Presentation Abstract

There are nearly 700 seaweed species, subspecies and varieties reported in the Northeast Pacific, many with a distribution that includes British Columbia. Yet, it can be difficult to access reported distribution information at a regional scale; for example: does a seaweed species reported from Southern B.C. include the Salish Sea or just the West coast of Vancouver Island? Occurrence data for many seaweeds exist in the form of herbarium specimens, DNA records, and observations made by governmental agencies and citizen science initiatives. However, there are challenges to building species lists from these data, including: difficulty collating the disparate data types into regionally-specific lists, especially for data that are not accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF); low reliability of records for certain taxonomic groups due to incorrect identifications or frequent taxonomic reclassifications (both common issues for seaweeds); and infrequent or geographically-biased sampling efforts. An example of the last challenge: the last comprehensive floristic seaweed survey around Greater Vancouver was in 1983 by researchers at the University of British Columbia, the results of which are unpublished. The lack of local species checklists for ecologically-important marine organisms like seaweeds is surprising given that these checklists can aid in management and Greater Vancouver (and the Salish Sea in general) are experiencing ever-increasing human impacts. The goals of this project were to 1) update the checklist of seaweeds for Greater Vancouver using intertidal surveys, and 2) create a checklist of seaweed species for regions of the Salish Sea, specifically the Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait, by collating occurrence data from herbaria, DNA barcoding records, and verified citizen science records. These checklists provide insight into seaweed richness within specific areas of the Salish Sea. Finally, we make recommendations based on biases and gaps in historic sampling efforts.

Session Title

Track: Biodiversity – Posters

Conference Track

Biodiversity

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_5866

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Species Checklists for Salish Sea Seaweeds

There are nearly 700 seaweed species, subspecies and varieties reported in the Northeast Pacific, many with a distribution that includes British Columbia. Yet, it can be difficult to access reported distribution information at a regional scale; for example: does a seaweed species reported from Southern B.C. include the Salish Sea or just the West coast of Vancouver Island? Occurrence data for many seaweeds exist in the form of herbarium specimens, DNA records, and observations made by governmental agencies and citizen science initiatives. However, there are challenges to building species lists from these data, including: difficulty collating the disparate data types into regionally-specific lists, especially for data that are not accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF); low reliability of records for certain taxonomic groups due to incorrect identifications or frequent taxonomic reclassifications (both common issues for seaweeds); and infrequent or geographically-biased sampling efforts. An example of the last challenge: the last comprehensive floristic seaweed survey around Greater Vancouver was in 1983 by researchers at the University of British Columbia, the results of which are unpublished. The lack of local species checklists for ecologically-important marine organisms like seaweeds is surprising given that these checklists can aid in management and Greater Vancouver (and the Salish Sea in general) are experiencing ever-increasing human impacts. The goals of this project were to 1) update the checklist of seaweeds for Greater Vancouver using intertidal surveys, and 2) create a checklist of seaweed species for regions of the Salish Sea, specifically the Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait, by collating occurrence data from herbaria, DNA barcoding records, and verified citizen science records. These checklists provide insight into seaweed richness within specific areas of the Salish Sea. Finally, we make recommendations based on biases and gaps in historic sampling efforts.