Friday, February 16, 2018

Marine Arctic Fishes

Today a post about some of the work I have been doing over the past years with colleagues from Norway, Russia, Denmark, and the US. Incredible tedious work in particular by the lead author Cathrine Mecklenburg. My part was everything barcoding and interpretation of studies utilizing molecular genetics in the widest sense. Two volumes totalling some 740 pages.

Marine Fishes of the Arctic Region is intended for all who do research in and monitoring of marine eco­systems in the Arctic. It presents accounts for 205 species with maps of global distribution and descriptions of morphology and habitat, as well as a photographic identification guide. Information on 24 other species present only in the fringes of the Arctic Region or taxonomically problematic is given in the introductions to the fish families. As the Arctic continues to warm, more cold-temperate species are expected to enter the region and the distribution of true Arctic species will likely retract as the area of ice-covered cold water shrinks. The maps in this atlas can be used to compare future changes in distributions. The identification guide will be particu­larly helpful for identifying cold-water species, since fewer identification tools are available for this group of fishes.

We're pretty proud of this body of work and hope that it will be helpful and inspire future research. Since the Arctic Ocean is new in an evolutionary time scale, studying species from this area can give insight into the ongoing processes govern­ing zoogeographical patterns like migration and local adaptations. Understanding such processes is of particu­lar relevance in light of global climate change.

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