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Arctic marine biota areaffected profoundly and at large scales by accelerating environmental change, such as ocean warming and sea-ice decline. Moreover, increasing human activities add further cumulative pressures. Substantial shifts in ecosystem functions and services,including biodiversity, are expected. Tounderstand, predict, and mitigate the profound ecologicalconsequences of such shifts, it is critical to identify and analyzetherelationships between environmental drivers and ecosystem functionsata range of scales (local, regional, and pan-Arctic). We address this challenge by means of apan-Arctic knowledge system on benthicbiota(PANABIO). Underpinned by international efforts to combine data and expertise, PANABIO integrates quality-controlled and geo-referenceddata on benthiccommunities in a public information system. The system allows for (a) providingecological baseline-data to gauge ecosystem changes, (b) analysingcoupling mechanisms between environmental drivers and ecosystemfunctions/services on regional and pan-Arctic scales, (c) developing futureecosystem scenarios in response to external forcing, and (d) creating onlinestakeholder-orientedvisualization and analysis tools. The talk will demonstrate the huge up-scaling of benthic data with PANABIO, our achievements to support data-sharing, as well as first results of community-level distribution models to discern benthic communities in relation to multiple-factor environmental forcing, including sea-ice dynamics.
This is an abstract which has been accepted for the WCMB.