Geography data block

This block contains all supporting geographical information, such as native origin, recipient region and source region of a NIS:

  • Native origin - the region the species originates from, a historically known species distribution area.
  • Recipient region – the country/region for which an introduction event is recorded.
  • Source region – the area the species was introduced from to the recipient country/country region. Depending on the information availability may be ascribed to a particular locality (e.g. port), a country, a Large Marine Ecosystem (sensu Sherman and Duda, 1999) or a larger Ocean region. CAUTION: in many cases the source area will be not the same as the area of native origin.

The principal scheme of the GEOGRAPHY data block in AquaNIS:



Oceans and divisions in Ocean regions in AquaNIS:

  • Arctic ocean: Arctic Eurasian coast; Arctic American cost; Arctic High seas
  • Atlantic ocean: E Tropical Atlantic; NE Atlantic; NW Atlantic; SE Atlantic; SW Atlantic; W Tropical Atlantic
  • Indian ocean: E Indian Ocean; W Indian Ocean
  • Pacific ocean: C Tropical Pacific; E Tropical Pacific; NE Pacific; NW Pacific; SE Pacific; SW Pacific; W Tropical Pacific
  • Southern ocean (so far not divided into regions)

Large Marine Ecosystems are extensive areas of ocean space of approximately 200,000 km² or greater, characterized by distinct hydrographic regimes, submarine topography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations, adjacent to the continents in coastal waters where primary productivity is generally higher than in open ocean areas (sensu Sherman and Duda, 1999). The map of LMEs and all accompanying information is publically assessable at the NOAA (2012) website. In addition to LMEs defined by NOAA, AquaNIS included the following LME-like areas to ensure better geographical coverage:

  • A1. Macaronesia
  • A2. Caspian Sea
  • A3. Polynesia
  • A4. Melanesia
  • A5. Micronesia
  • 30A. Agulhas Current (tropical)
  • 30B. Agulhas Current (temperate)

The list of countries is adopted from the UN Population Division's quinquennial estimates and projections (United Nations, 2012). All countries are linked to relevant LMEs or LME Sub-regions. This provides combinations "country + LME" or "country + LME sub-region" for different coasts and for a country that borders different seas, e.g.: "Germany within the LME 23 Baltic Sea", "Italy within the Adriatic Sea, a sub-region of LME 26 Mediterranean Sea". The arrangement enables entering and retrieving information at different user defined geographic scales.