An Antarctic Marine Biodiversity Reference Centre, devoted to amphipod
crustaceans, is under development at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural
Sciences, Brussels, Belgium. This centre includes specialised databases that
record and organise the widely scattered information on taxonomy, geographic
and bathymetric distribution, ecological and biological characteristics, and
It will ... host and develop extensive, and validated reference collections of
Southern Ocean amphipod crustaceans, compiled from Royal Belgian Institute of
Natural Sciences collections and other contributions from diverse national and
international Antarctic programmes.
The centre will contribute to the development, by the "Antartic Amphipodologist
Network", of new conventional and computer-assisted identification tools
(Amphipod volumes in the series "Synopses of the Antarctic Benthos") and a
multimedia electronic monograph.
These new tools would contribute to a better knowledge of the biodiversity of
the Southern Ocean amphipod crustaceans and of its spatial and temporal
The centre will also promote international collaboration and cooperative work
in Antarctic marine biodiversity studies. A first step in this way take place
in the framework of the Belgian-Polish cooperation with the development of the
"Admiralty Bay Benthos Biodiversity Database" (ABBED).
Ant'phipoda is part of the Belgian BIANZO consortium, which constitutes the
kernel of SCAR-MarBIN.