Phytoplankton are primary producers and form the basis of the oceans’ food chains. They contain the pigment chlorophyll-a (chl-a), which they use to create their own food through photosynthesis. We study concentrations of chl-a in phytoplankton to assess primary productivity in our oceans. Changes in productivity are likely to affect food chains and ultimately affect marine biodiversity, including the species we rely on for economic, cultural, or recreational purposes.
This dataset relates to the "Primary productivity" measure on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website.
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The average concentration of chlorophyll-a (chl-a) in phytoplankton for 2015.
Concentrations of chl-a in phytoplankton are used to assess primary productivity in our oceans. Phytoplankton are primary producers of biomass (mass of living organisms) and form the main basis of marine food chains. They use the chl-a pigment to capture the sun’s energy through the process of photosynthesis. Phytoplankton growth is affected by the availability of nutrients and light, which in turn are affected by the structure of the surface water column. The surface water column structure is affected by oceanographic and climate processes; large-scale changes to climate and oceanographic conditions can lead to changes in phytoplankton growth and chl-a concentrations.
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