Chapman Conference on Long Time-Series Observations in Coastal Ecosystems: Comparative Analyses of Phytoplankton Dynamics on Regional to Global Scales
Hotel Eden, Rovinj, Croatia
8–12 October 2007
- James E. Cloern, United States Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, California 94025, USA, +1 650 329 4594, +1 650 329 4327, email@example.com
- Nenad Smodlaka, Head, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Center for Marine Research, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 52 804 701, +385 52 813 496, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Susan Blackburn, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Australia)
- Daniel Conley, GeoBiosphere Science Center, Lund University (Sweden)
- Paul Harrison, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong)
- Thomas C. Malone, OceanUS Office for Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observations (US)
- Hans Paerl, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (US)
- Trevor Platt, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Canada)
- Ted Smayda, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island (US)
- Victor Smetacek, Alfred Wegner Institute of Marine & Polar Research (Germany)
- Adriana Zingone, Stazione Zoologica ‘A. Dohrn’ (Italy)
- Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, EU Network of Excellence
- Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Center for Marine Research
- Maistra, Rovinj, Croatia
- EUROCEANS EU Network of Excellence
Planet Earth is changing rapidly in response to natural processes and human activities, but our understanding of global change is incomplete because we have not adequately explored, inventoried or compared available observational data. This conference will be convened to compare, analyze and interpret phytoplankton changes in coastal marine ecosystems around the world. A focus will be on phytoplankton because of its critical ecological function of primary production that fuels food webs, its prominent roles in the transformations and cycling of key elements, its impact on coastal water quality, and its fast population responses to environmental variability that records change over time scales from hours to geologic epochs.
The conference is focused on coastal ecosystems (e.g. tidal rivers, estuaries, fjords, bays, sounds, open waters of the continental shelf, etc.) where perturbations from terrestrial, atmospheric, oceanic sources and human activities converge to cause changes that ramify across local and global scales. Human pressure on the continental margins is increasing with expanding urbanization and the conflicting demands of tourism, aquaculture, water diversions, wind parks and other developments. These forcings and phytoplankton responses to them have different spatial and temporal scales, so long-term time series observations with sufficient resolution provide an important means to resolve changes caused by human activities from natural variability. However, the mechanistic basis and potential utility of phytoplankton indicators are not well understood or developed. This workshop is conceived as a step to compare patterns, processes and scales of phytoplankton variability and the population ecology of key species across the full diversity of coastal ecosystem types. Local- and regional-scale observational programs are maintained in coastal marine waters of all continents, but these remain largely isolated data.
The objective is to assemble and synthesize multi-decade observations toward quantitative and descriptive depictions of phytoplankton variability as an indicator of environmental change. The visions are a global phenology of phytoplankton at the land-sea margin and a conceptual model from which coastal ocean observing systems can be built. The conference will be organized around comparative analysis of ecosystems to answer three guiding questions:
- What are the dominant scales of variability in phytoplankton biomass, abundance, floristic composition, species composition, and/or species diversity? Is there evidence for secular trends or regime shifts? With which criteria can we best differentiate long-term signals from interannual noise?
- Is there evidence for external forcings of variability and change (e.g., effects of climate change, basin scale oscillations, land-based inputs, atmospheric deposition, alien species)? Are changes coherent in space and/or time?
- Are there consistent patterns among ecosystems in terms of relationships between environmental parameters, phytoplankton biomass and changes in species/floristic composition?
Working Groups of 15–25 participants will present, analyze, discuss, compare and synthesize data from diverse coastal ecosystem types to address the three guiding questions given above. Each Working Group will search for consistent patterns and refine/revise rules that govern phytoplankton dynamics based on these patterns.
Chairs will lead the processes of organizing Working Groups to conduct analyses and prepare reports. Synthesizers will work with their respective chairs and use notes recorded by rapporteurs to prepare plenary reports on Days 2–4. Synthesizers will work together to prepare a preliminary synthesis to be presented and discussed in plenary on Day 5. Each working group will include at least one person with expertise in statistical assessments of long-term time series data.
This will be a computer intensive workshop and participants are asked to bring computers, memory sticks, statistical software, and data in formats prescribed to optimize sharing and comparison across ecosystems.
Meeting organizers at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute's Center for Marine Research are organizing local transportation for conference participants who indicated a need for transportation on their registration form.
Below is a list of shuttle buses that will be running from the Trieste Airport to the Hotel Eden on 6 and 7 October. Additional travel arrangements have been organized for individuals with special travel needs.
October 6 15:00
The Conference will be held from 8–12 October 2007 at the Hotel Eden in Rovinj, Croatia, and hosted by the Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Center for Marine Research Basic research at the Center includes studies of hydrography of the northern Adriatic Sea, primary productivity, and phytoplankton variations in time and space. Applied research is focused on monitoring eutrophication and pollution in the North Adriatic coastal and offshore waters. Several international projects are supported by universities, intergovernmental bodies and specialized agencies (UNEP, FAO, WHO etc.).
All hotel reservations must be made through the conference registration form by 10 September 2007.
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