SCOR WG93 -- Pelagic Biogeography

by A.C. Pierrot-Bults and D.B. Olson

A SCOR working group (SCOR WG93) created in 1990 is reviewing our understanding of pelagic biogeography. Specifically, the working group is formulated to:

  1. Review recent developments in biogeographic theory and their application to ocean pelagic biogeography;

  2. Recommend new approaches to future studies on pelagic biogeography emphasizing the mechanisms that result in observed patterns and the interactions of organisms and their physical-chemical-biological environment;

  3. Examine the possibilities of advancing pelagic biogeography using (a) more adequate sampling techniques and (b) futher interpretation of available data and existing plankton and nekton collections;

  4. Prepare a manual of existing collections;

  5. Hold appropriate workshops, followed by a second international conference on pelagic biogeography in cooperation with other interested organisations; and

  6. Identify the significance of biogeographic patterns and their changes with respect to other aspects of oceanography.
The general chair for SCOR WG93 is A. C. Pierrot-Bults of the Institute for Taxonomic Zoology at the University of Amsterdam. The working group held its first meeting at the University of Amsterdam in November 1990. Following a review of the terms of reference and the recommendations of the International Conference on Pelagic Biogeography (see UNESCO technical papers in marine science #49, 1986) the meeting continued with a set of technical briefings. These included discussions of theory and methods of pelagic biogeography, of distribution patterns in both the paleorecord and in the present ocean, and of the various problems in pelagic biogeographical research. A manual of existing plankton collections, a set of white papers on various issues in pelagic biogeography, and future meetings were discussed. Several white papers are now available with several others in preparation. A second meeting was held in Kiel in September 1992 in coordination with the international meeting on paleoceanography. Another meeting is planned for the fall of 1993. Current plans call for an international conference in early summer 1995 similar to the one held in 1985.

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