Action #3: Extreme events affecting phytoplankton

AQUACOSM collaboration II

Objectives: Phytoplankton communities are affected by extreme coastal events and global warming. Phytoplankton is often responding very rapidly to perturbations and impacts of those cannot always be studied effectively using observations only, but an experimental approach is required. The strategic plan of this Action is to improve synergies between JERICO-S3 observing community and AQUACOSM-plus mesocosm experimenting community in studying dynamics of coastal phytoplankton populations. The Regional Data of NW-MED PSS can be used to identify the range of the water temperature, conductivity, turbidity, nutrients, the timing of phytoplankton bloom, etc. Such information can improve the mesocosm experimental plans and protocols, in defining realistic experimental treatments. In addition, the range of some other parameters such as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and water temperature can be considered for an experimental mesocosm investigation to study separate and combining effects of DOC load and temperature increase in the phytoplankton community responses.

Action Lead and other Partners (with contact persons): CNRS (Mostajir), CNR (Cantoni)

JS3 Platforms included: All platforms providing data on extreme events and global warming: gliders, buoys, rivers, ships. ILICO gliders, coastal buoy (CNRS), HF radar network (CNR), Corsica Channel mooring with imaging (CNR), Coastal Ocean Observing, Forecasting and Monitoring System (SOCIB), OBSEA Expandable Seafloor Observatory (UPC), PORTUS observing and forecasting system (PdE); Additional infrastructure: Gliders (SOCIB), HF radars (CNRS, PdE), buoys (CNRS, PdE, SOCIB), tide gauges (PdE), coastal moorings, river stations (CNRS), monitoring by R/V (SOCIB, CNRS).

Other data sources and external partners for implementation: AQUACOSM-plus data/results and experiments. Additional collaborations may be achieved by opening this mesocosm experiment through transnational Access (TA) of AQUACOSM -plus.

Overall timetable of action: Experiment spring 2021

Description of action: The Action shows the use of observation data to improve experimental mesocosm plans, contributing to more realistic treatments. In addition, mesocosms experiments would help scientists (observers) to parametrize specific processes in “controlled” conditions, processes difficult to observe and understand fully on the field (need to modify/adapt measurements frequency, additional variables, etc.). Combining experiments and models, the results could provide answers on the trends and anomalies recorded in the time series.

A mesocosm experiment to simulate an “extreme event”, alone, and combined also with a water temperature increase was scheduled to carry out between April 19 and May 21 of 2021 (if COVID restrictions permit). This experiment will be realized in the frame of French ANR national project entitled: Microbial responses to terrestrial dissolved organic matter input in freshwater and marine ecosystems in a changing environment (RESTORE) on the MEDIMEER infrastructure ( 

Best practices used or developed: Best practices created and used by JERICO-RI and AQUACOSM-RI communities are compared.

Data flow: The data produced or measured during the mesocosm experiment by participants benefiting from TA of AQUACOSM-plus will be registered on the AQUACOSM-plus website.

Data QC routines: QC of experimental data is done according to AQUACOSM-plus practices.

Data management issues: Experimental data is available through ANR project members, according to their Data Management Plan.  

Expected results: Primary result of the topic, jointly with similar topics under GoF PSS and CRETAN PSS is advancing the communication between different coastal marine research disciplines, in studying similar phenomena. Experimental results obtained will guide the sampling strategies for future improvements of observations. On the other hand, information from observations will guide the determination of realistic experimental plans in future experiments. Collaborative schemes created for the region and for pan-European communities will facilitate future collaboration for various scientific questions.   

Users of results: Scientific community, science-based management of the area.

Dissemination of results: Results will be disseminated both in the JERICO-RI and AQUACOSM-RI communities in their annual meetings.  Additional dissemination in scientific workshops and in between-RI events, by publishing the results of the collaboration between two communities of observation and experimentation as “Success Story”.

Links: Strong links between PSSs and to AQUACOSM-RI community are evident. An additional link between RI-collaboration in WP2, T2.2, showing how the collaboration within the region and between regions may be arranged.