Large data bases of the bio-optical properties and physiological of marine phytoplankton sampled in the ocean will be joined to construct a master database suitable for research at the macroecological level. The master database will be interrogated to select samples dominated by one of a suite of phytoplankton functional types. These subsets of the data will be used for the development of algorithms to quantify the functional types through remote sensing by visible spectral radiometry (ocean colour). The information so gained will be used in simulation models of the ocean biogeochemical cycles in which the autotrophic pool is partitioned into functional types. It will be used also to refine the European community model for coastal marine ecosystems (ERSEM). A further application will be the estimation of global phytoplankton production partitioned into contributions from different functional types.
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