The goal is to overlay spatial diversity patterns for different species groups, searching for local hotspots and coldspots, regional overlap between different groups and global spatial gradients in marine diversity. In the end, we will produce global diversity maps that may be visualized as an atlas. We aim to integrate results from movement data and if possible, to add the dynamics of the spatial use of the ocean over time and seasons.
Overlaying standardized species richness patterns for diverse animal groups enables
description of taxon-specific and cross-taxa patterns as well as driving factors. The
data are examined for overlap (hotspots) and disjunction (diversity peaks for some
taxa but not others). Macro-ecological patterns such as latitudinal gradients can be
compared and contrasted, and hypotheses generated as to what the underlying
The Census of Marine Life is a growing global network of researchers in more than 45 nations engaged in a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in oceans--past, present, and future.