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Southern Ocean Mollusc Database (SOMBASE)

SOMBASE Swirl 240

Understanding where organisms live and why they live there is the key aim of ecology. SOMBASE was created as a tool for looking at marine molluscs in the seas around Antarctica. Using a database and the latest mapping technology it is possible to display all the places where a family, genus or species has been found. These maps show us how widely spread different organisms are and if they prefer a particular area or type of habitat. The database can also be used to address questions about biodiversity in the seas around Antarctica and how it's unique environment affects which animals are found there.

SOMBASE contains comprehensive distribution records of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic (and also many Southern Hemisphere) gastropods, bivalves, sponges, bryozoans, corals and pycnogonids (seaspiders). Based upon published records and British Antarctic Survey data these distributions form part of a biogeographic database, which also includes taxonomic, ecological and habitat data. The database contains information on thousands of species from thousands of locations in the Southern Hemisphere making up over 60,000 records.   

Up to date distributions for all Southern Ocean gastropods, bivalves, sponges, bryozoans, corals and pycnogonids (seaspiders) stored in SOMBASE are freely available to view and download through SCAR-MarBIN.

SOMBASE Publications

GRIFFITHS, H.J., LINSE, K. & CRAME, J.A. 2003. SOMBASE – Southern Ocean Mollusc Database: A tool for biogeographic analysis in diversity and ecology. Organisms Diversity and Evolution. 3, 207–213.

LINSE K., GRIFFITHS H.J., BARNES D.K.A. & CLARKE A. 2006. Biodiversity and biogeography of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic mollusca. Deep-Sea Research Part II, 53, No. 8-10, 985-1008.

CLARKE, A. GRIFFITHS, H.J. BARNES, D.K.A. & LINSE, K. 2007. How well do we know the Antarctic marine fauna? A preliminary study of macroecological and biogeographic patterns in Southern Ocean gastropod and bivalve molluscs. Diversity and Distributions. 13, 620-632.

BARNES, D.K.A. & GRIFFITHS, H.J. 2008.  Biodiversity and biogeography of southern temperate and polar bryozoans. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 17, 84-99.

GRIFFITHS, H.J., LINSE, K. & BARNES, D.K.A. 2008. Distribution of macrobenthic taxa across the Scotia Arc, Antarctica. Antarctic Science. 20 (3), 213-226.

SCHIAPARELLI, S., OLIVERIO, M., TAVIANI, M., GRIFFITHS, H. & ALBERTELLI, G. 2008. Circumpolar distribution of the pycnogonid-ectoparasitic gastropod Dickdellia labioflecta (Dell, 1990) (Mollusca: Zerotulidae). Antarctic Science. 20 (5), 497-498.

BARNES, D.K.A., KAISER, S., GRIFFITHS, H.J. & LINSE, K. 2008. The marine, intertidal, fresh-water and terrestrial fauna of the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2008.02030.x

GRIFFITHS, H.J., BARNES, D.K.A. & LINSE, K. 2009. Towards a generalized biogeography of the Southern Ocean benthos. Journal of Biogeography. 36, 162-177. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2008.01979.x

CLARKE, A., GRIFFITHS, H.J. BARNES, D.K.A., MEREDITH, M.P. & GRANT, S.M. 2009. Spatial variation in seabed temperatures in the Southern Ocean: Implications for benthic ecology and biogeography. Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences. 114,

BARNES, D.K.A., GRIFFITHS, H.J. & KAISER, S. 2009. Geographic range shift responses to climate change by Antarctic benthos: where we should look. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 39, 13-26.

GRIFFITHS, H.J. 2010. Antarctic Marine Biodiversity – What do we know about the distribution of life in the Southern Ocean? PLOSOne.

MORLEY, S.A., GRIFFITHS, H.J., BARNES, 2010. South Georgia: a key location for linking physiological capacity to distributional changes in response to climate change. Antarctic Science. doi:10.1017/S0954102010000465

GRIFFITHS, H.J., ARANGO, C., MUNILLA, T. & MCINNES, T. 2011. Biodiversity and biogeography of Southern Ocean pycnogonids. Ecography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06612.x