The Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool: A digital tool to increase the discoverability and usability of plankton time-series data
- 1The Marine Biological Association (MBA), The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, PL1 2PB, UK
- 2Centre for Environment Fisheries and AquacuΣlture Science (Cefas), Weymouth, UK
- 3Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, Université de Lille, CNRS UMR 8187 LOG, Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Géosciences, Wimereux, France
- 4Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, UK
- 5Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), CRESCO, 38 UMS Patrinat, Dinard, France
- 6Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Angus Smith Building, Maxim 6, Parklands Avenue, Eurocentral, Holytown, North Lanarkshire ML1 4WQ, UK
- 7Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft, UK
- 8Marine Conservation Research Group, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK
- 9The Environment Agency, Kingfisher House, Goldhay Way, Peterborough, PE4 6HL, UK
- 10Marine Scotland Science, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB, UK
- 11Department of Coastal Systems, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands
- 12National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, S014 3ZH, UK
- 13Swedish meteorological and hydrological institute, Sven Kallfelts gata 15, 426 71 Vastra Frolunda. Sweden
- 14Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Branch, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, 18a Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX
- 15Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Department of History, School of Histories and Humanities, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland
- 16Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, PA37 1QA, UK
Abstract. Plankton form the base of the marine food web and are sensitive indicators of environmental change. Plankton time-series are therefore an essential part of monitoring progress towards global biodiversity goals, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets, and for informing ecosystem-based policy, such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Multiple plankton monitoring programmes exist in Europe, but differences in sampling and analysis methods prevent the integration of their data, constraining their utility over large spatio-temporal scales. The Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool brings together disparate European plankton datasets into a central database from which it extracts abundance time-series of plankton functional groups, called ‘lifeforms’, according to shared biological traits. This tool has been designed to make complex plankton datasets accessible and meaningful for policy, public interest, and scientificdiscovery. It allows examination of large-scale shifts in lifeform abundance or distribution (for example, holoplankton being partially replaced by meroplankton), providing clues to how the marine environment is changing. The lifeform method enables datasets with different plankton sampling and taxonomic analysis methodologies to be used together to provide insights into the response to multiple stressors and robust policy evidence for decision making. Lifeform time-series generated with the Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool currently inform plankton and food web indicators for the UK’s Marine Strategy, the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and for the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North- East Atlantic (OSPAR) biodiversity assessments. The Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool currently integrates 155,000 samples, containing over 44 million plankton records, from 9 different plankton datasets within UK and European Seas, collected between 1924 and 2017. Additional datasets can be added, and time-series updated. The Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool is hosted by The Archive for Marine Species and Habitats Data (DASSH) at https://www.dassh.ac.uk/lifeforms/. The lifeform outputs are linked to specific, doi-ed, versions of the Plankton Lifeform Traits Master List and each underlying dataset.
Clare Ostle et al.
Clare Ostle et al.
Plankton Lifeform Extraction Tool https://www.dassh.ac.uk/lifeforms/
Clare Ostle et al.
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