Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 30, Suppl. 1, 2004, pp. S17–S21.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Biologiya Morya, Adrianov.
1063-0740/04/3001-S © 2004
The problems of biodiversity studies and conserva-
tion have received a great deal of attention over the last
decade, at least in the declarative sense. In 1992, the
Convention on Biological Diversity was signed by
157 governments at the Earth Summit, which took
place in Rio de Janeiro. It was also approved by Russia
in 1995. The Darwin Declaration (The Global Taxon-
omy Initiative) was accepted at the meeting on biodi-
versity conservation held in Darwin (Australia) in 1998
and was ratiﬁed by 170 countries. UNESCO declared
2001 the Year of Biodiversity. The national forum of
experts, which was held in Moscow in June 2001,
endorsed the National Strategy for Biodiversity Con-
Earlier, in 1990, the International Union of Biologi-
cal Sciences (IUBS), UNESCO, and the program
and the Biosphere
had organized the ﬁrst global inter-
national program called DIVERSITAS for studying
and monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem function.
In the 1990s, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission of UNESCO undertook a project aimed at
the development of a UNESCO-IOC Register of
Marine Organisms, which included an annotated
checklist of all marine species, each of which was
assigned a ten-digit code according to the system of the
US Oceanographic Data Center (NODC).
In December 2003, a large-scale regional program
entitled DIWPA (Diversitas in Western Paciﬁc and Asia)
was established within the framework of DIVERSITAS
for promoting cooperative studies on biodiversity and
ecosystems in the region of the Western Paciﬁc, which
This is the second part of the review
Current Problems in Marine
; for the ﬁrst part, see
Rus. J. Mar. Biol.
vol. 30, Supplementary Issue, 2004.
exhibits the highest level of biodiversity on the Earth.
DIWPA aims to develop regional cooperative programs
that focus on biodiversity inventory and monitoring, as
well as on the role of biodiversity in ecosystem func-
tion. One of the major DIWPA activities is develop-
ment and application of the regional strategy for study-
ing and monitoring marine biodiversity in the coastal
ecosystems from the subarctic areas of Russian Far
East seas to New Zealand .
In the beginning of the 21st century, one of the most
important global programs called
Census of Marine
, was established to assess and explain
marine biological diversity, distribution and abundance
of marine hydrobionts in the world’s oceans. This pro-
gram, which will conclude in 2010, includes several
major projects, one of which (NaGISA—Natural
Geography in Shore Areas) aims to assess and study
marine biodiversity in the macrophyte coastal commu-
nities of the West and North Paciﬁc Ocean areas.
Awareness of the huge level of biodiversity in the
ocean, the extremely poor current state of knowledge
on this subject, high extinction rates of modern species,
an insufﬁcient number of taxonomists, and slow
progress in describing existing species have called for a
new ideology and strategy for marine biodiversity stud-
ies. Under the conditions of the modern biodiversity
crisis , this strategy involves selection of areas that
display the highest level of diversity (in a given climate
zone and latitude range) for a comprehensive study,
inventory, and monitoring by international institutions
and research groups. The strategy comprises four major
phases: (1) identiﬁcation of centers of evolutionary
diversiﬁcation (major centers of species and genetic
diversity) by integrated surveys and inventories,
(2) location of a monitoring site within the selected
Strategies and Methodology
of Marine Biodiversity Studies
A. V. Adrianov
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received October 10, 2003
—This paper reviews major global and regional international approaches to inventory and monitoring
of biological diversity. The current strategy of studying marine biodiversity is outlined. We also discuss the method-
ology of marine biota inventory at the regional level within the framework of the long-term biodiversity studies in the
West and North Paciﬁc Ocean that are undertaken by the international institutions
Census of Marine Life, DIWPA
The paper also contains data on the biological diversity of Russian Far East seas.
biological diversity, marine ecosystems, monitoring, videomonitoring.