skip to main content

Title: Bio-GO-SHIP: The Time Is Right to Establish Global Repeat Sections of Ocean Biology
In this article, we present Bio-GO-SHIP, a new ocean observing program that will incorporate sustained and consistent global biological ocean observations into the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP). The goal of Bio-GO-SHIP is to produce systematic and consistent biological observations during global ocean repeat hydrographic surveys, with a particular focus on the planktonic ecosystem. Ocean plankton are an essential component of the earth climate system, form the base of the oceanic food web and thereby play an important role in influencing food security and contributing to the Blue Economy. Despite its importance, ocean biology is largely under-sampled in time and space compared to physical and chemical properties. This lack of information hampers our ability to understand the role of plankton in regulating biogeochemical processes and fueling higher trophic levels, now and in future ocean conditions. Traditionally, many of the methods used to quantify biological and ecosystem essential ocean variables (EOVs), measures that provide valuable information on the ecosystem, have been expensive and labor- and time-intensive, limiting their large-scale deployment. In the last two decades, new technologies have been developed and matured, making it possible to greatly expand our biological ocean observing capacity. These technologies, including cell imaging, bio-optical sensors and 'omic tools, can be combined to provide overlapping measurements of key biological and ecosystem EOVs. New developments in data management and open sharing can facilitate meaningful synthesis and integration with concurrent physical and chemical data. Here we outline how Bio-GO-SHIP leverages these technological advances to greatly expand our knowledge and understanding of the constituents and function of the global ocean plankton ecosystem.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1948842 1848576 1850983
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Marine Science
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Despite technological advances over the last several decades, ship-based hydrography remains the only method for obtaining high-quality, high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of physical, chemical, and biological parameters over the full water column essential for physical, chemical, and biological oceanography and climate science. The Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) coordinates a network of globally sustained hydrographic sections. These data provide a unique data set that spans four decades, comprised of more than 40 cross-ocean transects. The section data are, however, difficult to use owing to inhomogeneous format. The purpose of this new temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen data product is to combine, reformat and grid these data measured by Conductivity-Temperature-Depth-Oxygen (CTDO) profilers in order to facilitate their use by a wider audience. The product is machine readable and readily accessible by many existing visualisation and analysis software packages. The data processing can be repeated with modifications to suit various applications such as analysis of deep ocean, validation of numerical simulation, and calibration of autonomous platforms.

    more » « less
  2. The goal of the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) field campaign is to develop a predictive understanding of the export, fate, and carbon cycle impacts of global ocean net primary production. To accomplish this goal, observations of export flux pathways, plankton community composition, food web processes, and optical, physical, and biogeochemical (BGC) properties are needed over a range of ecosystem states. Here we introduce the first EXPORTS field deployment to Ocean Station Papa in the Northeast Pacific Ocean during summer of 2018, providing context for other papers in this special collection. The experiment was conducted with two ships: a Process Ship, focused on ecological rates, BGC fluxes, temporal changes in food web, and BGC and optical properties, that followed an instrumented Lagrangian float; and a Survey Ship that sampled BGC and optical properties in spatial patterns around the Process Ship. An array of autonomous underwater assets provided measurements over a range of spatial and temporal scales, and partnering programs and remote sensing observations provided additional observational context. The oceanographic setting was typical of late-summer conditions at Ocean Station Papa: a shallow mixed layer, strong vertical and weak horizontal gradients in hydrographic properties, sluggish sub-inertial currents, elevated macronutrient concentrations and low phytoplankton abundances. Although nutrient concentrations were consistent with previous observations, mixed layer chlorophyll was lower than typically observed, resulting in a deeper euphotic zone. Analyses of surface layer temperature and salinity found three distinct surface water types, allowing for diagnosis of whether observed changes were spatial or temporal. The 2018 EXPORTS field deployment is among the most comprehensive biological pump studies ever conducted. A second deployment to the North Atlantic Ocean occurred in spring 2021, which will be followed by focused work on data synthesis and modeling using the entire EXPORTS data set. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Detailed descriptions of microbial communities have lagged far behind physical and chemical measurements in the marine environment. Here, we present 971 globally distributed surface ocean metagenomes collected at high spatio-temporal resolution. Our low-cost metagenomic sequencing protocol produced 3.65 terabases of data, where the median number of base pairs per sample was 3.41 billion. The median distance between sampling stations was 26 km. The metagenomic libraries described here were collected as a part of a biological initiative for the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program, or “Bio-GO-SHIP.” One of the primary aims of GO-SHIP is to produce high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of key state variables to directly quantify climate change impacts on ocean environments. By similarly collecting marine metagenomes at high spatiotemporal resolution, we expect that this dataset will help answer questions about the link between microbial communities and biogeochemical fluxes in a changing ocean.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Oceanic nutrient cycles are coupled, yet carbon-nitrogen-phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry in marine ecosystems is variable through space and time, with no clear consensus on the controls on variability. Here, we analyze hydrographic, plankton genomic diversity, and particulate organic matter data from 1970 stations sampled during a global ocean observation program (Bio-GO-SHIP) to investigate the biogeography of surface ocean particulate organic matter stoichiometry. We find latitudinal variability in C:N:P stoichiometry, with surface temperature and macronutrient availability as strong predictors of stoichiometry at high latitudes. Genomic observations indicated community nutrient stress and suggested that nutrient supply rate and nitrogen-versus-phosphorus stress are predictive of hemispheric and regional variations in stoichiometry. Our data-derived statistical model suggests that C:P and N:P ratios will increase at high latitudes in the future, however, changes at low latitudes are uncertain. Our findings suggest systematic regulation of elemental stoichiometry among ocean ecosystems, but that future changes remain highly uncertain.

    more » « less
  5. Kappel, E.S. ; Juniper, S.K. ; S. Seeyave, S. ; Smith, E. ; Visbeck, M. (Ed.)
    The complementary partnership of the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP; and the Argo Program ( has been instrumental in providing sustained subsurface observations of the global ocean for over two decades. Since the late twentieth century, new clues into the ocean’s role in Earth’s climate system have revealed a need for sustained global ocean observations (e.g., Gould et al., 2013; Schmitt, 2018) and stimulated revolutionary technology advances needed to address the societal mandate. Together, the international GO-SHIP and Argo Program responded to this need, providing insight into the mean state and variability of the physics, biology, and chemistry of the ocean that led to advancements in fundamental science and monitoring of the state of Earth's climate. 
    more » « less