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Heriot-Watt University School of Life Sciences

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  • The Marine Productivity (MarProd) programme data set comprises physical, biological and biogeochemical data, including hydrographic profiles (temperature, salinity, fluorescence, dissolved oxygen, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR)), and samples of nutrients, suspended particulate material, dissolved material, phytoplankton and zooplankton. These data were supplemented by continuous underway measurements of bathymetry, surface hydrography (temperature, salinity, fluorescence and attenuance), meteorology (wind speed and direction, PAR and total incident irradiance, air temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure), remote sensing of sea surface temperature and ocean colour, and by production experiments. The data were collected in UK shelf seas and the North Atlantic Ocean between 2000 and 2002. Surface biogeochemical parameters (nutrients, photosynthesis, production, suspended particulate material and dissolved organic material) were measured during cruises in the Irish Sea in May, June and July 2001, while ongoing hydrographic and plankton time-series at Plymouth Marine Laboratory's L4 sampling station are also included in the data set. However, the bulk of the data were collected during a major fieldwork campaign of four dedicated research cruises on RRS Discovery between November 2001 and December 2002. A total of over 800 gear deployments were performed at 159 stations mainly distributed in the Irminger Sea and Iceland Basin, facilitating the measurement of water mass distribution, velocity field and mixed layer properties. A comprehensive water sampling programme was undertaken for the purposes of plant pigment and microscopic analyses; biomass estimations of different taxonomic/functional groups of microplankton (picoplankton, phytoplankton and microzooplankton); high resolution profiles of inorganic nutrient concentrations; and determination of abundance of key zooplankton species (Calanus finmarchicus, Oithona spp. and euphausiids). Process studies were undertaken to obtain information about factors controlling the reproduction, growth, mortality and behaviour of individual species using physiological studies (feeding experiments, egg production and nauplii development, species interactions) and analyses of biochemical composition (lipids and hormones studies, analyses of carbon/nitrogen and stable isotope ratios composition). Phytoplankton primary production was measured using carbon uptake on the last two cruises and additional data were collected using a Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometer (FRRF) through continuous surface underway sampling and vertical deployments. MarProd's main objective was to investigate the population dynamics of key zooplankton species in UK shelf seas and in the northern Atlantic with emphasis on the manner in which physical factors such as water temperature and oceanic currents influence their distribution, abundance and productivity. The MarProd Programme involved researchers from numerous institutions from the UK, Ireland and Spain. The data are archived at the British Oceanographic Data Centre.

  • The Iodide in the ocean project brings together marine and atmospheric scientists in order to address uncertainties in the marine iodine flux and associated ozone sink. Specifically, it aims to quantify the dominant controls on the sea surface iodide distribution and improve parameterisation of the sea-to-air iodine flux and of ozone deposition. It contains data from a combination of laboratory experiments, field measurements and ocean and atmospheric modelling from three cruises as well as worldwide sea surface measurements from 1967-2018 from published manuscripts, published and unpublished data supplied by the originators themselves or provided by repositories. Iodide, iodate and total iodine concentrations were measured on three cruises: BOBBLE, June to July 2016 in the Bay of Bengal, Sagar-Kanya33 in September 2016 in the Arabian Sea and ISOE9 in January to February 2017 in the Indian and Southern Oceans. Samples were taken from Niskin bottles on conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profilers. Laboratory experiments consisted of phytoplankton cultures to measure rates of iodate incorporation and iodide production. This work was carried out by Lucy Carpenter (PI), Claire Hughes (Co-PI) , Liselotte Tinel, and Helmke Hepach at York University, Mark Evans (Co-PI) at the University of Edinburgh. It was funded by the NERC Discovery Science project Iodide in the ocean: distribution and impact on iodine flux and ozone loss (parent grant reference NE/N009983/1 with child grants NE/N009444/1 and NE/N01054X/1 led by Stephen Ball and David Stevens respectively).

  • The cross-disciplinary themes will result in a diverse data catalogue. The ship collected data will be in the form of sea surface meteorology (2-D wind speed and direction, total irradiance, Photosynthetically Active Radiation/PAR, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity); atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2); biological, chemical and physical properties and processes in the marine photic zone (carbonate chemistry - pCO2, total alkalinity, pH, DIC; dissolved gases - oxygen; nutrient concentrations, ammonium regeneration, nitrification, nitrogen fixation, zooplankon ecology, chlorophyll concentration, photosynthetic pigment composition, bacterial production, phytoplankton and bacterial speciation, concentrations of biogenic trace compounds such as dimethyl sulphide/DMS and dimthylsulphoniopropionate/DMSP, salinity, temperature, zooplankon ecology) and bioassays of these same parameters under different future IPCC CO2 and temperature scenarios. The long-term (18 month) laboratory based mesocosm experiments will include data on individual organism response (growth, immune response, reproductive fitness) under different future IPCC CO2 and temperature scenarios in rocky intertidal, soft sediment and calcareous biogenic habitats, as well as the effects on commercially important species of fish and shellfish. The analysis of sediment cores will provide greater resolution of the paleo record during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Data will be used to aid the parameterisation of coastal and continental shelf seas (Northern Europe and the Arctic) model runs as well as larger scale global models. The shipboard fieldwork will take place around the UK, in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The mesocosms will look at temperate marine species common to UK shelf seas. Sediment cores have been collected from Tanzania. The models will look from the coastal seas of Northern Europe to the whole globe. Data to be generated will include data collected at sea, short-term (2-3 day) ship-board bioassays, from long-term (18 month) laboratory based mesocosm experiments and reconstructed paleo records from sediment cores. The 5 year UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme is the UK’s response to growing concerns over ocean acidification. Aims: 1 - to reduce uncertainties in predictions of carbonate chemistry changes and their effects on marine biogeochemistry, ecosystems and other components of the Earth System; 2 - to understand the responses to ocean acidification, and other climate change related stressors, by marine organisms, biodiversity and ecosystems and to improve understanding of their resistance or susceptibility to acidification; 3 - to provide data and effective advice to policy makers and managers of marine bioresources on the potential size and timescale of risks, to allow for development of appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies. The study unites over 100 marine scientists from 27 institutions across the UK. It is jointly funded by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).