A Database of Historical Benthic Invertebrate Biodiversity Spanning 182 Years in Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island and Massachusetts)
To examine biodiversity trends over time, a master list was compiled of all benthic invertebrate species collected from the Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island, USA) beginning with Totten’s 1834 descriptions of mollusks, Leidy’s collections in 1855, Verrill and Smith’s surveys beginning in 1871, and studies at Alexander Agassiz’s Newport Marine Zoological Laboratory, 1873–1910. The list, spanning 182 years, was compiled from 104 sources and includes invertebrate macrofauna (>0.5 mm) and more limited studies of meiofauna. It currently holds over 1,200 unique taxa from 21 phyla. Information given for each collection record includes: current accepted scientific name, when and where sampled, by whom (with citation), gear used, and full taxonomic hierarchy. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Hale, S., M. Hughes, and H. Buffum. Historical Trends of Benthic Invertebrate Biodiversity Spanning 182 Years in a Southern New England Estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 41(6): 1525–1538, (2018).