Plankton biogeography in the North Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas: Species assemblages and environmental signatures

Kléparski, L; Beaugrand, G; Edwards, E. 2021 Plankton biogeography in the North Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas: Species assemblages and environmental signatures. Ecology and Evolution, 11 (10). 5135-5149. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7406

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Abstract/Summary

Plankton biodiversity is a key component of marine pelagic ecosystems. They are at the base of the food web, control the productivity of marine ecosystems, and provide many provisioning and regulating ecological services. It is therefore important to understand how plankton are organized in both space and time. Here, we use data of varying taxonomic resolution, collected by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey, to map phytoplankton and zooplankton biodiversity in the North Atlantic and its adjacent seas. We then decompose biodiversity into 24 species assemblages and investigate their spatial distribution using ecological units and ecoregions recently proposed. Finally, we propose a descriptive method, which we call the environmental chromatogram, to characterize the environmental signature of each plankton assemblage. The method is based on a graphic that identifies where species of an assemblage aggregate along an environmental gradient composed of multiple ecological dimensions. The decomposition of the biodiversity into species assemblages allows us to show (a) that most marine regions of the North Atlantic are composed of coenoclines (i.e., gradients of biocoenoses or communities) and (b) that the overlapping spatial distribution of assemblages is the result of their environmental signatures. It follows that neither the ecoregions nor the ecological units identified in the North Atlantic are characterized by a unique assemblage but instead by a mosaic of assemblages that overlap in many places

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: biogeography, coenoclines, environmental signature, macroecology, North Atlantic Ocean, plankton, taxonomic assemblages
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Continuous Plankton Recorder
Depositing User: Emily Smart
Date made live: 28 Sep 2021 14:33
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 14:33
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9377

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