Acquisition of continuous plankton recorder data

Batten, SD and Welch, DW 2008 Acquisition of continuous plankton recorder data. UNSPECIFIED. (UNSPECIFIED)

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The Continuous Plankton Recorder has been deployed on a seasonal basis in the north Pacific since 2000, accumulating a database of abundance measurements for over 290 planktonic taxa in over 3,500 processed samples. There is an additional archive of over 10,000 samples available for further analyses. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council financial support has contributed to about half of this tally, through four projects funded since 2002. Time series of zooplankton variables for sub-regions of the survey area are presented together with abstracts of eight papers published using data from these projects. The time series covers a period when the dominant climate signal in the north Pacific, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), switched with unusual frequency between warm/positive states (pre-1999 and 2003-2006) and cool/negative states (1999-2002 and 2007). The CPR data suggest that cool negative years show higher biomass on the shelf and lower biomass in the open ocean, while the reverse is true in warm (PDO positive) years with lower shelf biomass (except 2005) and higher oceanic biomass. In addition, there was a delay in plankton increase on the Alaskan shelf in the colder spring of 2007, compared to the warmer springs of the preceding years. In warm years, smaller species of copepods which lack lipid reserves are also more common. Availability of the zooplankton prey to higher trophic levels (including those that society values highly) is therefore dependent on the timing of increase and peak abundance, ease of capture and nutritional value. Previously published studies using these data highlight the wide-ranging applicability of CPR data and include collaborative studies on; phenology in the key copepod species Neocalanus plumchrus, descriptions of distributions of decapod larvae and euphausiid species, the effects of hydrographic features such as mesoscale eddies and the North Pacific Current on plankton populations and a molecularbased investigation of macro-scale population structure in N. cristatus. The future funding situation is uncertain but the value of the data and studies so far accumulated is considerable and sets a strong foundation for further studies on plankton dynamics and interactions with higher trophic levels in the northern Gulf of Alaska.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:10

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