Impact of climate change on functional and phylogenetic diversity of planktonInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: March 14, 2016
End Date: March 17, 2016
Venue: Villefranche-sur-Mer (France)
Contact: Sakina-Dorothée Ayata
E-mail: sakina [at]
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2015 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Total Budget: €19,600
Funds Granted: €7,500

Manager(s): Sakina-Dorothée Ayata
Co-organiser(s): François Guilhaumon, Astrid Cornils, Guillem Chust

PlankDiv aims to gather expertise in species distribution models, plankton biogeography, functional traits, and phylogeny to assess the impact of climate and climate change on plankton communities’ structure and functioning. Understanding how environmental variability affects plankton species distribution is paramount to forecast climate change impacts on biological production and marine ecosystem services.

This foresight workshop will bring together 25 specialists on European shelf seas, the Northern Atlantic and the global Ocean, to synthesise ongoing work in this area.

The objective will be to build a consortium to foster future collaborative work across different ecosystems and to prepare a large scale international proposal for a suitable future European or international call. PlankDiv will provide excellent networking opportunities by promoting and creating synergies between different regional and international efforts on data synthesis, species distribution modelling and plankton ecology.


    PlankDiv 2016 Participants

    34 participants from 17 research institutes and 9 countries gathered to discuss advances in plankton research. This workshop served to highlight the wealth of novel plankton data that is now available to develop and evaluate models, but also the challenges associated with the consolidation of different data sources. There is an urgent need for best practice guidelines for the development and validation of species distribution and ecological niche models. The workshop highlighted the progress made in quantifying functional diversity, and challenges related to the associations between different measures of this property and marine ecosystem services.

    This foresight workshop was highly successful in gathering expertise in a novel and expanding field at the forefront of plankton research, and will lead to a community review of the state of the art of research. The review will list the priorities for research questions that urgently need to be addressed within the next couple of years, focusing on several key ocean regions that have previously been identified to be particularly vulnerable to environmental change. The workshop created a strong network of expertise and will lead to joint research and international collaboration. Future actions include the writing of a mini-review and the submission of a working proposal for the next EuroMarine call.


    • (Oct 2016): Submission of  EuroMarine Working Group proposal in the 2016 EuroMarine funding call
    • (Oct 2017): Mini review article published. The article "Mare incognitum: A glimpse into future plankton diversity and ecology research"can be found online at:, alongside other develops (see below).

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