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Issue n°14 - February 2010

Issue n°14 - February 2010
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Editorial:IMBER – The Future and Way Forward

Eileen E. Hofmann, Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA USA
Julie Hall, NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand



The Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosy stem Research (IMBER) project was initiated by the International Geosphere-Biosphere (IGBP) Programme and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) Ocean Futures Planning Committee in 2001 to “identify the most important science issues related to biological and chemical aspects of the ocean’s role in global change and effects of global change on the ocean, with emphasis on important issues that are not major components of existing international projects”. This initial planning resulted in a science and implementation plan, published in 2005 (IGBP Report 52), which provided the basis for the IMBER project. The central goal of IMBER is to identif y the mechanisms by which marine life influences marine biogeochemical cycles, and how these, in turn, influence marine ecosy stems. To date, this goal has been pursued through science activ ities of national and regional research programmes, topical working groups, special focus workshops, summer schools, and collaborations with other international projects, such as the Surf ace Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) and the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ).

During the past five years the IMBER project has progressed in parallel and in collaboration with the Global Ocean Ecosy stem Dy namics (GLOBEC) project, also sponsored by IGBP and SCOR. GLOBEC as a formal project ends in March 2010 af ter many y ears of regional science programmes, focus groups, meetings, sy mposia, conf erences and workshops, all directed at addressing aspects of the GLOBEC science goal which was to advance our understanding of the structure and functioning of the global ocean ecosystem, its major subsystems, and its response to physical forcing so that a capability can be developed to forecast the responses of the marine ecosystem to global change. Many of the science highlights and results of the GLOBEC project are summarized in Barange et al. (2010). Although GLOBEC is ending, regional programmes initiated as part of GLOBEC and as joint ef f orts with IMBER will continue bey ond 2010. To f acilitate continuation of these projects under IMBER, a Transition Task Team (TTT) was established (Werner and Hall, 2008) to develop a plan, as an update to the IMBER Science Plan, which prov ides guidance on integrating these programmes into IMBER as well as guidance on developing new areas of relev ant research (see the Supplement to the IMBER SP&IS, IGBP Report 52A, 2010). It now remains f or the IMBER project and science community to act upon and implement these recommendations.

This article is the first on the way forward f or the IMBER project f or the next few years as the programmes from GLOBEC are incorporated, new programmes are developed, and new areas of research emerge. Some thoughts and approaches on the way forward in the 2-4 years follow.


The science results that accrue through international research projects, such as IMBER, provide a view of programmatic emphasis and success. As with many international science initiativ es an early focus is to assess where understanding exists, where understanding is needed, and what science is required to address gaps in knowledge. In the first five years, activities that pertain to assessing the state of the science related to the overall science goals and questions of the IMBER project have been undertaken. The science results from these are now emerging in special issues of peer-rev iewed scientific journals and books.

A recent series of papers (Progress in Oceanography, Fréon et al., 2009, joint with GLOBEC) prov ides a comprehensiv e summary of results from an extensiv e international effort focused on describing the state-of -the-art in understanding of Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosy stems. These studies, coupled with a recent book (Liu et al., 2010, joint with LOICZ) that provides perspectives on the role of continental margins in the Earth's biogeochemical system, give a basis for dev eloping research programmes that consider linkages between biogeochemistry, food webs, human factors and environmental issues in environments that are important to society and are predicted to change. For example, one result emerging from these studies is the importance of understanding hypoxia in continental margin and boundary current regions which is predicted to increase in extent and f requency as a result of climate change and human effects. This is an area where feedbacks between biogeochemical cycling and food webs can impact fishery production and ultimately human use of coastal regions.

Food web processes, particle flux and dy namics, and biogeochemical cycling of the deep sea, which is one of the least explored parts of the world’s oceans, were the topic of recent sy nthesis and new research studies (Special Issue Deep-Sea Research II, Steinberg and Hansel, in press). Insights into processes associated with carbon and biogeochemical cycling, food web interactions, and carbon sequestration in the deep sea provided by these studies of the dark ocean will be a continuing focus of IMBER research efforts. Understanding the interplay between biological and geochemical processes in this region of the ocean has signif icant implications for understanding the magnitude and efficiency of the biological pump, and hence carbon transfer to depth.

Understanding the processes regulating the exchange of carbon dioxide across the ocean surface is a priority for IMBER science. Synthesis and research papers summarizing the state of understanding (Deep-Sea Research II, Roy et al., 2009, joint with SOLAS) have clearly delineated important research areas, advances in measurement methodologies and regions for study that are needed to further understanding of surface ocean exchange of carbon dioxide.

These ideas and results encompassed in the above publications, as well as those in the general science literature, are being further developed as they provide the focus for meetings, conferences and symposia (e.g. see IMBIZO-II below) and the development of field and modelling studies that will provide focus for future IMBER science.


A network of complementary regional research programmes is essential for effective implementation of IMBER because these will provide the measurements and models that will advance understanding of marine biogeochemical cycles and food web interactions. The IMBER project, in collaboration with the GLOBEC project, has developed a regional programme in the Southern Ocean, the Integrating Climate and Ecosy stem Dynamics (ICED) programme, which has a vision …to develop a coordinated circumpolar approach to better understand climate interactions in the Southern Ocean, the implications for ecosystem dynamics, the impacts on biogeochemical cycles, and the development of sustainable management procedures. The science and implementation plan for ICED (GLOBEC Report No. 26/IMBER Report No. 2) was developed in collaboration with the IMBER and GLOBEC projects which ensured relevance to both projects. A second regional programme, Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeochemical and Ecological Research (SIBER), is now being developed for the Indian Ocean and from the outset will have a focus on biogeocheical cycles and feedbacks to food webs.

Two programmes, initiated under GLOBEC, that are making the transition to IMBER are Ecosy stem Studies of Sub-Arctic Seas (ESSAS) and Climate Impacts on Top Oceanic Predators (CLIOTOP). Both programmes were started about five years ago and already have a legacy of important science results and are at a mid-point in their science activities. Thus, it is an appropriate time for a mid-programme review and analysis of programmatic science objectives, progress in addressing these objectiv es, and new directions for research. The CLIOTOP programme had a mid-term review incorporated into its Open Science Meeting (OSM), which was held in February 2010. The IMBER project will look to this OSM as a venue for development of new and exciting research questions for CLIOTOP that will build upon the results from the first five years of this programme and extend these to IMBER science objectives. Similarly, the ESSAS programme has its OSM scheduled for September 2010 and will also use this as a forum for discussing futue science directions.

The IMBER project will continue to develop collaborations with new programmes being developed through the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). The Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosy stems (FUTURE) initiative now being implemented by PICES has science goals and objectives that are relevant to IMBER science. Similarly, the developing Basin-scale Analysis, Synthesis and Integration (BASIN) initiative in the North Atlantic has aspects that are relevant to IMBER science.

Comparisons of results f rom regional programmes will play an important role in f urthering the science goals of IMBER. It is through comparisons of diverse ecosystems that new understanding will emerge about the potential effects of climate and human-induced changes on biogeochemical cycling and food web dynamics. The IMBER project has already begun the process of encouraging comparative studies by focusing one of the workshops at the next IMBIZO (see below) on comparison and integration of biogeochemical and ecological processes across regions. This is following a TTT recommendation that IMBER provide opportunities for comparative analyses at regular intervals to gain maximum benef it from the understanding provided by different approaches used in the regional programmes.


The science objectives of the IMBER project are broad and as such lend themselves to the development of collaborations with other projects that are focused on aspects of carbon and biogeochemical cycling in the ocean. One such project is the Integrated Project CARBOOCEAN, which is a consortium of European inv estigators, funded by the European Commission, which is focused on determining the ocean’s role in uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The core themes of CARBOOCEAN are compatible with IMBER science themes 1 and 2 which are focused on interactions between biogeochemical cycles and marine food webs, and sensitivity of key marine biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems and their interactions to global change, respectively. The IMBER project has endorsed CARBOOCEAN and has signed a memorandum of understanding with this project, to facilitate exchange of ideas and data and promote interactions between the two science communities. Such collaborations are important to furthering progress on the IMBER project science goals and are a high priority for the future. In a similar way, IMBER had a strong collaborative interaction with the EurOceans Network of Excellence project which has continued with the new EurOceans consortium.


Broad international participation in the IMBER project comes from development and coordination of related science activities within individual nations. These national programmes promote IMBER science through implementation and coordination of research programmes f unded through national, state or local sources. Presently there are 24 countries with recognized IMBER science activ ities. These range from a group of scientists working on a particular IMBER-related research topic to multi-inv estigator, multi-institution research programmes. A high priority for IMBER in the next 2-4 years is to f acilitate further development of national programmes.


In international science projects, working groups provide a mechanism to bring together individuals with particular expertise to provide guidance and synthesis of topics that are timely and relevant to the larger project. Within the IMBER project, working groups facilitate the integration and synthesis that is required to answer the key science questions. The IMBER project formed a working group on end-to-end food webs which has completed its deliberations and publications are being prepared which summarize these. The data management working group has developed a data policy, a ‘cookbook’ for data management and has an ongoing role in promoting and supporting data management within IMBER.

The IMBER project has joint working groups that f oster coordination and cooperation with other international projects, particularly SOLAS and LOICZ. Current joint working groups with these projects are the joint IMBER/SOLAS Carbon working group and the joint IMBER/LOICZ Continental Margins task team. The former is charged with coordination and synthesis of ocean carbon research. The latter is charged with integrating research on the impacts of global change on biogeochemistry and ecosy stems on continental margins.

Formation of new IMBER working groups, one with emphasis on forecasting and predicting the impacts of global change on biogeochemistry and ecosystems and the other, assessing the impacts of global change on biogeochemistry and ecosy stems on society , are now under discussion. The f ormer working group will build on efforts ongoing in the regional programmes. The latter represents a new direction f or the IMBER project and will build upon the efforts in this area from the GLOBEC Focus Four Working Group and the current IMBER Capacity Building working group. The importance of including socio-economic effects in marine ecosystems is becoming more apparent (Perry et al., 2010; Barange et al., 2010) and this is clearly an area where IMBER science can make important contributions. Also the TTT report recommended the formation of working groups to ensure similar standards, methods, and focus (e.g. human dimension) across the regional programmes.


The regional programmes, national programmes and working groups use a range of approaches to facilitate synthesis and integration. Two important mechanisms for supporting synthesis and integration across IMBER are the IMBIZO (a Zulu word that means gathering) series and summer schools.

The IMBER IMBIZO consists of three concurrent, interacting workshops focused on specif ic topics. The workshop topics are selected by IMBER scientistsand are intended to highlight emerging and important research topics. Each workshop is tasked with producing sy nthesis products.

The first IMBIZO, which occurred in 2008, focused on integrating biogeochemistry and ecosy stems in a changing ocean and included workshops that addressed end-to-end f ood webs, the carbon dy namics of the mesopelagic zone, and the carbon dy namics of the bathy pelagic zone. The results from these workshops are now being published in the peer-rev iewed scientific literature. The end-to-end IMBIZO workshop culminated the work of the IMBER working group formed to address this topic.

The second IMBIZO is scheduled for October 2010 and is entitled, Integrating biogeochemistry and ecosystems in a changing ocean: regional comparisons. The three workshops selected for this IMBIZO highlight: 1) the effect of varying element ratios on community structure at low trophic levels and food quality at mid and high trophic levels, 2) large-scale regional comparisons of marine biogeochemistry and ecosystem processes – research approaches and results, and 3) sensitiv ity of marine food webs and biogeochemical cycles to enhanced stratif ication These workshops are designed to foster synthesis across IMBER regional and national programmes and to focus on important linkages between food webs and biogeochemical cycles.

The IMBIZO series will continue to receive high priority in the IMBER project. The science community is encouraged to attend and to propose workshop topics for future IMBIZOs. In addition to providing a forum for discussing timely research problems, the IMBIZOs also provide a venue for networking with the international science community and as such contribute to capacity building of the IMBER science community.

The IMBER project has supported and organized summer schools that are designed to provide participants with a combination of teaching by internationally-recognized experts and hands-on training through workshops. The summer schools have focused on IMBER science priorities. The summer school held in Ankara, Turkey in August 2008 focused on end-to-end marine food webs. A second summer school was co-conv ened with CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability ) and GLOBEC and focused on climate driving of marine ecosy stems changes (Brest, France, April 2008). A third summer school is being organized for August 2010 with a focus on climate, marine ecology and society. All the summer schools have made participation by early career scientists a priority.

The summer schools prov ide a framework for reviewing and synthesizing research in areas that the larger community has deemed relevant and important to f urthering understanding of biogeochemical cycling and feedbacks to marine food webs. Encouraging young scientists to become interested in pursuing research in these areas is important to continuing a strong research agenda. A priority f or the IMBER project is to continue summer schools, and joint organization through IMBER regional and national programmes as well as with other international project partners will ensure progress in addressing science objectives, across-programme comparisons, and developing the next generation of researchers.


An International Project Of fice (IPO) with a staff is a critical component of the IMBER project. The IPO prov ides coordination and management for the IMBER project at local, national, regional and international levels. The IMBER project is fortunate to have received support for an IPO from a consortium of French f unders. The stability afforded by this support has allowed the IMBER project to pursue funding and fund-raising activities to support working groups, workshops, conferences and summer schools that have f urthered IMBER science. The IPO also assists with dissemination of IMBER science results via its website, newsletters, and publications.

The recent establishment of an IMBER Regional Project Office at the East China Normal Univ ersity , Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, will greatly facilitate development of IMBER-related projects in Asian countries. The presence of a regional office clearly signifies the commitment to IMBER science from scientists and the support of their science institutions.

Coordination of IMBER science is done via a Scientif ic Steering Committee (SSC) that is composed of members from the international science community. The rotation of members on this committee ref lects the changing emphasis in IMBER science. Recent additions to the committee are in the areas of socio-economic effects in marine food webs and top predator effects in marine food webs. This expertise will foster integration of the advances made in these areas through the GLOBEC project into IMBER science. The composition of the IMBER SSC will continue to be updated and modified as needed to best serve the IMBER science goals. Important additions to the SSC are the representatives from the regional programmes, either as members of the SSC or as invited ex-of ficio participants. These indiv iduals prov ide liaison between the regional programme science committee (SC) and the IMBER SSC. With the inclusion of regional programmes from GLOBEC and the development of new IMBER programmes, these representatives will have a central role in the adv ancement of IMBER science objectives.

A continuing issue for the IMBER project is providing funding for the activities of the working groups, the SSCs of the regional programmes, and synthesis and integration activities such as the IMBIZOs. Current funding for IMBER activities is generously provided by the IGBP, SCOR and national funding agencies such as the US National Science Foundation and the consortium of French Agencies which support the IMBER IPO and IMBER activities.


The above sections have noted several priorities for IMBER in the next 2-4 years. Some are a continuation of current activities; others, such as the human dimensions initiative, are new. All are important and relev ant to IMBER science. The concern is implementing these with limited resources and doing so in such a way that will not hinder f orward progress.

The TTT report provides clear and strong recommendations on incorporation of regional programmes into IMBER and to form links with those developing through other organizations, such as FUTURE. Formal acceptance of a regional programme is through acceptance and endorsement of a SP&IS by the IMBER SSC. This process is now ongoing for some of the regional programmes. By inclusion in IMBER the regional programmes gain a central organizing infrastructure that that is designed to support and sustain long-term research programmes and allow international collaborations to go forward in a coordinated manner. Also, mechanisms, such as the IMBIZOs, that f acilitate communication and integration across IMBER regional programmes, and visibility within the larger global change science community are provided by inclusion in IMBER. In turn, IMBER gains quality science programmes that will advance the IMBER science goals and research questions, the development of comprehensive data sets and models, and development of an international science community.

All international science programmes have ongoing efforts to develop a funding base that is adequate to support the activities of regional programmes, working groups, and educational and training initiatives. The IMBER project is no exception. IMBER has been fortunate to hav e sponsors that recognize the importance of IMBER science and have worked with the project to secure funding for activities in support of this science. With the inclusion of regional programmes from GLOBEC and development of new science initiatives, the IMBER project will need to expand its current funding base. Activities of regional programmes will continue to be supported at some lev el through IMBER core funding although with more regional programmes and new initiatives these funds will be more thinly spread. Opportunities that may provide support for IMBER-related summer schools, conferences and symposia will be identified and proposals will be developed for these funds. Continuing support of activities of working groups and regional programmes will require a  proactive approach to identify and secure funding outside of the IMBER project core funding. The IMBER IPO will work with regional programmes to identify funding opportunities for activities and to develop proposals for these.

The inclusion of regional programmes that focus on food webs (through top predators), biogeochemical cycling, and climate interactions will greatly expand the science results possible through IMBER. The establishment of a regional office in China, continuation of the IMBIZO series, and continued linkages with other international science programmes will ensure that IMBER science is recognized and incorporated into global science initiatives. The next phase of IMBER brings opportunities for many new, exciting and different research directions.


Barange, M. and Others, 2010, Marine Resources Management in the Face of Change: from ecosystem science to ecosystem-based management, Chapter 9, in: Marine Ecosystems and Global Change, M. Barange, J.G. Field, R.P. Harris, E.E. Hofmann, R.I. Perry, F.E. Werner, eds., Oxford University Press.

Barange, M., J.G. Field, R.P. Harris, E.E. Hofmann, R.I. Perry, F.E. Werner, 2010, Marine Ecosystems and Global Change, Oxford University Press, 464 pp.

Fréon P, M.Barange, J. Arístegui and A.D. McIntyre, 2009, Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems: Integrative and Comparative Approaches, Progress in Oceanography 83(1-4), 428 pp.

Liu, K.-K., L. Atkinson, R. Quiñones, L. Talaue-McManus, (Editors), 2010. Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes in Continental Margins: A Global Synthesis. IGBP Book Series. Springer, Berlin, 744 pp +XXVIII.

Perry, R.I. and Others, 2010, Interactions between Changes in Marine Ecosystems and Human Communities, Chapter 8, in: Marine Ecosystems and Global Change, M. Baragne, J.G. Field, R.P.

Harris, E.E. Hofmann, R.I. Perry, F.E. Werner, eds., Oxford University Press.

Roy, S., N. Metzl, B. Tilbrook, S. Doney, R. Feely, D. Bakker and C. Le Quéré, 2009, Surface Ocean CO2 Variability and Vulnerabilities, Deep-Sea Research II, 56(8-10), 503-674.

Steinberg, D.K. and D. Hansell, in press, Ecological and Biogeochemical Processes in the Dark Ocean, Deep-Sea Research II.

Werner, F. and J. Hall. 2008. IMBER-GLOBEC establish Transition Task Team. GLOBEC International Newsletter 14(1):2.

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People on the move

Goodbye to the first IMBER Chair - Julie Hall

At the end of 2009, Julie Hall completed her second and final term as Chair of IMBER.

From its inception, Julie unwav eringly took on the monumental task of leading the IMBER challenge: to bring together communities of scientists from disciplines that traditionally have never worked together in an effort to advance marine global change research. In the process she circumnav igated the globe many times, developing and strengthening networks among scientists and administrators f rom many nations. Her leadership style was inclusive, and meetings of the IMBER Scientific Steering Committee took place in a relaxed, productiv e atmosphere. She is one of the few people familiar with almost all the global change acronyms, not only knowing how many Cs and Os there are in each, but also what they stand for and the people behind them. For this achiev ement alone she deserves a medal. Her tireless contributions to IMBER are much appreciated. The good news is that Julie will be staying on as Past-Chair f or this year.

HALL Julie

 Welcome to the second Chair of IMBER - Eileen Hofmann

Eileen Hofmann is no stranger to international marine global change research projects and her involvement in the scientific community is extensive. She is an ex-officio member of the U.S. GLOBEC Science Steering Committee and International GLOBEC Science Steering Committee; Chair of the International GLOBEC Southern Ocean Planning Group; Chair of the U.S. Southern Ocean GLOBEC Science Steering Committee; a member of the Chesapeake Research Consortium, Community Model Science Steering Committee; Vice Chair of the SCAR/SCOR Expert Group on Oceanography; Associate Editor of Antarctic Science; Associate Editor of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans; Associate Editor of the Journal Marine Research; Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Marine of Sy stems. And that is bef ore she starts her day job as Professor at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography in Virginia, USA! Her major areas of research and expertise include analy sis and modelling of biological and physical interactions in marine ecosystems and descriptive physical oceanography.

We would like to welcome her to IMBER. We are looking forward to an exciting time ahead f or IMBER with her at the helm.


Other new IMBER SSC members

Su Mei Liu

Su Mei Liu is a biogeochemist from the Ocean Univ ersity of China. Her research focuses on nutrient recycling, particularly silicon and phosphorous. She also studied the chemical composition of rainwater and investigated its relation to primary productivity of coastal ecosy stems. Her research has also included study ing the trace metals found in bivalves and also in sediments.

She is active in the international science community and is a member of the PICES Working Group and the SCOR-supported Nitrogen Working Group. She is also on the advisory panel for a CREAMS/PICES Program in the East Asian Marginal Seas.

LIU Sumei

Alida Bundy

Alida Bundy is a Research Scientist with Fisheries and Oceans, based at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, Canada. Her main interest is the preservation of the biodiv ersity of the oceans and to this end her research interests are very varied. They include: the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, the structure and functioning of ecosystems, ecosystem-based management and ecosy stem-based indicators of fishing impacts, the development of assessment methods f or data-poor f isheries, adaptive management of fisheries and interdisciplinary approaches to fisheries science. We are very pleased that she has joined IMBER and env isage that she will help to bridge the gap between natural and social science and assist the SSC in dev eloping the human dimension theme of IMBER.


Claudio Campagna

Claudio Campagna hails f rom Patagonia, Argentina. He switched f rom medicine to biology in the early ‘80s and soon made a name for himself as a marine mammal specialist and conservation biologist. He was part of the team that developed the Patagonian Coastal Zone Management Plan and f ounder of the ‘Sea and Sky Project’, which established a marine protected area in the Patagonian large marine ecosy stem (PLME). He is a researcher f or the National Research Council of Argentina working at Centro Nacional Patagónico.


New Administrative Assistant for the IMBER IPO

Virginie Le Saout is the new Administrativ e Assistant at the IMBER International Project Office (IPO) in Brest. She joined IMBER in October. We are thrilled to have her on the team. She can be contacted at: v irginie.lesaout@univ -brest.fr

LE SAOUT Virginie NL


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Working groups

A new group on ocean acidification 

SOLAS-IMBER Ocean Acidification group (SIOA)

The SOLAS-IMBER working group on ocean acidif ication was launched in August 2009 and held its f irst meeting on 1-3 December at IOC-UNESCO in Paris.

The tasks of the group are to:

  • Coordinate international research ef f orts in ocean acidif ication
  • Undertake sy nthesis activ ities in ocean acidif ication at the international level

Several synthesis and rev iew activ ities hav e been perf ormed in the recent past and others are in progress. The group feels that it is critical to generate new knowledge and will initially focus on activities that will support new research. It plans to launch an ocean acidif ication coordination initiative covering the following aspects:

  • Integration of ocean acidif ication observ ing network with ocean carbon network
  • Promotion of international experiments
  • Sharing experimental platforms
  • Regular updates of the “Guide f or best practices on ocean acidif ication research and data reporting”
  • Guiding principles on data sharing
  • Training students and y oung scientists
  • Intercomparison exercises
  • Promote international exchange of students and postdocs
  • Promote collaboration between the natural and social sciences

The group identif ied the f ollowing topics f or immediate attention:

  • Seek clarif ication in the inv olv ement of the ocean acidif ication community in the next IPCC AR5
  • Launch a web site that will prov ide inf ormation on programmes and projects as well as key reports and publications.

Any comment and suggestion from the community is welcome. Please send correspondence to: sioa@listes.obs-vlfr.fr

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Data Management Committee

The Data Management Committee (DMC) has a new chair!

Alberto Piola has replaced Ray mond Pollard as Chair of the Data Management Committee. Alberto Piola is a physical oceanographer and senior scientist at the Naval Hydrographic Services in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His expertise covers regional oceanography, water masses, general circulation and ocean fronts. Alberto is a member of the the Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC) which is a scientific expert advisory group charged with strategic guidance for the open ocean module of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Alberto is also involved with the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) and the CLIVAR South Atlantic Climate Observing System (SACOS).

Welcome on board Alberto!

Contact: Alberto Piola (apiola@hidro.gov.ar)

PIOLA Alberto

The IMBER Data Policy


Sticking to a project’s Data Policy should not be seen as a chore. Its purpose is to help to create, maintain and safeguard high-quality data, to share data and gain access to data. These guidelines exist to help you document your data so that it is useful to others (and to you too, as you will soon forget the details). Sharing data from the beginning with colleagues and data specialists will help you to detect and eradicate errors and improve calibration, as well as safeguard your hard-won data. Later on your well-documented data can be compared with other projects, leading to improved understanding and more publications.

The Data Policy is a guide to good working practice, which will in the end reduce the time taken to manage your data and maximise the research you get out of it. For detailed recipes to guide you step by step, consult the IMBER Data Management Cookbook.

Involve data professionals

A successf ul, ef f icient project inv olv es end-to-end data management, which requires inv olv ement and dialogue right f rom the start between researchers and Data Professionals (people whose primary task is management of data rather than research, f or example the staf f of national Data Centres). Data professionals are familiar with the technical requirements (and jargon) that are needed; researchers usually are not.

  • A project seeking IMBER endorsement must show that data professionals hav eassisted in drawing up the project’s data management plan and that their involvement is on-going.

In many cases, a National Data Centre will be appointed/f unded as the Project Data Assembly Centre (DAC) to adv ise a project and to receiv e data and metadata from that project.

  • If the experiment has international participation, the project’s data management plan must show data centre responsibilities and identif y the Project DAC.
  • If a country does not hav e a national data centre, the plan must show what arrangements hav e been made to create a Project DAC and to submit data to a recognised Data Centre. (See http://www.imber.inf o/DM_resources_links.html for a list of recognised National Data Centres and World Data Centres).

Appoint a Data Scientist

IMBER observ ational projects are f requently large and multidisciplinary . Managing data f or such a project is thus a substantial task, and it is cost-effective, both financially and in research efficiency, to appoint or assign an individual (the Data Scientist) to be responsible, part- or full-time for data management.

  • To receiv e IMBER endorsement, a Project must show, as part of its Data Management plan, what steps are being taken to appoint a Data Scientist.

The Data Scientist does not have to be a data prof essional, indeed he/she may well be a post-doc (for example) with a research role in the project, who will learn data and people management skills, and will be responsible for data management within the project (Cookbook).

Data sharing within a project

The generally multi-disciplinary nature of IMBER projects means that all data from a project need to be accessible to all project participants to aid interpretation.

  • Project Participants should agree from the start that there be open access to each other’s data, but that it should not be passed on to non-participants for an agreed period (usually two years).
  • Only the data originator may pass on data (or authorize data to be passed on) to non-participants at his/her discretion.

Metadata submission

  • As soon as a project (or cruise* as part of a project) is funded, project (or cruise) metadata should be submitted as a DIF (Directory Interchange Format) to the GCMD (Global Change Master Directory ) (see Cookbook f or explanation).
  • As soon as any cruise ends, a CSR (Cruise Summary Report) must be submitted to the Project DAC and the IMBER IPO. This is the responsibility of the Cruise Principal Scientist, though likely to be greatly assisted by the Data Scientist. The DIF f or the project/cruise should be updated to ref erence the CSR. (It is hoped that we will soon prov ide translation software so that a full post-cruise DIF can be automatically created from a CSR. In the interim, it is important that the main DIF be updated so that IMBER data are fully recorded in the IMBER Data Portal.)
  • As soon as the cruise ends, the Ev ent Log (Cookbook) must also be submitted to the Project DAC.
  • Within 6 months af ter the end of a cruise, the Cruise Principal Scientist should submit a detailed cruise report to the Project DAC and the IMBER IPO.
  • Individual researchers are encouraged to create and submit DIFs to the GCMD on their own data sets, linked to their project or cruise.
  • All metadata will be publically accessible v ia the GCMD Web site as soon as it has been submitted to the GCMD (af ter checking by the IMBER Data Liaison Off icer).

*When IMBER fieldwork is not conducted on cruises, “cruise” should be more generally interpreted as “f ieldwork”, and metadata equiv alent to the CSR, etc., submitted on the same time scales.

Data submission

  • Initial v ersions of data f iles should be duplicated as soon as they are created and copied to the Project DAC at the end of the cruise.

This prov ides data security . The data will not be released bey ond the project participants, and will only be released to project participants with the approval of the originator (since early v ersions of data sets may be unsuitable for release ev en to participants).

  • Data originators should interact with the Data Scientist and Project DAC to prov ide updated and f inal v ersions of data sets as they become av ailable

Public access to data

  • Data collected as part of IMBER will be made publicly av ailable no later than 2 y ears f rom end of cruise or project.

Exceptions to this may be allowed by the SSC, f or example where the policy is ov erridden by national constraints on data access.

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An interactive training workshop

Sunday 10 October 2010 (Cretaquarium, Heraklion, Crete, Greece)
Workshop Conveners: Alberto Piola and Cyndy Chandler

Alberto Piola (apiola@hidro.gov.ar), Servicio de Hidrografía Naval, Dept of Oceanography, Buenos-Aires, Argentina.
Cyndy Chandler (cchandler@whoi.edu), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.

Question: How can we tell that the climate is changing?

Answer: because we hav e data going back more than a century-because someone made the effort to record, calibrate and preserve these data long after the project (and funding) had ended. Nobody questions that scientists must publish, so why is organizing data the poor relation? IMBER seeks tochange this ethos and recommends that all projects appoint a Data Scientist. It will benef it both the project investigators and the appointee.

IMBER has developed a Data Management Cookbook which summarizes the best practices policy for data acquisition, quality control and preservation. The Data Management Cookbook will be the focus of an interactive training activity to be carried out during a one-day session on 10 October 2010, the day bef ore the start of IMBIZO II.

The objectives of this workshop are to enhance awareness of the need to establish data management procedures, the advantages arising from following these procedures, and to provide hands-on training on data management and data preservation.

Young scientists are encouraged to participate in this training workshop. We also welcome the attendance of data managers of IMBER endorsed projects.

To attend this workshop, please visit http://imbizo-2010.conf manager.com.

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Endorsed projects

New Zealand Fisheries Oceanography project

Leader: Matt Pinkerton (m.pinkerton@niwa.co.nz), NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand

Further information

The New Zealand Fisheries Oceanography project is a 12-y ear research programme, started in 2005, that aims to add an ecosy stem dimension to the management of New Zealand’s fisheries. New Zealand has sole jurisdiction over an enormous marine area – over 4 million km2 – and fishing here is big business. There is a desire in New Zealand to manage fisheries in an ecosy stem context, but, as elsewhere in the world, translating this intention into specif ic management action is difficult.

Although there is a long heritage of oceanographic and fisheries research in New Zealand the two disciplines are not well integrated. Fisheries management in New Zealand tries to keep fish stocks at levels that provide their maximum sustainable yield (MSY), evaluated on a stock-by-stock basis to more than 629 stocks offish and shellfish. In general, it is not currently known whether the sustainability of a marine ecosystem as a whole is necessarily achieved if fishing is conducted in a way that places no constituent species individually at risk and does not degrade habitat structure. Chronic erosion of ecosystem viability has been suggested as a consequence of fishing at MSY for many years.

The New Zealand Fisheries Oceanography project aims to elucidate the potentially synergistic effects of fishing and global change on ecosy stem form and function, investigate whether long-term change to the New Zealand ocean can be detected using ecosystem indicators, and suggest how management can promote ecosy stem sustainability.


The principal area of study for this project is the Chatham Rise (See figure), and we focus on three questions:

  1. What is the energy throughput of the lower f ood web in the New Zealand ocean? We aim to partition the ultimate f ate of primary production by phy toplankton into that respired by sub-micro sized plankton, transf erred to the sea-bed, and used to support mesozooplankton and larger pelagic organisms.
  2. What is the species composition, abundance, spatial distribution, and trophic connections in the mesopelagic food web of the Chatham Rise? Characterising the current state of this relatively poorly-studied part of the New Zealand marine ecosy stem is necessary to consider historical ecosy stem change and assess the potential for ecosystem degradation.
  3. What is the functional role of the deep-sea benthos in the marine ecosy stem? Away from the coast, in depths of about 200–1000 m, most fishing in New Zealand is by bottom trawling which is known to be destructiv e to benthic habitats and biota. What are the potential long-term impacts on pelagic, demersal and benthic communities of this practice?

The first dedicated research voyage of the New Zealand Fisheries Oceanography project was carried out to the Chatham Rise in May-June 2008. We measured primary productivity, nutrient concentrations, zooplankton grazing rates, and size-f ractionated plankton abundance using flow cytometry and size-f ractionated filtration. The taxonomic composition and abundances of mesoplanktonic species were characterised using multif requency acoustics (18, 38, 70, 120, 200 kHz) combined with mark-identification by midwater trawling using opening-closing nets of various mesh sizes (CSIRO’s MIDOC and MOCNESS). In collaboration with the University of British Columbia we are studying trophic inteconnections within the mesoplankton by combining stomach/gut contents methods, stable isotope analysis and fatty acid biomarkers. Detrital flux to the seabed was investigated using thorium-234 isotopic analy sis in collaboration with Xiamen University , China. Analy sis of the data is continuing and we look forward to making results available within the IMBER research community. 

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BIOACID – Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification

-coordinated national research programme launched in Germany

Ulf Riebesell1 uriebesell@ifm-geomar.de (Coordinator) for the BIOACID consortium

1Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany


Uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the surface ocean has caused a measurable increase in ocean acidity over the past two decades. This process, termed ocean acidification, is bound to aggravate as CO2 emissions continue. The magnitude of future changes in seawater chemistry can be predicted with reasonable certainty for a given CO2 emission scenario. Much less is known, however, about the biological impacts of ocean acidification.

  • What effects does ocean acidification have on marine organisms and ecosystems and how are they modulated by other environmental stressors?
  • What are the underlying mechanisms of biological responses to ocean acidification and do organisms have the potential to adapt?
  • What are the consequences for marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles and how do these feed back to the climate system?
  • What are critical thresholds beyond which marine ecosystem function and services start to collapse?

These are the questions which BIOACID, a coordinated national project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), will address.
Launched in September 2009, BIOACID combines the expertise of research groups from 14 marine science institutes, universities and SMEs2. Aiming towards a holistic understanding of the impacts of ocean change on marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and services and a systems-based assessment of the associated risks and possible tipping points, BIOACID will take an integrated approach combining the expertise of molecular biologists, physiologists and medical scientists, ecologists, biogeochemists, ecosystem and biogeochemical modelers, paleo-oceanographers, and economists. Research activities will focus on the North and Baltic Seas, as well as on regions with ecosystems considered most vulnerable to ocean acidification, such as the Polar Regions and the Tropics. BIOACID is funded with € 8.9 Mio???. for an initial three-years period.


Structure of BIOACID project: research themes and overarching activities

The interaction between BIOACID scientists across disciplines and research topics will be strengthened through joint experiments, collaborative use of equipment and measurement capacity, data sharing and coordinated data management. These activities will be complemented by training workshops on “Best Practices in Ocean Acidification Research and Data Reporting” (http://www.epoca-project.eu/index.php/Home/Guide-to-OA-Research/) and specialized courses in carbonate chemistry measurements and manipulations, microsensor approaches, isotope geochemistry and laser-ablation techniques, and physiological approaches to body fluid physicochemistry and acid-base regulation.
BIOACID activities will be closely coordinated with those in complementary programmes. This includes the UK Project on Ocean Acidification and the EU projects EPOCA (European Project on OCean Acidification), CalMarO (Calcification by Marine Organisms), MESOAQUA (Network of leading MESOcosm facilities to advance studies in AQUAtic ecosystems) and the German SOLAS project SOPRAN (Surface Ocean PRocesses in the ANthropocene). Coordinated activities with other projects include joint field and lab-based CO2 perturbation experiments and sea-going activities, compatible data management and archiving, joint training workshops and annual meetings.

Participants at the BIOACID kick-off meeting at IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel, 27-29 October, 2009 (photo: Maike Nicolai)

The BIOACID consortium: Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven - Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel - Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf - Jacobs-University, Bremen – Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin - Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde – Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel - Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Mikrobiology, Bremen - PreSens Precision Sensing GmbH, Regensburg - Ruhr-University Bochum – University of Bremen - University of Hamburg - University of Rostock - Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster

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Science highlights

Comparative ecosystem studies of subarctic seas and the role of physical forcing on these ecosystems

Ken Drinkwater ken.drinkwater@imr.no, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway, and George Hunt Jr. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

One of the many scientific highlights within ESSAS (Ecosystem Studies of Sub-Arctic Seas) in 2009 was the publication of results from the Marine Ecosystem comparisons of Norway and the US (MENU) Project that examined ecosystem in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank and the Norwegian/Barents seas. This project encompassed two of the main objectives of ESSAS, comparative ecosystem studies of subarctic seas and the role of physical forcing on these ecosystems. Two of the 5 papers dealt with the ecosystem responses to recent warming. Drinkwater et al.(2009) noted that recent years have seen record or near record highs in air and sea temperatures in all regions although the causes differ. In the Atlantic, sea temperatures increased due to advection of warm water from the south, while in the Pacific temperatures are more closely linked to air-sea heat exchanges. Advection is also responsible for the observed accompanying changes in salinity in the Atlantic ecosystems (increasing in the Barents and Norwegian Seas and decreasing in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank) while decreasing salinities in the Gulf of Alaska are largely related to increased local runoff. The impacts of the recent warming on the biology of these regions were addressed by Mueter et al.(2009) Annual net primary production generally increased with increasing annual mean sea-surface temperature within the Eastern Bering Sea, the Barents Sea and the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (Fig. 1). In the first two regions, this appears to be related to decreasing ice extent which causes higher light levels and a longer production period, while in the latter region it may be related to nutrient availability through advective processes.  

Fig. 1. Annual primary production v ersus annual mean SST during 1998-2006

Zooplankton biomass appears to be controlled by both top-down (predation by fish) and bottom-up forcing (advection, SST) in the Barents and Norwegian seas. In contrast, zooplankton production in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank region was controlled primarily through bottom-up processes but independent of temperature variability. Recruitment of several fish stocks were significantly and positively correlated with temperature in the Eastern Bering Sea (EBS) and the Barents Sea, but Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) and pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) recruitment in the EBS have been negatively correlated with temperature since the 1977 shift to generally warmer conditions. In each of the ecosystems, fish species showed a general poleward movement in response to warming. In addition, the distribution of groundfish in the EBS has shown a more complex, non-linear response to warming resulting from internal community dynamics. Responses to recent warming differ across systems and appear to be more direct and more pronounced in the higher latitude systems where food webs and trophic interactions are simpler and where both zooplankton and fish species are often limited by cold temperatures.

The other 3 papers compared community structure, function and ecosystem dynamics. Gaichas et al. (2009)  examined energy budget models for the different marine ecosystems to identify differences and similarities in trophic and community structure by aggregating information for similar species groups into consistent functional groups. Commonalities across the ecosystems included overall high primary production and energy flow at low trophic levels, high production and consumption by carnivorous zooplankton, and similar proportions of apex predator to lower trophic level biomass. Major differences included distinct biomass ratios of pelagic to demersal fish, ranging from highest in the combined Norwegian/Barents ecosystem to the lowest in the Alaskan systems. Notable differences were found in primary production per unit area, highest in the Alaskan and Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine ecosystems, and lowest in the Norwegian ecosystems. Differences between the Alaskan and Norwegian ecosystems appear related to differences in nutrient concentrations while the high production in Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine region is due to tidal mixing. Link et al. (2009) analyzed the dynamics of functionally analogous species using survey trends in major fish abundances, total system fish biomass, and zooplankton biomasses. Major commonalities among ecosystems included a relatively stable amount of total fish biomass and the importance of large calanoid copepods, small pelagic fishes and gadids. Some of the changes in these components were synchronous across ecosystems. Major differences between ecosystems included gradients in the magnitude of total fish biomass, commercial fish biomass, and the timing of major detected events. Megrey et al. (2009) compared the temporal and spatial patterns of recruitment (R) and spawning stock biomass (S) variability amongst functionally analogous species and similar feeding guilds from the different ecosystems. Time series trends in response variables showed consistent within basin similarities and consistent and coherent differences between the Atlantic and Pacific basin ecosystems. Two broad-scale regime-shifts were identified for the pelagic feeding guild (1972–1976 and 1999–2002) and possibly one for the benthic feeding guild (1999–2002). The data suggest common external factors act in synchrony on stocks within ocean basins but temporal stock patterns, often of the same species or functional group, between basins change in opposition to each other. Basin-scale results (similar within but different between) suggest that the two geographically broad areas are connected by unidentified mechanisms that, depending on the year, may influence the two basins in opposite ways.

These papers appeared in a special volume of Progress in Oceanography along with 10 other comparative papers that were given at an ESSAS and PICES co-sponsored theme session at the 2007 ICES Annual Science Conference held in Helsinki Finland.

Drinkwater, K., F. Mueter, K. Friedland, M. Taylor, G. Hunt, J. Hare, and W. Melle. Comparison of physical oceanographic responses to recent climate variability in 4 Northern Hemisphere regions, 2009, Progress in Oceanography 81: 10-28.
Gaichas, S., G. Skaret, J. Falk-Petersen, J.S. Link, W. Overholtz, B.A. Megrey, H. Gjøesæter, W. Stockhausen, A. Dommasnes, K. Friedland and K, Aydin. A comparison of community and trophic structure in five marine ecosystems based on energy budgets and system metrics, 2009, Progress in Oceanography 81: 47-62.
Link, J.S., W. Stockhausen, G. Skaret, W. Overholtz, B.A. Megrey, H. Gjoesaeter, S. Gaichas, A. Dommasnes, J. Falk-Petersen, J. Kane, F. Mueter, K. Friedland and J. Hare. A comparison of biological trends from four marine ecosystems: synchronies, differences, and commonalities, 2009,. Progress in Oceanography 81: 29-46.
Megrey, B.A., J. Hare, W. Stockhausen, A. Dommasnes, H. Gjøsæter, W. Overholtz, S. Gaichas, G. Skaret, J. Falk-Petersen, J.S. Link and K. Friedland. A cross-ecosystem comparison of spatial and temporal patterns of covariation in the recruitment of functionally analogous fish stocks, 2009, Progress in Oceanography 81: 63-92.
Mueter, F.J., C. Broms, K.F. Drinkwater, K.D. Friedland, J.A. Hare, G.L. Hunt, Jr., W. Melle and M. Taylor, 2009, Ecosystem responses to recent oceanographic variability in high-latitude Northern Hemisphere ecosystems. Progress in Oceanography 81: 93-110.

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IMBER meetings

IMBIZO II - Integrating biogeochemistry and ecosystems in a changing ocean: Regional comparisons

10-14 October 2010 Crete (Greece)

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 April 2010

The IMBIZO's innovative format of three concurrent and interacting workshops with joint plenary and poster sessions will provide a forum for stimulating discussion between interdisciplinary experts and encourage the linkage between biogeochemistry and ecosystem research.

The three concurrent workshops are:
Workshop 1. The effect of varying element ratios on community structure at low trophic levels and food quality at mid and high trophic levels
Co-chairs: Dan Repeta and Rory Wilson

Workshop 2. Large-scale regional comparisons of marine biogeochemistry and ecosystem processes – research approaches and results
Co-chairs: Ken Drinkwater and Raleigh Hood

Workshop 3. Sensitivity of marine food webs and biogeochemical cycles to enhanced stratification
Co chairs: Michio Kishi and Michael Landry

Oral presentations during the workshops will showcase the current state of knowledge in each area and discussion sessions will identify key science questions to be addressed as part of IMBER.

Each workshop will prepare a special journal issue containing synthesis and primary research papers resulting from the workshop contributions and discussions.

IMBIZO ll will also provide an opportunity for junior and senior scientists to participate in an interactive ‘Dry Cruise’ workshop (co-chaired by Alberto Piola and Cyndy Chandler).

For further information regarding this conference, visit our Web site http://imbizo-2010.confmanager.com/ or send your enquiries to: imbizo@univ-brest.fr.

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CLIOTOP into the futureBuilding scenarios for oceanic ecosystems in the XXI Century


CLIOTOP mid-term workshop,
UNESCO, Paris, 8-11 February 2010


Co-sponsored by


CLIOTOP (http://web.pml.ac.uk/globec/structure/regional/cliotop/cliotop.htm) is a 10-year scientific programme which has been operating since 2005 as a GLOBEC Core Programme and which will continue for the next five years under the IMBER Project. IMBER and GLOBEC are the two IOC/SCOR/IGBP-sponsored Projects focusing on marine ecosystems.

CLIOTOP addresses some of the contemporary challenges raised by global changes in oceanic earth systems such as climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, biodiversity threats and erosion, globalization of fish markets, international governance of the sea, etc. In particular, CLIOTOP focuses on oceanic top predators within their ecosystems and is based on a worldwide comparative approach among regions, oceans and species. It requires a substantive international collaborative effort to identify, characterise, monitor and model the key processes involved in the dynamics of oceanic ecosystems in the context of both climate variability and change, and intensive fishing of top predators. The goal is to improve knowledge and to develop a reliable predictive capacity combining observation and modelling for single species and ecosystem dynamics in short, medium and long term time scales.

The implementation of CLIOTOP has been defined along two successive five-year phases. The first phase ended at the end of 2009, synchronously with GLOBEC ending. Planning for the second and final implementation phase (2010-2014) took place during the CLIOTOP "Mid-Term Workshop" held 8-11 February 2010 at UNESCO in Paris. During the workshop, the major future axes of the Programme were updated and the implementation plan for the second phase drafted as an addendum to the CLIOTOP Science Plan (http://web.pml.ac.uk/globec/structure/regional/cliotop/cliotop_science_plan.pdf).
The workshop report will be presented in the next issue of IMBER Update.

For information regarding the workshop, please contact Olivier Maury or Patrick Lehodey:

Dr. Olivier Maury, IRD, UMR 212 EMEav. Jean Monnet, B.P. 171, 34203 Sète Cedex, FrancePh: [33] (0) 499 57 32 28 fax: [33] (0) 499 57 32 95 Olivier.Maury@ird.frDr Patrick Lehodey, MEMMS, CLS,8-10 rue Hermès, 31520 Ramonville, FrancePh. [33] (0)5 61 39 47 80 Fax. [33] (0)5 61 39 37 82 PLehodey@cls.fr 

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IMBER-sponsored meetings

PICES 2009 Annual Meeting

Sinjae Yoo sjyoo@kordi.re.kr , KORDI, Ansan, South Korea


The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) held its Eighteenth Annual Meeting from October 23 to November 1, 2009, in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. About 520 participants attended the meeting from 23 countries. The annual meeting consisted of nine scientific sessions, eleven workshops, and various committee/working group meetings. These scientific sessions had a wide range of themes such as climate variability, meso-scale eddies, natural iron fertilization, Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), impacts of aquaculture to ecosystem, fisheries assessment, and integrated management.
Scientific sessions and their themes at PICES 2009 Annual Meeting.

S1: Understanding ecosystem dynamics and pursuing ecosystem approaches to management
S2: Ecosystem-based approaches for the assessment of fisheries under data-limited situations
S3: Early life stages of marine resources as indicators of climate variability and ecosystem resilience
S4: Mitigation of harmful algal blooms
S5: The role of submerged aquatic vegetation in the context of climate change
S6: Marine spatial planning in support of integrated management – tools, methods, and approaches
S7: State of the art of real-time monitoring and its implication for the FUTURE oceanographic study
S8: Anthropogenic perturbations of the carbon cycle and their impacts in the North Pacific
S9: Outlooks and forecasts of marine ecosystems from an earth system science perspective: Challenges and opportunities
BIO-P: BIO Contributed Paper Session
FIS-P: FIS Contributed Paper Session
POC-P: POC Contributed Paper Session
W1: Natural supplies of iron to the North Pacific and linkages between iron supply and ecosystem responses
W2: Standardizing methods for estimating jellyfish concentration and development of an international monitoring network
W3: Integrating marine mammal populations and rates of prey consumption in models and forecasts of climate change-ecosystem change in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans
W4: Marine ecosystem model inter-comparisons (II)
W5: Understanding the links between fishing technology, bycatch, marine ecosystems and ecosystem-based management
W6: Review of selected harmful algae in the PICES Region: V. Cyst forming HAB species
HAB: HAB Session Meeting
W7: Interactions between aquaculture and marine eco-systems
W8: Exploring the predictability and mechanisms of Pacific low frequency variability beyond inter-annual time scales
W9: Mesoscale eddies and their roles in North Pacific ecosystems
W10: Carbon data synthesis workshop

Among the sessions, S9 (session title: Outlooks and forecasts of marine ecosystems from an earth system science perspective: Challenges and opportunities) was co-sponsored by PICES and IMBER. The session focused on multi-disciplinary coupled models, and theoretical, observational and experimental studies designed to provide outlooks and/or forecasts of marine ecosystems. During this one and half day session, 19 papers were presented and discussions were made on various issues of linking climate, physics, lower trophic level and higher trophic level in marine ecosystems. Joint sessions to explore common scientific interests between PICES and IMBER will continue at PICES 2010 in Portland, USA.  
NL14_PICES_SB Symposium

Science Board Sy mposium

This annual meeting was special as the PICES’ second integrated science programme was officially launched after a six year gestation. The new science programme is called FUTURE (Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems) and aims to understand the responses of marine ecosystems in the North Pacific to climate change and human activities, with the following major questions: 1) how does ecosystem structure and function determine an ecosystem's response to natural and anthropogenic forcing; 2) how do physical and chemical processes respond to natural and anthropogenic forcing and how are ecosystems likely to respond to these changes in abiotic processes; 3) how do human activities impact coastal marine ecosystems and their interactions with offshore and terrestrial systems. The science plan of FUTURE was approved in 2008 and the implementation plan was approved in early 2009. The three Advisory Panels that will oversee FUTURE activities during its ten year life held their first meetings.

During the Science Board and Governing Council meetings, some issues related to IMBER were discussed. Most importantly, both meetings recognized that future cooperation between PICES and IMBER will be mutually beneficial for both organizations, as FUTURE has many common scientific interests in marine biogeochemistry and food webs research. PICES could play an important role in bringing a North Pacific perspective to the global activities of IMBER, and by participating in these activities, PICES could advance its own scientific agenda. CCCC (Climate Change and Carrying Capacity) programme, the predecessor of FUTURE, was one of the five regional programmes of GLOBEC. Likewise, FUTURE could be a contributing programme for IMBER. A letter noting the willingness of PICES to cooperate with IMBER in areas of joint interest will be sent to IMBER.
The Science Board also recognized that the themes of IMBIZO II are very relevant to FUTURE and discussed how to support IMBIZO II. At the recommendation of the Science Board, Council agreed to co-sponsor IMBIZO II by providing travel support for three invited speakers from the North Pacific.

Furthermore, the PICES Science Board agreed to support the ClimECO2 Summer School “Oceans, marine ecosystems, and society facing climate change - A multidisciplinary approach“, held on 23-27 August 2010 in Brest (France) and co-organized by IMBER, IUEM and Europôle Mer. A total of six early career scientists from PICES member countries (Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Russia and USA) will be supported to attend the school.

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PICES 2010 Annual Meeting

North Pacific Ecosystems Today, and Challenges in Understanding and Forecasting Change

October 22-31, 2010, Portland, USA

General Information
The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) announces its 2010 Annual Meeting to be held October 22–31, 2010, at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. The meeting is hosted by the Government of the United States of America, in coordination with the PICES Secretariat, with logistical support provided by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

July 1, 2010 Early Registration
July 1, 2010 Abstract Submission
July 1, 2010 Financial Support Application
August 15, 2010 Notification of Abstract Acceptance
August 15, 2010 Notification of Financial Support Grant

Further information

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Julie Hall, NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand

The OceanObs’09 Conference: Organizing Ocean Information for Society

The OceanObs’09 Conference was convened in Venice, 21-25 September 2009 with over 600 participants from 37 countries from the global marine observing and services communities. The Conference was built around nearly 100 Community White Papers that laid out community plans for specific ocean observation activities that need to be undertaken over the next decade. These reviewed papers were the basis for summary Plenary Papers presented at the conference. Hundreds of additional poster contributions provided details and further ideas for consideration.  The Conference recognized the need to complete the ocean observing system planned at the OceanObs’99 Conference and move towards an integrated system that can serve as the foundation for climate and marine forecasts and services to address a wide range of societal needs for all relevant communities. In particular the Conference
a) set a target date of 2015 for nations to fully implement the initial physical and carbon global ocean observing system,
b) called for support to develop systematic global biogeochemical and biological observations, guided by the outcomes of the Conference,
c) called for a framework for planning and moving forward with an enhanced global sustained ocean observing system integrating new physical, biogeochemical and biological observations while sustaining present observations,
d) urged efforts to achieve timely data access, sensor readiness and standards, best practices, data management, uncertainty estimates, and integrated data set availability,
e) asked for increased effort in capacity building and education.

A Conference Proceedings that will include all the Community White Papers and Plenary Papers is in preparation.  All conference material is available at the Conference web site http://oceanobs09.net. A small post-conference working group has been formed to work on recommendations for the organizational needs to facilitate a fully integrated approach to make progress with the observing system over the coming decade, and to seek national support for these efforts.

The development of a fully integrated ocean observing system which includes biogeochemical and biological measurements is critical to support the science of the IMBER project. The outcomes of the OceanObs’09 conference are an important step forward, with the physical, biogeochemical and biological communities coming together at the conference to identify a clear way forward for an integrated sustained ocean observing system.

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Next IMBER Summer School

ClimECO2: Oceans, marine ecosystems, and society facing climate change - A multidisciplinary approach

An international summer school co-organized by IUEM, IMBER and Europôle Mer.
23-27 August 2010, Brest, France

Leader: Yves-Marie Paulet
Contact: climeco2@univ-brest.fr

Deadline for applications: 15 April 2010
This 5 day training programme aims to provide participants with an overview of knowledge, methods, models and approaches for analyzing the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems and the consequences for society.

It will combine plenary sessions, workshops and round tables on a range of key issues, including:

    - Climate, ocean circulation, biogeochemistry and marine ecosystems
    - Climate-driven changes in marine biodiversity and the interactions among species
    - Impact of global change on marine resources and uses
    - Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the coastal zone
    - Communicating climate change: from information to action

For further details about the programme, please visit the Web site: http://www.europolemer.eu/en/program.php

This is an interdisciplinary summer school. We welcome applications from both natural and social scientists (PhD, Post-docs, engineers and researchers) working on topics related to “oceans and climate change” and who are interested in the challenging issue of crossing the barriers between disciplines.

Travel grants are available. Please visit http://www.europolemer.eu/en/application.php to see if you are eligible.

Please do not hesitate to distribute this announcement as appropriate.

ClimECO2 flyer
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IMBER-related meetings & conference

Marine Microbes Gordon Conference
4-9 July 2010: Tilton, New Hampshire, USA
Deadline f or applications: 13 June 2010

2010 AGU Meeting of the Americas
8-13 August 2010: Foz do Iguaçu , Brazil
Deadline f or applications: 31 March 2010

The 14th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science on "Ocean Challenges in the 21st CENTURY"
6-9 September 2010: Southampton, UK / IMBER endorsed Conf erence!

3rd Bi-Annual Symposium: "The Future Ocean"
13-16 September 2010:Kiel, Germany
Deadline f or registration:1 May 2010

2010 SCOR General Meeting
14-16 September 2010: Toulouse, France
Deadline f or registration: 15 June 2010

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity
26-30 September 2011, Aberdeen, Scotland

Conference will include marine supplier exhibition.

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AGU Meeting of the Americas

Shelfbreak fronts and cross-shelf exchanges are a manifestation of the interaction between the coast and the deep ocean and as such an important, yet poorly understood, component of the climate system. These interactions are particularly relevant to our understanding of the marine ecosystems, the sedimentatological record, the carbon cycle and the climate. This session will focus on the processes controlling the formation and variability of shelfbreak fronts and the exchanges between continental shelves and the deep ocean. We seek contributions on these matters from the physical, biological, geological, and biogeochemical disciplines.

For more information on the Meeting of the Americas please follow this link:

For more information on Session OS07:

  New Web site: “Web-based Resources for Continental Margin Biogeochemical Research and Education”.
The web site supports the activities of the new Continental Margins Task Team, co-sponsored by IMBER and LOICZ. It provides bathymetry maps of more than 100 continental margins around the world, a bibliography for many of the margins and a glossary of scientific terms and abbreviations among other items. It also provides links to relevant research projects and biogeochemical information of shelf and coastal systems.
  The Global Surface pCO2 (LDEO) Database V2008 is now available online through CDIAC web page.http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/LDEO_Underway_Database/LDEO_home.html
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The report presents the discussions and recommendations from the first ICED modelling workshop. The workshop brought together a group of multidisciplinary experts to consider current knowledge of Southern Ocean food webs and the status of food web modelling, with the long-term goal of developing models of circumpolar food web operation. The report serves as the basis for a review paper (currently in prep).

Many of you contributed by either attending or providing financial support (or both!), and we thank you for helping to make this happen and make it work. This is just the beginning of ICED's food web modelling work...

Further information

  Special issue
Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems: Integrative and Comparative Approaches
Volume 83, Issues 1-4, pages 1-428 (December 2009)
Edited by Pierre Fréon, Manuel Barange, Javier Arístegui and A.D. McIntyre
Further information

Should you wish to announce a publication in the IMBER Update, please send information to virginie.lesaout@univ-brest.fr


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ISSN 1951-610X

If you wish to contribute to the IMBER Update, please contact Virginie Le Saout (virginie.lesaout@univ-brest.fr)


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