Meeting report of the 4th OBIS Executive Committee and interim OBIS Steering Group is now online

July 1, 2021 EC-OBIS work plan

On 26-27 May 2021, 35 participants from 20 countries representing 22 OBIS nodes participated in the 4th session of the OBIS Executive Committee, which was also held as an interim OBIS steering group meeting. The committee reviewed the status of the 2021 OBIS work plan and discussed new activities.

data manager GOOS biology

Vacancy - Data manager GOOS Biology

June 29, 2021 Vacancy Data Manager

The Flanders Marine Institute is recruiting a Data Manager GOOS Biology, for secondment to the OBIS secretariat at the IOC Project Office for IODE, in Belgium. This is a short-term (initially one year) full-time contract. Duty Station is Oostende (Belgium). Application deadline 10 August 2021.

The International Seabed Authority joins the OBIS network

June 10, 2021 ISA Deep-sea

On World Ocean Day, 8th June 2021, we jointly organised a webinar and celebrated the collaboration between the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and OBIS. The ISA is now one of the 32 OBIS nodes and will publish the biodiversity data collected by the deep-sea mining contractors, to OBIS. This is an important milestone for OBIS and we welcome our new member. The ISA is also the first UN body that joins the OBIS network.

An unprecedented analysis of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) events worldwide launched by UNESCO's IOC

June 9, 2021 Global HAB Status Report OBIS harmful algae

The first-ever global statistical analysis examined roughly 9,500 HABs events over 33 years and found that the harm caused by HABs rises in step with growth of the aquaculture industry and marine exploitation and calls for more research on linkages. The analysis uses regional trends of microalgal observations in OBIS as a proxy for monitoring effort.

Flanders supported research data infrastructures played key role in UN Ocean report

April 27, 2021 SecondWorldOceanAssessment OBIS WRMarineSpecies MarineRegions LifeWatchVLIZ

On 21 April 2021, the United Nations launched the Second World Ocean Assessment on the state of the world’s ocean, covering environmental, economic and social aspects. OBIS, WoRMS and MarineRegions were among the key databases used to develop statistics on the trends in marine biota (chapter 6) as well as the state of biodiversity in marine habitats (chapter 7).

IODE honours past co-chairs Sky Bristol and Eduardo Klein

April 22, 2021 IODE Awards Klein Bristol

22 April 2021, Today, at the 26th session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XXVI), our two past OBIS Co-Chairs Mr Sky Bristol and Mr Eduardo Klein have been awarded the IODE Achievement Award. These awards are given to experts in recognition of making an exceptional contribution in time and effort to the IODE programme.

More news...

Recently published datasets

Use cases

Occupancy‐derived thermal affinities reflect known physiological thermal limits of marine species

climate physiology biogeography

In this study we used the robis package to extract 2,176,906 OBIS occurrence records for 533 marine species from 24 taxonomic classes for which we had access to experimentally derived thermal limits. By linking these occurrence records to global sea surface and sea bottom temperature, we compared the temperatures at which species actually live to their thermal limits.

(free e-book) Biogeographic Atlas of the Deep NW Pacific Fauna

NW Pacific deep-sea benthos

The Biogeographic Atlas of the Deep NW Pacific Fauna’ has been published by Pensoft as an open-access e-book, after a three-year intense collaboration of more than 40 deep-sea experts around the word. This book is designed as a guide, synthesis, and review of the current knowledge of the benthic fauna that is distributed in the bathyal and abyssal zones (below 2,000 m) of the NW Pacific. All the data (old and new) used are available in OBIS.

Some fish go deeper to cool off in warming seas

community temperature index climate change

A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change using OBIS data showed how fish, demersal and planktonic communities changed as warm-water species increase and cold-water marine species become less successful due to climate warming.

The great dying at the end of the Permian linked to ocean warming and oxygen loss

Biogeography extinction climate change

A study published in Science using historical data of ocean warming and oxygen loss, combined with species traits and occurrence data from OBIS revealed patterns of habitat loss and extinction at the end of the Permian period.

Microscopic “body-snatchers” and “planktonic-greenhouses” are ubiquitous with contrasting biogeographies and abundance in our oceans

Biogeography mixotrophs plankton

A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B using data from OBIS investigated for the first time the biogeography of mixotrophs, planktonic species which acquire phototrophic capability from their prey. The study shows that “body-snatchers”, (e.g., ciliates, which can steal plastids from their prey) dominate high-biomass areas such as coastal seas while the “planktonic-greenhouses” (e.g., Rhizaria, which enslave entire populations of their prey as endosymbionts) are particularly dominant in oligotrophic open seas. The findings from this study significantly changes the understanding of the functioning of the marine food web and hence the trophodynamics and the biogeochemical cycles in the oceans.

Coastal benthic biogeographic regions are stable across the millennia

Biogeography fossil data

A new study published in Global Ecology and Biogeography, using recent occurrence data from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and fossil data from the Paleobiology Database, showed that modern and the near past global ecosystem feature highly similar biogeographic structures, which is remarkable given the known climatic variations of the past ten million years.

More use cases...

Subscribe to our mailing list