Continuous plankton recorder database: history, current issues and future directions

Stevens, Darren, Richardson, Anthony J. and Reid, Philip C. (2006) Continuous plankton recorder database: history, current issues and future directions. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 316 247-255. doi:10.3354/meps316247

Author Stevens, Darren
Richardson, Anthony J.
Reid, Philip C.
Title Continuous plankton recorder database: history, current issues and future directions
Journal name Marine Ecology Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2006-07-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps316247
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 316
Start page 247
End page 255
Total pages 9
Editor Otto Kinne
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Abstract The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey, operated by the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS), is the largest plankton monitoring programme in the world and has spanned > 70 yr. The dataset contains information from -200 000 samples, with over 2.3 million records of individual taxa. Here we outline the evolution of the CPR database through changes in technology, and how this has increased data access. Recent high-impact publications and the expanded role of CPR data in marine management demonstrate the usefulness of the dataset. We argue that solely supplying data to the research community is not sufficient in the current research climate; to promote wider use, additional tools need to be developed to provide visual representation and summary statistics. We outline 2 software visualisation tools, SAHFOS WinCPR and the digital CPR Atlas, which provide access to CPR data for both researchers and non-plankton specialists. We also describe future directions of the database, data policy and the development of visualisation tools. We believe that the approach at SAHFOS to increase data accessibility and provide new visualisation tools has enhanced awareness of the data and led to the financial security of the organisation; it also provides a good model of how long-term monitoring programmes can evolve to help secure their future.
Keyword Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Data Accessibility
Visualisation Tools
Cpr Data
North-atlantic Ocean
Sea Calanoid Copepods
Long-term Changes
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 10:15:15 EST