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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


Program Committee


Conference Objectives

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:

Conference Program

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.

The full program for the conference is now available. A list of Working Groups is now available.

Local Transportation

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

October 7


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.

Further Information

If you have questions or would like to be placed on a mailing list (be sure to include the name of the meeting you are interested in), E-mail or call the AGU Meetings Department at +1 202 777 7333.