North American Sessile Marine Invertebrates


The North American Sessile Marine Invertebrate Survey is conducted with settling plates to monitor native and invasive species. Data are available at OBIS. The OBIS compiled data includes species name, individual count, lat/lon, and some environmental correlates like depth and salinity. 

Dataset Location: OBIS Sessile Marine Invertebrates

Direct Download: OBIS Sessile Marine Invertebrates

Site Location: embayments across the United States coastline

Site(s) Georeferenced: Yes

Timespan: 2000 - 2005

Sampling Frequency:

Data Collection Summary / Methods: Invertebrate collecting devices called settling plates are deployed at marinas, commercial and military docks in several embayments each year. Settling plates are constructed of both wood and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) so that both wood-boring species and hard surface foulers can be collected.

Data collected:

OBIS data schema: species name, individual count, date, location, temperature, depth, salinity, nitrogen, oxygen, silicate.

Known Issues: weaknesses, limitations, errors, caveats, etc.

Best Practices: tips for separating the wheat from the chaff
Conditions for use: 'freely available' and 'open-access' as per OBIS:

Citation/ Distributing Authors: Ruiz GM, Fofonoff PW, Steves B, Huber T, Larson K, McCann L, Hitchcock NG, Hines AH, & Carlton JT. 2005. North American Sessile Marine Invertebrate Survey.

Supplemental resources:

Marine Invasions Research Lab -

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System -

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center -

Available via the EcoData Retriever: No

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