Helgoland Roads Phytoplankton

Helgoland Roads

The Biological Station Helgoland holds one of the largest and longest marine plankton time series in Europe, named 'Helgoland Roads' after the sampling location. This time series has been running continuously, with samples taken on a work-daily basis since 1962. As far as possible species counts are carried out at species level. This has allowed us to show  long-term changes in abundance and seasonality of different organisms, but also to reliably demonstrate the appearance of species entirely new in the Helgoland Roads phytoplankton community. More complex analyses have also shown long-term shifts in diversity and delays in the start of the spring bloom after warm autumn/winter seasons. The latter was shown using a simple index: The mean diatom day.

Helgoland Transects

In addition to the Helgoland Roads Core time series station we also operate monthly transect cruises in the German Bight. At each transect station salinity, temperature, nutrients and chlorophyll are measured. Phytoplankton data for some stations and years are also available. These provide important contextual information to compare with the Helgoland Roads station and facilitate an assessment of the Helgoland Roads data in a larger biogeographical context.