The Marine chapter of the 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) report incorporates multiple expert templates developed from
streams of marine data. This metadata record describes the Expert Assessment "The state and trends of ecological processes
– secondary production (zooplankton)". The full Expert Assessment, including figures and tables (where provided), is attached
to this record. Where available, the Data Stream(s) used to generate this Expert Assessment are accessible through the
"On-line Resources" section of this record.
DESCRIPTION OF ECOLOGICAL PROCESS FOR EXPERT ASSESSMENT
Secondary production in the ocean is the generation of biomass by zooplankton – the primary consumers of phytoplankton. The
most common zooplankton, the copepods, are the most abundant animals on Earth, even outnumbering insects. Zooplankton are
important components of the biological pump, shunting carbon from the surface to the deep ocean through sinking of faeces
or dead carcasses. The recruitment of fish stocks and the carrying capacity of marine ecosystems – the mass of fish, squid
and shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles) – is related to secondary production. Productivity hotspots (e.g.
Eden and Bonney upwelling zones) have high densities of zooplankton, sustaining fish and whales alike.
DATA STREAM(S) USED IN EXPERT ASSESSMENT
IMOS plankton data – both from the National Reference Stations and the Australian Continuous Plankton Recorder survey.
2016 SOE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY [see attached Expert Assessment for full details]
• 2016 •
Assessment grade: Very good
Assessment trend: Stable
Confidence grade: Limited evidence or limited consensus
Confidence trend: Limited evidence or limited consensus
Comparability: Not previously assessed
• 2011 •
(not previously assessed)
CHANGES SINCE 2011 SOE ASSESSMENT
Not previously assessed.
QUALITY OF DATA USED IN THE ASSESSMENT
CUSTODIAN AND LOCATION OF DATA
Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), available from AODN Data Portal: https://portal.aodn.org.au/
METHOD USED TO DETERMINE STATE OR RECENT TREND
Time series of means and standard errors and trends of zooplankton biomass from National Reference Stations and the Australian
Continuous Plankton Recorder survey.
When citing this Expert Assessment in a list of references use the following format:
citation author name/s (year metadata published), metadata title. Citation author organisation/s. File identifier and Data
accessed at (add http link).