Journal cover Journal topic
Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 5, 259-276, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
12 Jul 2013
Global marine plankton functional type biomass distributions: coccolithophores
C. J. O'Brien1, J. A. Peloquin1, M. Vogt1, M. Heinle2, N. Gruber1, P. Ajani3, H. Andruleit4, J. Arístegui5, L. Beaufort6, M. Estrada7, D. Karentz8, E. Kopczyńska9, R. Lee10, A. J. Poulton11, T. Pritchard12, and C. Widdicombe13 1Environmental Physics Group, Institute for Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zürich, Universitätsstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
2Laboratory for Global Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
3Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW, 2109, Australia
4Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Geozentrum Hannover, Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany
5Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global (IOCAG), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
6Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement (CEREGE), CNRS/Aix-Marseille Univ., Ave. Louis Philibert, 13545 Aix en Provence, France
7Institut de Ciencies del MAR (CSIC), Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 3749, 08003 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
8University of San Francisco, College of Arts and Sciences, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
9Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Ustrzycka 10/12, 02-141 Warsaw, Poland
10Centre for Environmental Science, EPA Victoria, Ernest Jones Drive, Macleod VIC 3085, Australia
11National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton, UK
12Waters and Coastal Science Section, Office of Environment and Heritage, P.O. Box A290, Sydney South NSW 1232, Australia
13Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
Abstract. Coccolithophores are calcifying marine phytoplankton of the class Prymnesiophyceae. They are considered to play an import role in the global carbon cycle through the production and export of organic carbon and calcite. We have compiled observations of global coccolithophore abundance from several existing databases as well as individual contributions of published and unpublished datasets. We make conservative estimates of carbon biomass using standardised conversion methods and provide estimates of uncertainty associated with these values. The quality-controlled database contains 57 321 individual observations at various taxonomic levels. This corresponds to 11 503 observations of total coccolithophore abundance and biomass. The data span a time period of 1929–2008, with observations from all ocean basins and all seasons, and at depths ranging from the surface to 500 m. Highest biomass values are reported in the North Atlantic, with a maximum of 127.2 μg C L−1. Lower values are reported for the Pacific (maximum of 20.0 μg C L−1) and Indian Ocean (up to 45.2 μg C L−1). Maximum biomass values show peaks around 60° N and between 40 and 20° S, with declines towards both the equator and the poles. Biomass estimates between the equator and 40° N are below 5 μg C L−1. Biomass values show a clear seasonal cycle in the Northern Hemisphere, reaching a maximum in the summer months (June–July). In the Southern Hemisphere the seasonal cycle is less evident, possibly due to a greater proportion of low-latitude data. The original and gridded datasets can be downloaded from Pangaea (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.785092).

Citation: O'Brien, C. J., Peloquin, J. A., Vogt, M., Heinle, M., Gruber, N., Ajani, P., Andruleit, H., Arístegui, J., Beaufort, L., Estrada, M., Karentz, D., Kopczyńska, E., Lee, R., Poulton, A. J., Pritchard, T., and Widdicombe, C.: Global marine plankton functional type biomass distributions: coccolithophores, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 5, 259-276,, 2013.