Optimising sampling frequency for monitoring heterotrophic protists in a marine ecosystem

Lehtiniemi, M, Fileman, ES, Hällfors, H, Kuosa, H, Lehtinen, S, Lips, I, Setala, O, Suikkanen, S, Tuimala, J, Widdicombe, CE and Woodson, B 2021 Optimising sampling frequency for monitoring heterotrophic protists in a marine ecosystem. ICES Journal of Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsab132

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Heterotrophic protists are essential components of the marine ecosystem, yet they are often excluded from monitoring programmes. With limited resources, monitoring strategies need to be optimised considering both scientific knowledge and available resources. In doing so, it is crucial to understand how sampling frequency affects the value of the data. We analysed 11 years of weekly heterotrophic protist time-series data from Station L4 in the Western English Channel to explore how different sampling intervals impact data quality. In the L4 dataset, comprising 55 protist taxa, the reduction of sampling frequency from weekly to four times a year at specific seasons decreased the number of taxa encountered by 38% for ciliates and 29% for heterotrophic dinoflagellates while the mean annual biomass or its mean variation were not affected. Furthermore, when samples were taken only four times a year, biomass peaks of the ten most important taxa were often missed. The primary motivator for this study was furthering the development of the heterotrophic protist monitoring in temperate and subarctic marine areas, e.g. the Baltic Sea. Based on our findings, we give recommendations on sampling frequency to optimise the value of heterotrophic protist monitoring.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Baltic sea, biological monitoring, ciliates, choanoflagellates, heterotrophic dinoflagellates, Protists, sampling interval
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Added Value
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Single Centre NC - CLASS
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 28 Oct 2021 10:27
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 10:27
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9446

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