Global Alliance of Continuos Plankton recorder surveys

Global Alliance of Continuos Plankton recorder surveys



The general goal of the Global Alliance of Continuos Plankton recorder surveys (GACS) is to understand changes in plankton biodiversity at ocean basin scales through a global alliance of CPR surveys. By ‘understand’ we mean characterise, analyse and interpret. GACS has a number of specific aims which include: (1) development of a global CPR database; (2) production of a regular Ecological Status Report for global plankton biodiversity; (3) ensuring common standards and methodologies are maintained; (4) providing an interface for plankton biodiversity with other global ocean observation programmes; (5) to set up and maintain a website for publicity and data access; (6) to facilitate new surveys and develop capacity building procedures; (7) to facilitate secondments of CPR scientists between GACS institutions. GACS brings together the expertise of approximately 50 plankton specialists, scientists, technicians and administrators from 12 laboratories around the world, towing a common and consistent sampling tool, the CPR, from about 50 vessels. Working together, pooling our data and resources, was considered essential in order to understand the effects of environmental changes on plankton biodiversity at a global level. Numerous local and regional monitoring and observational programmes have been established in the past, but to date we have lacked a holistic perspective on plankton biodiversity in response to global events such as global warming and ocean acidification. GACS will provide that perspective using CPR data. It will also allow us to assess changes and events at a local or regional level in a world-wide context.


Belem statement areas
Ocean Observation
Ocean Resources
Time frame
2011 - Ongoing