Zooplankton Identification Manual for North European Seas (ZIMNES) - NMS Research Repository
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Zooplankton Identification Manual for North European Seas (ZIMNES)

12 December 2014


The ecological importance of marine zooplankton cannot be overestimated. Throughout the world’s oceans, plankton species abundance and diversity impact, determine and drive global cycles, food-web structure and ecosystem stability (Banse, 1995; Sommer, 1996; Lindley et al., 2003). Plankton communities mediate transfer of organic matter from the productive photic zone to deep waters, and biogeochemical processes that drive the carbon cycle (Russell-Hunter, 1970). Plankton species form the foundation for productivity and the harvest of the seas and monitoring data on these species are important to inform marine management (Brander et al., 2003; Reid et al., 2003; Stevens et al., 2006). We know that anthropogenic influences, together with climatic factors and changes affect their diversity, distribution and dynamics in marine ecosystems (Molinero et al., 2005, 2008). Marine research projects, surveys and monitoring programmes often require routine taxonomic identification of marine zooplankton (Bottger-Schnack et al., 2004). This work requires taxonomic skills and knowledge that are nowadays very scarce. Critical reference texts, keys and other relevant information are sometimes difficult to find. Many of the species monographs and papers required are out of print and access to these is often restricted to a few libraries. Since revisions of taxonomic groups and general taxonomic changes may be published at any time, it is important for up-to-date information to be accessed. There is a general requirement, therefore, not only to consolidate and preserve expertise, but also to provide accessible, up-to-date information on zooplankton taxonomy (Harris et al., 2000). There is a specific need for an accessible and authoritative taxonomic guide to marine zooplankton, suitable for use by scientists and students working with marine zooplankton samples, in government laboratories, university research departments and other marine institutes in the UK and Northern Europe.


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