PlanktonThe Plankton Expert Network is summarizing the spatial extent of past sampling, and producing maps showing movement of copepod  species from the Pacific into the Arctic.

Plankton are taxonomically and functionally diverse aquatic organisms that range in size from submicron (1 ¼m) to centimetres (cm). Phytoplankton are responsible for all primary production in the open ocean and are the base of the pelagic food chain supporting higher trophic levels.

Arctic phytoplankton and other protists, which include single-celled micro zooplankton, are the main food for copepods that are the principal food for larger macrozooplankton, and some species of fish and seabirds. Bacterioplankton are essential for degrading organic carbon in the ecosystem, and in the open ocean, including the Arctic, Bacteria and Archaea are responsible for remineralization of nutrients. Heterotrophic and mixotrophic microbial eukaryotes graze on Bacteria and Archaea as well as smaller phytoplankton. All of these single-celled plankton are subject to strong environmental selection. 

Check out the latest Status and Trends on Plankton

Steering Group

  • Iceland: Astthor Gislason, Marine and Freshwater Institute and Guðmundur Guðmundsson, Icelandic Institute of Natural History

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