Task 4.1

Task 4.1: JRAP#1 (pelagic biodiversity)- Biodiversity of plankton, harmful algal blooms and eutrophication 
Task 4.2: JRAP #2 (benthic biodiversity)- Monitoring changes in macrobenthic biodiversity. Assessing potential environmental controls and functional consequences
Task 4.3: JRAP #3 Occurrence of chemical contaminants in Northern coastal waters and biological responses
Task 4.4: JRAP #4 (hydrography): 4D characterization of trans-boundary hydrography and transport
Task 4.5: JRAP #5 Coastal carbon fluxes and biogeochemical cycling
Task 4.6: JRAP #6 Operational oceanography and coastal forecasting
Task 4.7: WP4 coordination and links with other WPs

JRAP#1 (pelagic biodiversity)

Biodiversity of plankton, harmful algal blooms and eutrophication

Lead: SMHI (Bengt Karlson)

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This JRAP has the objective to exemplify how JERICO-NEXT can help address MSFD requirements, with a main focus on descriptor D1: marine biodiversity, for the pelagic realm. It also addresses descriptor D5: eutrophication. Comparable studies will be carried out in four coastal European seas: Baltic Sea, Skagerrak-Kattegat, Eastern Channel-Southern North Sea, Ligurian Sea, and in the Benguela current (DAFF, Republic of South Africa). Consequently, JRAP#1 will address different ecosystems for which the temporal scales of algal blooms are often approximately a few weeks, but with different time and spatial scales according to the sea area. It will focus on periods when blooms are expected in each area, addressing the following questions. How is the biomass of phytoplankton distributed in time and space (phenology and extension of blooms)? What is the species succession of phytoplankton? What are the frequency of harmful algal blooms and their distribution in time and space? These questions will be addressed with semi- automated phyto- and zooplankton observations to increase the understanding of selected harmful algal bloom species composition and of functional groups dynamics. Data from automated in situ measurements, satellite remote sensing and phytoplankton data from analysis of water samples will be effectively combined according to regional conditions.

  • Involved JERICO Infrastructures

    JRAP# 1 will work with a large number of JERICO infrastructures, showing how the integrative action of JERICO-NEXT is of benefit: FerryBox systems (ca. 10 systems) and instrumented fixed platforms (ca. 20 systems) in all investigated sea areas will be used as well as automated sampling devices, automated in situ optical sensors and Imaging Flow Cytometers.

  • Work plan and specific links with other WPs showing JERICO added value

    The JERICO infrastructure makes it possible to observe phytoplankton distribution and diversity at a resolution approaching the natural variability in close relation to hydrodynamics and physical-chemical characteristics. The technical expertise, highly qualified data management and analyses together with the expertise on hydrology, ocean physics, marine chemistry, and plankton identification make a unique combination. The JRAP #1 is organized in 3 stages.

    • JRAP#1.1 (M1-M18): Preparation stage to implement the JRAP#1 according to the strategy agreed with WP1 after Task 3.1: integration of new systems and/or sensors.

    • JRAP#1.2 (M18-M32): On site implementation with detailed studies on biodiversity and plankton functional groups dynamics will be made using semi-automated imaging and scanning flow cytometry, spectral and variable fluorometry, absorbance, underwater imaging, microscopy and high throughput sequencing of rDNA. In association with JRAP#4 (task 4.4) HF radar and physical models will provide information on currents and lateral advection. Nutrient measurements will provide important data on eutrophication and for understanding bloom development. Primary production will be investigated in near real time using methods based on Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometry (FRRF) and Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) Fluorescence evaluated in WP3. Interaction with WP5 will insure harmonisation procedures related to biological data flow are applied. The work in the field can last 2-3 months and is in most areas intended to be performed in spring and autumn, according to meteorological

    • JRAP#1.3 (M32-M36): Data analysis and results synthesis.

  • Expected results (outcomes to other WPs)

    Data on proxies for phytoplankton biomass, e.g. chlorophyll fluorescence as well as for phytoplankton functional groups (in terms of abundance and/or fluorescence/absorbance) from FerryBox systems and fixed platforms will be available in near real time and compliant with WP5 requirements. This will highlight how JERICO-NEXT is able to integrate both physics and biology in the pelagic system, at the European scale. Results of phytoplankton analyses using imaging/scanning flow cytometry will be presented by participating partners with a focus on harmful algal bloom species.

    New semi-automated analysis and classification tools will be used to improve data analysis and interpretation, giving a feedback to WP3 future developments. JRAP#5 on carbon flow and the carbonate system will also benefit from the results of primary production aspects. JRAP#1 implementation and results will be presented to several end-users groups, according to the different communication supports and actions of WP8 (maps and graphs on the distribution of algal blooms, images and videos of algal bloom species, information on harmful algal bloom events as well as videos of cruises and implementation of automated systems).


Proposed deliverables are cross-cutting the 6 JRAPs, they intend to report the progress status and results during the whole duration of WP4.

D4.1 will report the topical scientific strategy of each JRAP, according to discussions and interaction with task 1.2 of WP1. (Month 9)

D4.2 will report progress following JRAP’s preparation (in lab and in field operations). It will also take care of gathering WP2 and WP3 outcomes dedicated to JRAPs (Month 12)

D4.3 will report progress following JRAP’s implementation. A specific attention will be paid to insure the data flows following the European channels according to standardization procedures set up in WP5.(Month 24).

D4.4 will report the first results of each JRAP, region per region. It will also show how results are delivered to WP8 and data to WP5. (Month 36).

D4.5 will report the final results, to valorise JERICO added value. It will also include a prospective chapter to propose monitoring and study strategies for future for each of the 6 topics. This will partly feed the task 1.6 (Month 43)