Plankton Time Series

Zooplankton time series for Irish coastal waters

One of the most important objectives of the Plankton Club is to track the seasonal and annual changes in zooplankton abundance in Irish coastal waters. To do this, we have three sampling sites where we routinely collect samples: Lough Hyne, outside Cork harbour and Bantry Bay. Once samples are collected, we aim to enumerate (count) and identify these zooplankton samples as quickly as possible and then post our results up on this page. Data from the Lough Hyne samples are presented below. The abundance of two common zooplankton groups are presented: the copepods and the hydromedusae. Abundance is presented as the number of individuals in one cubic metre (m3) of water. We will add graphs from our other sampling locations, when the data is available.

Lough Hyne

Copepod abundance in Lough Hyne 2021

The graph shows copepod abundance (how many copepods in 1 cubic metre of water) throughout the year from January to December in Lough Hyne. Each bar shows an average of 3 samples collected at each time point with an error bar showing the variation between the three samples (± standard error). This graph will be updated when new data is available.

Hydromedusae abundance in Lough Hyne 2021

The above graph shows the hydromedusae abundance (number of hydromedusae in 1 cubic metre of water) from January to December in 2021. Each bar shows an average of 3 samples collected at each time point with an error bar showing the variation between the three samples (± standard error). This graph will be updated when new data is available.

Lough Hyne is a semi-enclosed marine lake in southwest Co. Cork, Ireland. It was the first area in Europe to be designated as a marine reserve in 1981. It has long been noted for its rich biodiversity, and scientific research has been carried out at Lough Hyne for over 100 years. Semi-regular sampling began in 1923 by Prof Louis Renouf of UCC, after whom the research station is now named. Since then, many researchers from around the world have studied the Lough, making it one of the most studied marine areas in Ireland.

Copepod abundance in Bantry Bay 2021

The above graph shows copepod abundance (how many copepods in 1 cubic metre of water) throughout the year in Bantry Bay, Co. Cork. Each bar shows an average of 3 samples collected at each time point with an error bar showing the variation between the three samples (± standard error). This graph will be updated when new data is available.