Marine Productivity, Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom
Data Center Description
These pages give details of the Marine Productivity research programme. The programme's aim is to investigate the population dynamics of zooplankton (the tiny animals that drift with the currents in the sea) and particularly the way physical factors such as temperature, water movements etc. influence those dynamics. The programme aims to develop coupled modelling and observational systems for the pelagic (open water) ecosystem.
Marine Productivity provides a major UK contribution to the international Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics project (GLOBEC). Effort is directed at testing hypotheses addressing the questions:
-How are basin-scale structures in zooplankton species maintained?
-How do zooplankton species respond to basin-scale forcing?
-What are the impacts of basin-scale physical changes on secondary production in shelf seas?
Similar studies on the physical factors controling the distributions of key zooplankton species (and their implications for higher trophic levels) are being planned by Canada and the US for the Labrador Sea and adjacent shelf areas, as part of their national GLOBEC programmes.
An exciting possibility is that this suite of complementary research for the North Atlantic will enable us to understand and predict marine ecosystem behaviour over the complete range of relevant ecological scales, covering not only species' physiologies, life cycles and trophic interactions, but also the climatic factors operating at the regional and global level.