Monitoring programme: Eutrophication, Biodiversity - Water column habitats​
Programme topic: Phytoplankton

Sub-programme: Phytoplankton species composition,

abundance and biomass

 

​table of contentS

Regional coordination

Purpose of monitoring

Monitoring concepts

Assessment requirements

Data providers and access

References


REgional Coordination

The monitoring of this sub-programme is: fully coordinated.




Purpose of monitoring (q4K)

Follow up of progress towards:

Baltic Sea Action Plan​ (BSAP)​ ​ ​ ​Segments ​Biodiversity
Eutrophication
​Ecological objectives ​​Natural level of algal blooms
Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
No introductions of alien species from ships
Marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) ​ ​ ​Descriptors D1 ​​Biodiversity
D2 Non-indigenous Species
D4 Food webs
D5 Eutrophication
​Criteria (Q5a)
​1.1 Species distribution
1.2 Population size
1.6 Habitat condition
1.7 Ecosystem structure
2.1 Abundance and state characteristics of non-indigenous species
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups/species
5.2 Direct effects of nutrient enrichment

​Features (Q5c)

Biological features:
A description of the biological communities associated with the predominant seabed and water column habitats.

Other relevant legislation (Q8a)
​Water Framework  Directive



Assessment of: (Q4k)
State/Impacts ​​X temporal trends,
spatial distribution,

status classification
Pressures

Human activities
causing the pressures
Effectiveness of measures

Scale of data aggregation for assessments: (Q10a)
HELCOM assessment unit Level 1: Baltic Sea
​HELCOM assessment unit Level 2: Subbasin
HELCOM assessment unit Level 3: Subbasins with coastal and offshore division​
HELCOM assessment unit Level 4: Subbasins with coastal WFD division X


Monitoring concepts

Coordination Elements
Q9a (Q5c)
Parameter
Q9a (Q5c)
Method
Q9c, Q9d
QA/QC
Q9e, 9f
Frequency
Q9h, 9i
Spatial resolution
Q9g, 9i
Link to HELCOM core indicators Link to
MSFD GES characteristics

Q5b 
Spatial scope
Q4i
Monitoring started
Q4h
CPs monitoring
Regional
(COMBINE)
Abundance of phytoplankton Population size (abundance) HELCOM COMBINE manual, Part C, Annex C6 HELCOM COMBINE manual See map for details
See map for details - ​1.2.1 Population abundance/
biomass
1.7.1 Composition and relative proportions of ecosystem components
2.2.2 Impacts of non-indigenous species at the level of species,
habitats and ecosystem
4.3.1 Abuncance trends of functionally important groups/species
EEZ Coordinated monitoring started in 1979
All HELCOM Contracting parties
Regional
(COMBINE)
Chlorophyll-a (summer)
Biomass of phytoplankton
Species abundance (biomass) HELCOM COMBINE manual, Part C, Annex C6 HELCOM COMBINE manual
See map for details
See map for details - ​1.2.1 Population abundance/
biomass
EEZ Coordinated monitoring started in 1979
All HELCOM Contracting Parties


 

Brief description of monitoring

Full description in HELCOM COMBINE manual. Detailed information on monitoring frequency and spatial resolution has not yet been collected from all countries but will be added.


 

​Element / parameter
Abundance of phytoplankton  / Population size (abundance)
​Method Sampling and analytical methods are reported per sample and per parameter respectively in the data. See PART B (General guidelines on quality assurance for monitoring in the Baltic Sea) of the HELCOM COMBINE manual.
QA/QC See PART B (General guidelines on quality assurance for monitoring in the Baltic Sea) of the HELCOM COMBINE manual. Quality assurance is a laboratory’s whole sampling and analytical process from start to finish. That is an area for the scientific experts. The data centre can report what has been specified in the data: Guidelines used, method information, and Intercalibration participation etc. at a parameter level
Frequency Abundance of phytoplankton stations and annual (2010) frequency (unique dates per subbasin) based on reported data to ICES grouped by HELCOM Subbasin and Country.
Spatial Scope Spatial scope of abundance of phytoplankton stations 2007-2011 based on reported data to ICES grouped by HELCOM Subbasin and Country.
Spatial resolution

Data on abundance available from: Southern Baltic Proper, Kattegat, Bothnian Bay, Bothnian Sea, Northern Baltic Proper, Western Gotland Basin, Eastern Gotland Basin and the Gulf of Gdansk, Quark, Åland Sea, Archipelago Sea, Gulf of Finland.

See map for details


 

​Element / parameter
​Phytoplankton biomass / Species abundance (biomass)
​Method For biomass measurements, cell volume, carbon content and wet weight have been used.
Biovolume could be used as a proxy for biomass. Sampling and analytical methods are reported per sample and per parameter respectively in the data. See PART B (General guidelines on quality assurance for monitoring in the Baltic Sea) of the HELCOM COMBINE manual.
QA/QC See document HELCOM COMBINE Manual Part B Annex B5. Quality assurance is a laboratory’s whole sampling and analytical process from start to finish. The ICES data centre does not determine need for revisions of QA. That is an area for the scientific experts. The data centre can report what has been specified in the data: Guidelines used, method information, and Intercalibration participation etc. at a parameter level.
Frequency Phytoplankton biomass stations and annual (2010) frequency (unique dates per subbasin) based on reported data to ICES grouped by HELCOM Subbasin and Country.
Spatial Scope Spatial scope of phytoplankton biomass stations 2010 based on reported data to ICES grouped by HELCOM Subbasin and Country.
Spatial resolution

Data on biomass available from: Southern Baltic Proper, Gulf of Gdansk, Bothnian Bay, Bothnian Sea, the Quarck, Åland Sea, Archipelago Sea, Gulf of Finland.

See map for details


 

assessmenT REQUIREMENTS

Monitoring requirements and gaps

Monitoring is to be carried out to fulfill assessment requirements of HELCOM ecological objectives that are specified through HELCOM core indicators. The requirements on monitoring can include number of stations, the sampling frequency and replication.

Monitoring
requirements
Phytoplankton abundance, biomass and species composition vary fast and therefore monitoring requires frequent sampling. In many cases the monitoring programmes are restricted to less frequent sampling which limits the use of the data in assessing the state of phytoplankton communities. Efforts to find adequate core indicators are under way.
​Gaps


 


Adequacy for assessment of GES (Q5d)

Monitoring should provide adequate data and information  to enable the periodic assessment of environmental status, and distance from and progress towards GES as required by MSFD under Article 9 and 11.

​Adequate data?​
Yes
Established methods for assessment?
​Under development
​Adequate understanding of GES?
​​No
Adequate capacity to perform assessments?
Nationally


 


 

Assessment of natural variability (Q5e)

Qunatitative


 

Data providers and access

​Data access point
HELCOM COMBINE, ICES database, National data centres
Data type (Q10c)
Processed Data sets​
Data availability (Q10c)​

ICES database

​Data access (Q10c)
Open access to data (covered by ICES data policy)
​INSPIRE standard (Q10c)

When will data become available? (Q10c)
Data from the current data series for all countries is available from 2010/2011. The monitoring from 2013 will be reported in May 2014 and made available in November 2014.
Data update frequency (Q10c)
​Yearly
Every 2 years
Describe how the data and information from the programme will be made accessible to the EC/EEA

As the data is open access it is freely available for the EEA

​​Contact points in the Contracting parties

Contact point to national monitoring programmes will be added

Data is used in the following Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheets (BSEF)

​Cyanobacteria biomass
Unusual phytoplankton event

​Has the data been used in HELCOM assessments?
​Yes


 

REFERENCES

Lindahl, O., 1986. A dividable hose for phytoplankton sampling. In Report of the ICES Working Group on Exceptional Algal Blooms, Hirtshals, Denmark, 17-19 March 1986. ICES, C.M. 1986/L:26.

Olenina, I., Hajdu, S., Andersson, A.,Edler, L., Wasmund, N., Busch, S., Göbel, J., Gromisz, S., Huseby, S., Huttunen, M., Jaanus, A., Kokkonen, P., Ledaine, I.,

Niemkiewicz, E., 2006. Biovolumes and size-classes of phytoplankton in the Baltic Sea. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings No.106, 144pp.