[Coral-List] New biogeographic classification available

Mark Spalding mark at mdspalding.co.uk
Fri Jul 13 03:46:29 EDT 2007

Coral-listers may be interested to read more about a new biogeographic
classification of coasts and shelves of the world. The Marine Ecoregions of
the World (MEOW) has been 2 years in the making and has involved a review of
some 230 existing biogeographic references. The result is a classification
of coast and shelf waters into 12 realms, 62 provinces and 232 ecoregions.
For the most part we have leant heavily on existing systems rather than
inventing an entirely new classification, so we have the Australian IMCRA
classification, TNC's Coral Triangle and Caribbean ecoregions, and for the
Pacific Islands a system that draws heavily on the work of Gerry Allen and
Vic Springer.

The hope is that we have come up with a system that will be well suited to
biogeography as well to conservation planning...and that it might provide a
common framework for academics and NGOs to use. The authorship already
represents a great collaboration of 10 international NGO and academic
organisations, led by TNC and WWF.

Published this month in BioScience:
Spalding MD, Fox HE, Allen GR, Davidson N, Ferdaña ZA, Finlayson M, Halpern
BS, Jorge MA, Lombana A, Lourie SA, Martin KD, McManus E, Molnar J, Recchia
CA, Robertson J (2007) Marine Ecoregions of the World: a bioregionalization
of coast and shelf areas. BioScience 57: 573-583

See also:
http://www.nature.org/meow and

Thanks and best wishes
Mark Spalding and Helen Fox, with the co-authors:

Zach A. Ferdaña, Jennifer Molnar, and James Robertson, The Nature
Helen E. Fox and Al Lombana, World Wildlife Fund-US
Gerald R. Allen, Western Australian Museum
Nick Davidson, Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Max Finlayson, Ramsar’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel and
International Water Management Institute
Benjamin S. Halpern, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Miguel A. Jorge, WWF International
Sara A. Lourie, Redpath Museum, McGill Un iversity
Kirsten D. Martin, formerly with IUCN (World Conservation Union), now Census
of Marine Life Initiative
Edmund McManus, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Cheri A. Recchia, Wildlife Conservation Society

Mark Spalding, PhD
Senior Marine Scientist
Conservation Strategies Program
The Nature Conservancy
mspalding at tnc.org

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