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The continuous plankton recorder : further studies (Linked with AE0525) - MF0415

R&D Summary Objectives:- Monitor and analyse the incidence of specific plankton species and oceanographic parameters in the North Sea and Shelf area over an extended time frame. Key customer purpose:- Provide details of phytoplankton variation over an extended time frame in order to monitor responses to climate change and pollution.
Data on the abundance and distribution of mixed layer zooplankton will be collected through the systematic monthly deployment of Continuous Plankton Recorders by commercial vessels on the route network. Abundances of about 400 phyto and zooplanktonic entities will be determined for alternate 10 mile increments of tow. All sample material will be archived in the CPR collection and the data produced by the analysis will be entered into the long-term database. The data will also be processed to give a yearly statement of the current trends and specific events in the plankton ecosystem. A start has been made to upgrade the existing CPR by fitting self recording sensors for conductivity, temperature, depth and chlorophyll fluorescence on selected routes. It is hoped, eventually, that all CPR plankton samples will be supported by such environmental data. Routine methods for converting abundance to biomass will be developed and a new, more accessible relational database system will be investigated. This should make independent CPR data access by MAFF and SOAFD personnel considerably easier than at present.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1993

To: 1995

Cost: £654,871
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science
Sea Fish Stocks              
Stock Assessment              
Stock Conservation              
Fields of Study
Marine Fisheries