|Plankton (microscopic algae and animals) form the base of marine food webs, making them important indicators of ecosystem state. Short generational times, small size and, for phytoplankton, direct dependence on dissolved nutrients, make plankton well-suited for detecting environmental change. Changes in plankton communities can affect higher food web levels, such as shellfish, fish, and seabirds, which are supported either directly or indirectly by plankton.
Our 3 plankton Indicator assessments featured in this week's Friday Ocean Findings contribute to our 2023 Quality Status Report which, when viewed together, build a picture of the overall condition of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic and progress towards achieving our vision of a clean, healthy and biologically diverse North-East Atlantic Ocean, which is productive, used sustainably and resilient to climate change and ocean acidification. The results will also be used by OSPAR Contracting Parties to inform policy decisions.
We hope you enjoy these Indicator Assessments. Please contact us with any comments at [email protected]