TrendsPO The IOC-UNESCO working group to investigate

Climate Change and Global Trends of Phytoplankton in the Ocean
The following ToRs are taken directly from the official, IOC EC revised corrected and adopted version [link].
(Be aware that incorrect/draft versions of the ToRS may still pop up via loose Google searches.)

TrendsPO Terms of Reference

(i)   Identify, collect and analyze existing long time series (at least 10 years) of phytoplankton data in coastal oceans and large freshwater ecosystems around the world. This work will be coordinated with other regionally-focused plankton time series efforts to prevent duplication of effort. For example, TrendsPO will coordinate with the ICES Working Group on Phytoplankton & Microbial Ecology (WGPME);

(ii)   Develop a data management and access plan in accordance with respectively, the "Guidelines for a Data Management Plan" (IOC Manuals and Guides No. 73 [link]) and the principles of clause 1 (for IOC programmes) of the IOC Data Exchange Policy [link];

(iii)   Encourage the permanent and secure electronic archival of individual data sets (as well as data generated by related research projects in the IODE network of National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs) and OBIS nodes and/or the World Ocean Database (WODB);

(iv)   Develop a GIS platform to collect phytoplankton data in the literature and generate the biogeography for various phytoplankton species. It is expected that various tropical and sub-tropical species will migrate north or south, depending on the hemisphere as surface warming occurs, similar to terrestrial species migrations that are already occurring;

(v)   Produce a small working prototype of data sharing, based on the existing data archive to demonstrate the value of sharing data through an international database;

(vi)   Develop common statistical methodologies for global comparisons for within region and within-time-period data summarization (e.g. spatial, seasonal and annual averaging, summation within taxonomic and functional group categories). The goal is to clarify what level of detail provides the optimal trade off (e.g. information gain vs processing effort);

(vii)   Based on the above, and in consultation with the GOOS Bio-Eco Panel and IGMETS to assess the observed spatial and temporal scales of variability of key variables (e.g. phytoplankton, zooplankton, nutrients, and oxygen) to use this knowledge to design a global monitoring system capable of detecting major changes in pelagic ecology and for more detailed statistical re-analysis of existing data sets;

(viii)   Examine new methods and the feasibility for monitoring of phytoplankton species such as imaging and automatic recognition and the molecular approaches (e.g. HTS);

(ix)   Carry out a global comparison of phytoplankton time series using (in parallel) a diverse suite of statistical methods;

(x)   Seek out more collaborators from under represented regions to contribute relevant data and knowledge to this global effort;

(xi)   The working group will be composed of: (i) experts serving in their individual capacity, based on scientific merit and taking into consideration geographical and gender balance; (ii) a member of the IOC Secretariat. The WG will elect its Chair and Vice-chair.