The Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO) took part in the IMBIZO 5 workshop, whose overall theme was “Marine biosphere research for a sustainable ocean: linking ecosystems, future states and resource management.” This meeting took place in Woods Hole, MA, USA October 2-6, 2017.
IMO’s deputy director Dr. Rubén Escribano was present and explained that zooplankton is a key element for the future dynamics and sustainability of the marine biosphere. “My specific contribution was the presentation of a project focusing on biogeochemical processes of zooplankton in a changing ocean. I also analyzed and discussed specific topics related to the diversity, genetic variability and metabolism of zooplankton present in the eastern South Pacific. I also had to be a mentor to students, an evaluator of their presentations and the coordinator of the group dealing with biological communities that was working on a report on the workshop as well as on a scientific article summarizing the topic,” said Dr. Escribano.
This workshop was also an opportunity to establish and consolidate cooperation and interaction with distinguished scientists working in the fields of plankton dynamics, biogeochemical modeling and climate predictions, resource management and sustainability, as well as the future of the ocean around the world.
Furthermore, doctoral candidate Carolina González displayed a poster on the advances of her thesis entitled “Link between Biogeochemical Processes and Patterns of Diversity along an Oceanographic Gradient in the Eastern South Pacific Using Zooplankton as a Model.”
“This piece of research demonstrates that there are substantial differences in temperature, oxygen, salinity and chlorophyll-a levels in a zonal transect between Caldera and Easter Island. Additionally, in this same study area it was possible to establish that there are dissimilarities in the community structure (size spectrum and diversity) of zooplankton along the gradient. This proves the existence of a relation to nitrogen and carbon isotopic ratios, which suggests that there are different sources of nutrients and carbon in our study area,” concluded Carolina González.
It is believed that there is a strong link between zooplankton biodiversity and the sources of nutrients sustaining it. This is why zooplankton could be affected by climate change, as the latter disturbs the nutrient cycle, producing devastating ecological effects on zooplankton diversity.