Core international projects dealing with the ocean, as well as the UNEP Biodiversity and Climate Change Program, have emphasised an urgent need for information on the impact of climate change on species diversity and on the development of efforts to deal with this impact. In order to assess this impact, a global database of historical plankton community composition is needed. A team of scientists from IBSS and MSRC have developed a plankton database of oceanographic stations sampled during the Former Soviet Union (FSU) expeditions to the World Ocean. This database contains over 50 expeditions to the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
At present time, there is a lack of knowledge on the interannual climate-related variability of zooplankton communities of the tropical Atlantic, central Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea, due to the absence of appropriate databases. In the mid latitudes, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the dominant mode of atmospheric fluctuations over eastern North America, the northern Atlantic Ocean and Europe. Therefore, one of the issues that need to be addressed through data synthesis is the evaluation of interannual patterns in species abundance and species diversity over these regions in regard to the NAO. The database has been used to investigate the ecological role of the NAO in interannual variations of mesozooplankton abundance and biomass along the zonal array of the NAO influence.
To access the database follow the link below: