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  • Macrozooplankton and nekton were collected with a Rectangular Midwater Trawl 25 (RMT25) over several visits to the sustained observation location P3 (52.70 S, 40.26 W) in the northern Scotia Sea during November and December 2017. The work was carried out as part of the NERC Large Grant, COMICS (Controls on Mesopelagic Interior Carbon) on board the RRS Discovery (cruise DY086). The RMT25 net hauls sampled between 10 and 500 m depth, with the water column divided into 2 depth intervals (10-250 m and 250-500 m). A total of 6 hauls were obtained during 3 separate visits to station P3, each visit comprising a pair of hauls, of which one was carried out in nominal daytime and the other in nominal nighttime. Catches were immediately sorted on board and identified to the lowest taxonomic level feasible. Subsamples of the catches were retained, principally for subsequent biochemical and physiological analyses. In total, 777 fish were caught, belonging to at least 23 species, with catches dominated by the myctophids Krefftichthys anderssoni, Gymnoscopelus braueri, Electrona antarctica and Protomyctophum tenesoni. The water column below 250m was dominated by Bathylagus spp. Temperate myctophid species, such as Protomyctophum parallelum and Protomyctophum andreyeshevi were also caught in small numbers. With regards macrozooplankton, the 250m-500m depth interval was dominated by the jellyfish, Atolla and Periphylla. The tunicate Salpa thompsoni and the euphausiids Euphausia triacantha and Thysanoessa spp. were also relatively abundant. Jellyfish still dominated catches in shallower waters (250m-10m), closely followed by euphausiids and Salpa thompsoni and chaetognaths. Themisto gaudichaudii and Parandania boecki were the most numerous amphipod species caught. Decapods were only caught in the deeper depth interval, both day and night.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Mesozooplankton were collected with a MOCNESS net system during the oceanographic cruise JR16003 (Dec 2016 to Jan 2017). The MOCNESS comprised 9 separate nets which opened in sequence such that the closing of one net opened the next; net 1 was open during the descent of the net to its maximum depth (1000 m) while the remaining 8 depths opened at regular intervals during the reascent to the surface. All catches were immediately preserved in 4% buffered formaldehyde. Identification of taxa was performed by the Morski Institute (Poland). Specimens were categorised to the lowest possible taxonomic level, which, in some cases, encompassed developmental stages but, in other cases, was limited to higher order taxa. Each taxa was enumerated to determine abundance in units of individuals m-3. The dataset allows examination of the distribution and abundance of these species across Polar Frontal Zone in Southern Ocean Atlantic sector. The survey was funded by The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and carried out as part of the POETS Wester Core Box and SCOOBIES programmes at British Antarctic Survey. The time of Geraint Tarling and the analysis of the MOCNESS nets was funded by the NERC grant "SeaDNA - Assessing marine biodiversity and structure using environmental DNA: from groundtruthing to food web structure and stability" NE/N00616X/1 PI: Stefano Mariani.

  • The Antarctic food webs represent two entire above-belowground communities from Signy Island Reference Sites on Signy Island, one of the South Orkney Islands in the Maritime Antarctic. The two communities are a dry moss community (Antarctic dry tundra) and a wet moss community (Antarctic wet tundra). These two communities were the focus of intensive biological study by personnel from the British Antarctic Survey over the course of a decade in the 1970''s, of which the results were finally compiled into a meta-analysis by Davis (1981). The Jacobians of the dry and wet tundra were calculated by Neutel and Thorne (2014) using the empirical biomass and flow data of the respective systems from Davis'' analysis. The Jacobians represent the interaction strengths of the species in the two food webs, evaluated at equilibrium.

  • 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 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-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''.

  • 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).