting.

Key scientific outputs
In addition to its PICES reports, the proposed Working Group on Ecology of Seamounts is anticipated to produce scientific papers for publication in the primary literature as well as work closely with the PICES Secretariat and BIO Committee to develop outreach deliverables to communicate its activities and findings to the general public as well as NPFC:
  • A primary paper that provides technical guidance on the application of predictive modeling approaches for seamount biodiversity and reviews this WG’s improved understanding of the oceanographic factors that influence seamount biodiversity.

  • A primary paper that produces maps of the known and predicted distribution and abundance of pelagic, demersal, and benthic biodiversity associated with seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean.

  • A primary paper that reviews this WG’s understanding of interspecific interactions among seamount taxa.

  • A primary paper that identifies indicators of seamount biodiversity for assessment and monitoring.

  • A media outreach article for dissemination of the WG’s activities and findings to the general public.

  • Annual presentations about the WG’s activities and research findings to NPFC’s Scientific Committee.

Products
Annual Meetings

Reports

TBA
Session and Workshop Summaries

TBA

PICES Press

TBA

PICES Scientific Reports
TBA
Primary Journals
TBA
Related Materials
TBA
Other Publications
TBA