Together with the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), we are organizing the 7th International Zooplankton Production Symposium in 2024 in Hobart, Australia. The symposium will be a forum to discuss zooplankton and their role in the global ecosystem. The symposium discusses the need to understand zooplankton dynamics, their sensitivity to change, and the resultant effects on ecosystems.
Zooplankton play a pivotal role in polar, temperate and tropical marine ecosystems as well as in global biogeochemical cycles. They function as prey for commercially harvested fish, as grazers of primary production, and as drivers of carbon and nutrient cycles. Their population and community dynamics, including their growth, mortality, distribution and diversity, structure the ecosystem.
Zooplankton species may be a target for commercial harvesting, including Antarctic krill and other midwater species. Consequences of increasing exploitation of resources at lower trophic levels is still poorly understood and require urgent, multidisciplinary research. At the same time, a changing environment influences their dynamics. Climate change is profoundly impacting marine ecosystems through changes in zooplankton.
A combination of new technologies and techniques, together with classical in situ and laboratory studies and targeted modelling studies, is required to understand changing ecosystems.
Photo: Ørnulf Opdahl