European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

Data set information

| Query EDMED |     

Data set name

Global ocean atlas of phytoplankton phenology indices from SeaWiFS ocean-colour time-series during the decade 1998-2007.

Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodCovers the period of SeaWiFS observation from 1998 to 2007.
Geographical area

Global oceans from SeaWiFS coverage.


Phytoplankton growth


Ocean colour radiometers


GreenSeas was an EU FP7 programme funded to advance the quantitative knowledge of how planktonic marine ecosystems, including phytoplankton, bacterioplankton and zooplankton, will respond to environmental and climate changes. To achieve this GreenSeas employed a combination of observation data, numerical simulations and a cross-disciplinary synthesis to develop a high quality, harmonized and standardized plankton and plankton ecology long time-series, data inventory and information service. This contribution to the programme developed a number of indices to characterize quantitatively the seasonality of phytoplankton (Platt and Sathyendranath, 2008, Racault et al., 2014a). Specifically, indices that relate to the study of timing of periodic biological events as influenced by the environment are referred to as phytoplankton phenology. These indices include: timings of initiation, peak, and termination as well as the duration of the phytoplankton growing period. Changes in phytoplankton phenology (triggered by variations in climate) can profoundly alter: (1) the efficiency of the biological pump, with inevitable impact of the global carbon cycle; and (2) the interactions across trophic levels, which can engender trophic mismatch with major impacts on the survival of commercially important fish and crustacean larvae. Phenology indices were estimated using the R2010.0 reprocessing of Level 3 Mapped chlorophyll-a concentration from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view (SeaWiFS) sensor. The chlorophyll-a data were retrieved from NASA Ocean Color Web for the period 1997-2008 at 9 km spatial resolution and 8-day temporal resolution. Linear interpolation was applied to map the chlorophyll-a concentration onto a 1degreex1degree fixed grid. The phenology indices were estimated following the method described in Racault et al. (2012). Missing chlorophyll-a data were reduced from the time-series prior to estimating the timing of ecological events. Missing values were filled by interpolating spatially adjacent values (average of 3 × 3 pixels on the 9km grid), when these were available. Any remaining missing values were filled by interpolating temporally adjacent values (average of previous and following 8-day composites), when these were available. Otherwise the value was not filled. A 3-week running mean was applied to remove small peaks in chlorophyll-a. The timings of initiation and end of the phytoplankton growing period were detected as the weeks when the chlorophyll concentration in a particular year rose above the long-term median value plus 5% and later fell below this same threshold (Racault et al., 2012). The duration of the growing season is defined as the number of weeks between initiation and end.

OriginatorsPlymouth Marine Laboratory
Data web site
OrganisationBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
ContactPolly Hadžiabdić (Head of the BODC Requests Team)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 (0) 782 512 0946
Facsimile+44 (0) 151 795 4912
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048GREENSEAS_PHENOLOGY
Global identifier6106
Last revised2015-06-30