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  • In-situ underwater images were gathered during the expedition JR17003a of RRS James Clark Ross to the eastern Antarctic Peninsula in March 2018. The BAS'' Shallow Underwater Camera System (SUCS) has been used to estimate faunal density, biomass and species abundance of the benthos and to provide an overview of the conditions of the underwater landscape. Funding was provided by NERC urgency grant NE/R012296/1 ''Benthic biodiversity under Antarctic ice-shelves - baseline assessment of the seabed exposed by the 2017 calving of the Larsen-C Ice Shelf''.

  • In 2018 RRS James Clark Ross investigated the marine benthic biodiversity of the Prince Gustav Channel area and the macrobenthic molluscan fauna collected by epibenthic sledge (EBS) has been assessed for species richness, abundance and assemblage composition as well as for functional traits. In total 20,307 mollusc specimens assigned to 50 morphospecies and 4 classes (Solenogastres, Bivalvia, Gastropoda and Scaphopoda) were identified. Assemblage analyses across the Prince Gustav Channel area did not show apparent pattern or separation across depth, taxon or station. To set the bivalve dataset into a wider context, unpublished bivalve species richness and abundance data from EBS collected stations in the area influenced by the Weddell Gyre were added. This doi dataset provides data for 1) PGC EBS locations, 2) PGC EBS molluscan abundances, 3) PGC molluscan functional traits, 4) Weddell Gyre EBS stations (300 - 2000 m depth), 5) Weddell Gyre EBS bivalve standardised 1000 m trawl length abundances (300 - 2000 m depth). Funding was provided by NERC urgency grant NE/R012296/1 ''Benthic biodiversity under Antarctic ice-shelves - baseline assessment of the seabed exposed by the 2017 calving of the Larsen-C Ice Shelf''.

  • Benthic Macrofaunal abundance and biomass data collected during a series of ship-board sampling campaigns in the Barents Sea. As part of the NERC funded Changing Arctic Ocean programme, in July of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the RSS James Clark Ross followed a North-South transect at 30 degrees Longitude. In 2017 six stations were sampled (B3, B13, B14, B15, B16, B17); in 2018 seven stations were sampled (B3, B13, B14, Xs, B15, B16, B17); and in 2019 five stations were sampled (B3, B13, B14, B15, B16). Macrofaunal samples were collected using a USNL corer (surface area 0.1m<sup>2</sup>). On recovery all faunal samples were fixed and preserved with 10% buffered formaldehyde solution. The faunal samples were transported to Plymouth Marine Laboratory where the fauna were extracted, identified to species level where possible using the most up to date literature available, and biomassed (blotted wet weight) to species level. A reference collection has been created containing an example of each taxon to ensure maximum quality control was maintained by the three analysts that conducted the species identification and for subsequent cruise data generated. Funded by the NERC Changing Arctic Ocean Seafloor (ChAOS).

  • Multiple images of the seafloor at six sites across a broad latitudinal range in the Barents Sea in the Arctic were collected in July 2017 on the month long scientific cruise JR16006. The dataset includes environmental variables for each accompanied image. Each image (406 x 341mm) has density of fauna from different functional groups. We have 13 different functional groups based on other similar studies. The aim was to look at the effect of climate change in the Arctic on the biology of the seafloor. Funding was provided by the NERC Changing Arctic Oceans ChAOS project.

  • In 2008 RRS James Clark Ross investigated the marine benthic biodiversity in Amundsen Sea and in 2018 the marine benthic biodiversity of the Prince Gustav Channel (PGC) area and the macrobenthic cumacean fauna (Peracarida, Crustacea) collected by epibenthic sledge (EBS) has been assessed for species richness, abundance and assemblage composition. In total 4431 cumacean specimens assigned to 58 morphospecies and 5 families were identified. To set the cumacean dataset into a wider context, published cumacean species richness and abundance data from EBS collected stations in the Magellan Region and Southern Ocean (Rehm et al 2007, Muehlenhardt-Siegel 1999, Cordoba & San Vincente 2009) were added. This dataset provides data for 1) Amundsen Sea and PGC EBS locations, 2) Amundsen Sea and PGC EBS cumacean abundances, 3) Magellan Region and Southern Ocean EBS cumacean standardised 1000 m trawl length abundances (175 - 3500 m depth). Funding for the expeditions and KL was provided by NERC NC Science for the BAS core project BIOPEARL and for NERC urgency grant NE/R012296/1 ''Benthic biodiversity under Antarctic ice-shelves - baseline assessment of the seabed exposed by the 2017 calving of the Larsen-C Ice Shelf''. Funding for DD was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grant Br1121/51-1.

  • The soil food webs in this collection represent a total of 32 belowground communities studied by Neutel et al. (2007), from two natural successions in sandy dune soils: one on the Waddensea Island of Schiermonnikoog in the north of the Netherlands and the other at Hulshorsterzand, on the Veluwe, in the central Netherlands. The study sites, which constitute the two gradients, represent four consecutive stages in chronosequences of early primary vegetation succession, increasing in aboveground and below-ground productivity. The Jacobians of the 32 food webs (two series, four stages with four replicates per stage) were calculated by Neutel et al. (2007) from observed average biomass data of the respective systems, and inferring steady-state biomass flow data using a procedure described by Hunt et al. (1987). The Jacobians represent the interaction strengths of the species in the two food webs, evaluated at equilibrium.

  • The soil food webs in this collection represent seven belowground communities from native and agricultural soils. The seven communities are from experimental research sites in the USA, Sweden and the Netherlands. The Jacobians of the seven food webs were calculated by de Ruiter et al. (1995) using the empirical biomass data of the respective systems, and inferring steady-state biomass flow data using a procedure described by Hunt et al. (1987), see further references below. The Jacobians represent the interaction strengths of the species in the two food webs, evaluated at equilibrium.

  • In 2012 RRS James Clark Ross investigated the marine benthic biodiversity of the southern Weddell Sea (JR275), in 2016 the marine benthic biodiversity of the South Orkney Islands (JR15005) and in 2018 the marine benthic biodiversity of the Prince Gustav Channel area. In 2019 RV Polarstern investigated the marine benthic biodiversity of the eastern Antarctic Peninsula (PS119). During all expeditions macrobenthic isopod fauna (Peracarida, Crustacea) was collected by a total of 37 epibenthic sledge (EBS) and assessed for species richness and abundance. In total 27099 isopod specimens assigned to 228 morphospecies and 78 genera were identified. To set the isopod dataset into a wider context of species diversity, published isopod species richness data from a further EBS collected stations during the ANDEEP I-III expeditions (ANT XIX/2-3, ANT XXII-3) in the Weddell Sea (Brandt et al. 2007) were added. This dataset provides data for 1) Isopoda EBS station locations and environmental data, 2) EBS Isopoda abundance data JR275, JR15005, JR17003a and PS118, 3) Isopoda species absence/presence data JR275, JR15005, JR17003a and PS118, 4) Isopoda species absence/presence data ANDEEP Weddell Sea only. Funding for KL, HJG, and the RRS James Clark Ross expeditions was provided by NERC for NC Science (JR275, JR15005) and for NERC urgency grant NE/R012296/1 ''Benthic biodiversity under Antarctic ice-shelves - baseline assessment of the seabed exposed by the 2017 calving of the Larsen-C Ice Shelf'' (JR17003a). Ship time for EBS work during PS118 was provided to Linse et al. via a co-user grant from Leitstelle Deutsche Forschungsschiffe (AWI-PS118_7). Funding for DD was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grant Br1121/51-1. Financial support for the ANDEEP I-III expeditions was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grant Br1121/22/1-3.

  • Cetacean sightings in South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands waters, made by a team of four professional marine mammal observers during the British Antarctic Survey CCAMLR synoptic krill survey on the RRS Discovery (DY098), January and February 2019. The latitude and longitude of each sighting, the identified species, bearing and distance from the vessel, and estimated group size are provided. These data have been used by BAS to estimate (i) humpback whale and (ii) baleen whale abundance in South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands waters in 2019. Funding was provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as part of the Overseas Territories Blue Belt programme, as well as the South Georgia Heritage Trust, Friends of South Georgia Island and Darwin PLUS award DPLUS057.

  • Macrozooplankton and nekton were collected with a Rectangular Midwater Trawl 25 (RMT25) at locations within the Benguela Current region in May and June 2018. The work was carried out as part of the NERC Large Grant, COMICS (Controls on Mesopelagic Interior Carbon) on board the RRS Discovery (cruise DY090). Depth-discrete samples were collected across four time stations (BS1, BN1-3) between 0-750 m at intervals of 750-500m, 500-250m, 250-125m and 125-10 m. At each time station, two RMT25 hauls were deployed in the hours of darkness and two in daylight, with 16 deployments being undertaken overall. The RMT25 was operated via a downwire net monitor and was equipped with a flow meter, and temperature and salinity sensors. Nets in the deep strata (750-500m and 500-250m) were sampled for approximately 40 mins. and nets in the shallow strata (250-125m, 125-10m) for approximately 20mins. Catches were immediately sorted on board and identified to the lowest taxonomic level feasible. All fishes and subsamples of the other parts of the catch were retained (frozen), principally for subsequent biochemical and physiological analyses. In total, 1917 fish were caught and preserved (not including Cyclothone spp.). Catches were dominated by the myctophids and various other mesopelagic fish species. The water column below 250m was dominated by Bathylagus spp. and genus Melamphidae spp. The most numerous fish overall were the Cyclothone spp. which occurred in large numbers below 500m. In deeper depth intervals (250m-750m), the macrozooplankton component of the RMT25 net catches was mostly dominated by Decapoda and hydromedusae of the genus Atolla spp.. Salps, smaller hydromedusa species and small euphausiids Euphausia hanseni and Nematocelis megalops dominated the shallower depths (10-250m).