Category Archives: Plankton

Plankton Highlights 2020

It’s been a busy year in plankton science for policy in the UK and OSPAR. Much of our work focused on further developing our ability to assess the state of pelagic habitats through the Improving Confidence Evaluating GES for Regional … Continue reading

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The State of UK Marine Nature

The UK is an island nation and our cultural identity is tightly linked to the sea. As well as being home to a bounty of wildlife, ranging from intricate intertidal invertebrates to bustling seabird colonies, our marine ecosystems provide a … Continue reading

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Why do we need a global plankton diversity monitoring programme?

When most people think of biodiversity they think of iconic habitats like rainforests and coral reefs. Much of the ocean’s biodiversity, however, is too small to see without a microscope. Plankton are one of the most diverse groups of organisms … Continue reading

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Putting a historical plankton dataset to work for marine policy challenges

In marine ecology, it is widely accepted that monitoring data spanning long time-scales are essential for understanding ecosystem change, especially for the detection of community shifts linked to climate variability. Data spanning multiple decades are also essential for biodiversity policy, … Continue reading

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Can Northeast Atlantic pelagic habitat indicators be applied to the Arctic?

Northeast Atlantic marine waters have a long history of collaborative management, with OSPAR the cooperative mechanism for marine environmental management in the Northeast Atlantic. OSPAR is collaboratively implementing ecosystem-based management in this region to meet the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive … Continue reading

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What makes a good pelagic habitat?

The Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and the more recent EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008) require the conservation, maintenance, sustainable use, and/or improvement of biodiversity. However, little scientific research has been done into how to characterise and manage pelagic … Continue reading

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Decreasing primary productivity linked to decreased fishery production – an opportunity for management?

As the ocean’s major primary producers, phytoplankton are the base of the marine food web, with changes to their abundance, biomass, and community composition resonating upwards through zooplankton to fish, seabirds, and cetaceans. Our understanding of the direct relationships between … Continue reading

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A ‘strong and stable’ marine ecosystem?

Long-term monitoring time-series are most important during times of political uncertainty such as Brexit, but it is these times they are most at risk.  The UK marine environment faces an uncertain future. Cumulative pressures from human activities are being placed … Continue reading

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OSPAR Intermediate Assessment 2017 – Launched!

After seven long years of work, today marks the day that OSPAR’s Intermediate Assessment 2017 is launched! IA2017, covering both status and trends across the North-East Atlantic, presents a picture of this important marine area and includes consideration of eutrophication, … Continue reading

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Why do policy makers need plankton taxonomy?

It might not seem intuitive, but plankton taxonomy is critically important to informing marine policy and conservation. At its most basic level, biodiversity is an inventory of the organisms present in an ecosystem. The recognition and identification of these organisms … Continue reading

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