07 Jul 2021

07 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Collection and analysis of a global marine phytoplankton primary production dataset

Francesco Mattei1,2,3 and Michele Scardi1,2 Francesco Mattei and Michele Scardi
  • 1Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica (no street number), Rome, 00133, Italy
  • 2CoNISMa, Piazzale Flaminio, 9, Rome, 00196, Italy
  • 3Ph.D. Program in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Abstract. Phytoplankton primary production is a key oceanographic process. It has relationships with the marine food webs dynamics, the global carbon cycle and the Earth’s climate. The study of phytoplankton production on a global scale relies on indirect approaches due to field campaigns difficulties. Modelling approaches require in situ data for calibration and validation. In fact, the need for more phytoplankton primary production data was highlighted several times during the last decades.

Most of the available primary production datasets are scattered in various repositories, reporting heterogeneous information and missing records. We decided to retrieve field measurements of marine phytoplankton production from several sources and create a homogeneous and ready to use dataset. We handled missing data and added variables related to primary production which were not present in the original datasets. Subsequently, we performed a general analysis of the highlighting the relationships between the variables from a numerical and an ecological perspective.

Data paucity is one of the main issues hindering the comprehension of complex natural processes.

We believe that an updated and improved global dataset, complemented by an analysis of its characteristics, can be of interest to anyone studying marine phytoplankton production and the processes related to it. The dataset described in this work is published in the PANGAEA repository. DOI: (Mattei and Scardi, 2021)

Francesco Mattei and Michele Scardi

Status: open (until 01 Sep 2021)

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Francesco Mattei and Michele Scardi

Data sets

Global marine phytoplankton production dataset Mattei and Scardi

Francesco Mattei and Michele Scardi


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Short summary
Data paucity hinders the understanding of natural processes such as phytoplankton production. Several studies stressed how the lack of data is the main constraint for modelling phytoplankton production. We created a global and ready to use dataset regarding phytoplankton production collecting and processing data from several sources. We performed a general data analysis from a numerical and an ecological perspective. This dataset will help enhancing the understanding of phytoplankton production.