ICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium

Use of zooplankton indicators to characterize state of pelagic ecosystems

Alessandra Conversi (Institute of Marine Science, Italy)
Hongsheng Bi (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, USA)
Sun Song (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)

​​​Invited speaker: Julie Keister, University of Washington​​​

Zooplankton are, by definition, drifters in the ocean, a characteristic that often makes them associated with different water masses and makes them ideal candidates for examining potential physical and biological interactions. Zooplankton often function as the principal food source for ecologically and economically important fish and are main grazers of primary production. Consequently, they play an important role in transferring organic matter through the pelagic foodwebs, and their population dynamics and community structure can often serve as proxies for both upper and lower trophic levels. Zooplankton also respond quickly to environmental variability, and changes in their population dynamics and species composition are often indicative of changes in large scale ocean conditions. Therefore, zooplankton can provide useful information regarding ecosystems and are ideal indicators for assessing ecosystem status.

The overall goals of the workshop are to look at the function of zooplankton indicators as proxies for physical and biological processes, their use in ecosystem modelling, and their practical applications in marine policy. We cordially invite you to consider submitting related work on regime shifts, assessing the potential impacts on ecosystems, and projecting future ecosystem scenarios using plankton indicators.

The workshop will address the following topics:​

  • Zooplankton changes - causes and indicator potential,
  • Impacts of zooplankton changes on ecosystems, including future scenarios, and
  • The use of zooplankton indicators for marine policy applications.
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Use of zooplankton indicators to characterize state of pelagic ecosystems

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