Finnish Phytoplankton Database

Data set information

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Data holding centreFinnish Environment Institute
CountryFinland  Finland
Time period1921, 1963, 1970-
Geographical area

Finland, both inland and coastal waters


Phytoplankton taxonomic abundance in water bodies; Phytoplankton taxonomic biomass in water bodies


Plankton nets


Samples of phytoplankton are collected mainly by regional environment centres for monitoring purposes from certain Finnish lakes, rivers and coastal areas, but occasionally samples are also collected as a part of other studies with different sampling intervals or sampling times. Samples are analysed quantitatively and qualitatively with an inverted microscope. Phytoplankton sampling of monitored lakes was initiated in 1963 and in the early 1970s in coastal areas. In addition, phytoplankton data may be received from researchers outside of the environmental administration. Data on phytoplankton going back to 1921 have also been added to the database. Annually, about 300 analyses are entered into the database. In August 2004 the database contained 13 350 records of phytoplankton analyses. From the year 2000, sampling under the Eurowaternet monitoring system will take place every three years in July (annually at about 100 sites). A total of 253 lakes are included in the monitoring network. Furthermore, 15 lakes are monitored intensively five times per year from May to August. Six sampling sites in coastal areas are monitored intensively for phytoplankton from March to December. Samples for physico-chemical analyses are taken simultaneously. Phytoplankton is known to react quickly to changes in water quality, so experience in analysing phytoplankton samples is necessary to produce high quality data. Thus, it is important that only phytoplankton records based on qualified sampling and analyses are included in the database, as only high quality data will give clear information on phytoplankton and long-term trends of phytoplankton assemblages. Environmental authorities are the main users of the database, but universities occasionally use it as well. About one third of the data is coastal, the rest inland.

OriginatorsFinnish Environment Institute
Data web site
OrganisationFinnish Environment Institute
ContactPirkko Kauppila (senior researcher)

Finnish Environment Institute
Mechelininkatu 34a


Telephone+358 400 148 530
Collating centreFinnish Institute of Marine Research (FIMR)
Local identifier19002002
Global identifier2078
Last revised2009-11-24