An annotated checklist of the marine macroinvertebrates of Alaska

David T. Drumm, Katherine P. Maslenikov, Robert Van Syoc, James W. Orr, Robert R. Lauth, Duane E. Stevenson, and Theodore W. Pietsch

A current and comprehensive species list of marine invertebrates of Alaska is essential for effective management of living marine resources, sustainable fisheries, conservation of vulnerable ecosystems, and advancement of our knowledge of biodiversity and ecosystem function. Furthermore, the most current checklist available to resource managers and scientists is quite dated and limited in that it only includes the marine invertebrates of the southern coast of Alaska to California. Since that checklist was published, many new species have been described, many range extensions have been discovered, and considerable changes in higher-level systematics have been made. The checklist that we have compiled lists 3708 species and presents for each species the currently accepted scientific name and its significant synonyms, common names, type localities, geographic and depth distributions, a general statement of abundance in Alaska when known (e.g., rare, uncommon, common, abundant), and general remarks. It includes species recorded in the marine waters of Alaska from the intertidal zone, continental shelf, and upper continental slope to abyssal depths, from the Beaufort Sea at the Arctic border with Yukon, Canada; the eastern Chukchi Sea, the eastern Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands to the western border with Russia; and the Gulf of Alaska to Dixon Entrance at the southern border with British Columbia. Sound and reliable taxonomic identifications are necessary to monitor and predict changes in the distribution and abundance of marine species. The current status and future direction of the study of Alaskan marine invertebrate biodiversity are briefly discussed.

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