The Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) project began as a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded consortium project and now continues under NERC National Capability funding. The AMT is coordinated by Andy Rees (AMT Principal Investigator) and Miss Christina Pardos Bradley (AMT Project Officer) at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML).
The aim of the AMT project is to study the factors determining the ecological and biogeochemical variability in the planktonic ecosystems of the tropical and temperate Atlantic Ocean and its links to atmospheric processes.
To date AMT consists of four phases:
- Phase one (1995 - 2000) consisted of 12 cruises providing the most coherent set of repeated biogeochemical observations made over ocean basin scales, and a 5 year time series of data of bacterial, phytoplankton, and zooplankton community structure and activity.
- Phase two (2003 - 2005) consisted of six research cruises, which sampled further into the centre of the North and South Atlantic Ocean and also along the north west coast of Africa where upwelled nutrient rich water is known to provide a significant source of climatically important gases.
- Phase three (2007 - 2012) is funded under Theme 10 (Sustained Observations) of the Oceans 2025 strategic marine science programme. A further five research cruises are planned to continue the core data set of AMT measurements and so develop an extended time series (1995-2011) of spatial extensive and internally consistent observations on the structure and biogeochemical properties of planktonic ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Phase four (2012 - ) is funded under NERC National Capability. This continues the AMT cruise transect to over two decades of repeated biogeochemical observations. Annual cruises continue from north to south departing the UK in the northern hemisphere autumn.