OceanObs09

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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

PLENARY PAPERdoi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.09

Plankton Biodiversity of the North Atlantic: Changing Patterns Revealed by the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey

P.H. Burkill(1), P.C. Reid(1)

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The Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey operates across northern ocean basins where it has generated definitive datasets on decadal scale changes in plankton biodiversity. The survey has shown biological, environmental and climatic indicators that relate to global change impacts within marine ecosystems. In the last decade, the survey has demonstrated major alteration within Atlantic plankton communities including the northerly displacement of communities by ~1,000 km. Regime shifts have been identified with sensitivity to a 10?C isotherm with similar responses across multiple trophic levels. Such behaviour of plankton ecosystems offers a method of prediction the locations of future communities. The survey has also shown transfer of Pacific phytoplankton in to the Atlantic for the first time in 800,000 years with unknown consequences for the native ecosystem. Understanding global issues requires a global approach and a future cooperative commonwealth of regional plankton biodiversity surveys is proposed that links current surveys with proposed new surveys.

1Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, UK & Marine Institute, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: phb@sahfos.ac.uk

This paper shall be cited as:

Burkill, P. and Reid, P., (2010). "Plankton Biodiversity of the North Atlantic: Changing Patterns Revealed by the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 1), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.09

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