The objective of the Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS) is to compile
and manage an authoritative taxonomic list of species occurring in the
Antarctic marine environment, for establishing a standard reference for marine
biodiversity research, conservation and sustainable management.
The taxonomic scope of RAMS covers Antarctic animal species from the three
realms of the Southern Ocean: ... the sea floor (meio-, macro- and megabenthos),
the water column (zooplankton, nekton) and the sea-ice. In a second phase, the
phytoplankton, micro- and macrophytobenthos will be covered.
The geographic scope of RAMS is in priority the Southern Ocean s.s., i.e. the
area between the Antarctic Polar Front (or Antarctic Convergence) and the
coasts of the continent. Sub-Antarctic species (occurring between the
Subtropical Convergence to the north and the Antarctic Polar Front to the
south, i.e. in the Magellan region and in the sub-Antarctic Islands region) are
included in certain cases.
A series of preliminary species lists of Antarctic marine invertebrates, mostly
for macrobenthic groups, were compiled by Andrew Clarke and Nadine Johnston of
the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), with funding from the UK Foreign &
Commonwealth Office and British Antarctic Survey. Some lists (e.g. gastropods,
bivalves, polychaetes, pycnogonids, amphipods, isopods, cheilostomatid
bryozoans) have been checked by taxonomic experts, others (e.g. anthozoans,
hydrozoans) are being reviewed.
RAMS is managed by an Editorial Board comprising an Executive Committee and
associate Taxonomic Editors. The RAMS Executive Committee will play an advising
role in the development of RAMS and propose Taxonomic Editors. It will link
with the SCAR-MarBIN international steering committee. To allow RAMS to be as
exhaustive and authoritative as possible, the role of the network of Taxonomic
Editors will be crucial. These Taxonomic Editors are world experts on the
taxonomy of their relevant taxa and will be in charge of the content and
quality control of data for their specific group.