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(u'marineINDICATOR', u'biodiversity_ind', u'obs_scen_sea')
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Phenology of marine species


  • Temperature increases in the ocean have caused many marine organisms in European seas to appear earlier in their seasonal cycles than in the past. Some plankton species have advanced their seasonal cycle by 4–6 weeks in recent decades.
  • Projections of the phenological responses of individual species are not available, but phenological changes are expected to continue with projected further climate change.
  • Changes in the plankton phenology have important consequences for other organisms within an ecosystem and ultimately for the structure of marine food webs at all trophic levels. Potential consequences include increased vulnerability of North Sea cod stocks to over-fishing and changes in seabird populations.

Reference information

EEA - Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012 report


CLIM014, North Sea, marine phenology, plankton

Climate impacts


Observations and Scenarios


Biodiversity, Marine and Fisheries

Geographic characterization


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