Future of Marine Animal Populations

The Future of Marine Animal Populations (FMAP) project was one of the core projects of the international Census of Marine Life (2000–2010). FMAP's mission was to describe and synthesize globally changing patterns of species abundance, distribution, and diversity, and to model the effects of fishing, climate change and other key variables on those patterns. This work was done across ocean realms and with an emphasis on understanding past changes and predicting future scenarios.[1][2]


FMAP emerged from a workshop held at Dalhousie University in 2002 and was funded from 2003 to 2010 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The project was led by Ransom A. Myers from 2002 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2010 was under the direction of Boris Worm, Heike Lotze and Ian Jonsen in the Biology Department at Dalhousie University.

Core research topics


The FMAP project coordinated major data synthesis efforts to derive global trends and patterns in marine biodiversity. From 2003 to 2011, FMAP team members have contributed over 110 scientific articles to peer review journals, including numerous publications in top-tier journals such as Science and Nature. Publications by FMAP scientists have also included many book chapters, policy publications and outreach articles. Topics of research have included patterns of species abundance, distribution and diversity, and the effects of climate change, overfishing and other key human threats on these patterns. FMAP has performed analyses on a variety of organisms, including coral reefs, large pelagic fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and invertebrates.

A major output of the project was the development of advanced statistical tools for analyzing observational data to study how marine biodiversity is distributed and changing over time, and to better understand the movements and distribution of marine predators. FMAP's research was presented as part of the culmination of The Census of Marine Life, which was celebrated in October 2010 in London, England. FMAP research formed an integral part of the overall findings of the program, which were disseminated through major media outlets around the globe.[6]

Scientific highlights

See also


  1. "FMAP website". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Worm, B; Lotze, HK; Jonsen, I; Muir, C (2010). "The future of marine animal populations". In MacIntyre AD (ed). Life in the World's Oceans: Diversity, Distribution and Abundance. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford. pp. 315–330.
  3. "FMAP website. Spatial distribution and movements of tagged animals.". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  4. "FMAP website. Global patterns of marine biodiversity.". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  5. "FMAP website. Long-term changes in ocean ecosystems.". Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  6. "FMAP publications reprints". FMAP. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  7. Mora, C.; et al. (August 23, 2011). "How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?". PLoS Biology. 9: e1001127. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127. PMC 3160336Freely accessible. PMID 21886479.
  8. Myers, R; Worm, B (2003). "Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities". Nature. 423 (6937): 280–283. doi:10.1038/nature01610. PMID 12748640. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  9. Lotze, H; Worm, B (2009). "Historical baselines for large marine animals". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 24 (5): 254–262. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.12.004. PMID 19251340. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  10. 1 2 Lotze, H; Lenihan, HS; Bourque, BJ; Bradbury, RH; Cooke, RG; Kay, MC; Kidwell, SM; Kirby, MX; Peterson, CH; Jackson, JBC (2006). "Depletion, degradation, and recovery potential of estuaries and coastal seas". Science. 312 (5781): 1806–1809. doi:10.1126/science.1128035. PMID 16794081. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  11. Worm, B; Barbier, EB; Beaumont, N; Duffy, JE; Folke, C; Halpern, BS; Jackson, JBC; Lotze, HK; Micheli, F; Palumbi, SR; Sala, E; Selkoe, KA; Stachowicz, JJ; Watson, R (2006). "Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services". Science. 314 (5800): 787–760. doi:10.1126/science.1132294. PMID 17082450.
  12. 1 2 Worm, B; Hilborn, R; Baum, JK; Branch, TA; Collie, JS; Costello, C; Fogarty, MJ; Fulton, EA; Hutchings, JA; Jennings, S; Jensen, OP; Lotze, HK; Mace, PA; McClanahan, TR; Minto, C; Palumbi, SR; Parma, AM; Ricard, D; Rosenberg, AA; Watson, R; Zeller, D (July 2009). "Rebuilding global fisheries". Science. 325 (5940): 578–585. doi:10.1126/science.1173146. PMID 19644114.
  13. Ferretti, F; Worm, B; Britten, GL; Heithaus, MR; Lotze, HK (August 2010). "Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean". Ecology Letters. 13 (8): 1055–1071. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01489.x. PMID 20528897.
  14. Lotze, H; Coll,M; Dunne, JA (2011). "Historical Changes in Marine Resources, Food-web Structure and Ecosystem Functioning in the Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean". Ecosystems. 14 (2): 198–222. doi:10.1007/s10021-010-9404-8.
  15. Boyce, D; D.P. Tittensor; B. Worm (2008). "Effects of temperature on global patterns of tuna and billfish richness". Marine Ecology Progress Series. 355: 267–276. doi:10.3354/meps07237. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  16. Lucifora, L; Garcia, V; Worm, B. "Global Diversity Hotspots and Conservation Priorities for Sharks". PLoS ONE. 6 (5): e19356. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019356. PMC 3088674Freely accessible. PMID 21573162.
  17. 1 2 Tittensor, D; C. Mora, D. Ricard, W. Jetz, H.K. Lotze, E. Vanden Berghe, B. Worm. (2010). "Global patterns and predictors of marine biodiversity across taxa". Nature. 466 (7310): 1098–1101. doi:10.1038/nature09329. PMID 20668450. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  18. Boyce, D; M.R. Lewis; B. Worm (2010). "Global phytoplankton decline over the past century". Nature. 466 (7306): 591–596. doi:10.1038/nature09268. PMID 20671703. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  19. Worm, B; Lotze, HK (2009). "Changes in marine biodiversity as an indicator of climate and global change". In Letcher T (ed). Climate Change. Observed Impacts on Planet Earth. Elsevier. pp. 263–279. doi:10.1016/b978-0-444-53301-2.00014-2.
  20. Anderson, S; Mills Flemming, J; Watson, R; Lotze, HK (2011). Bograd, Steven J., ed. "Rapid Global Expansion of Invertebrate Fisheries: Trends, Drivers, and Ecosystem Effects". PLoS ONE. 6 (3): e14735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014735. PMC 3050978Freely accessible. PMID 21408090.
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