MARine Ecosystem Modelling Intercomparison Project (MAREMIP)

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Intercomparison of phytoplankton succession and phenology

AIMES supported the MAREMIP project in comparing the performance of marine ecosystem models. Recently, the spatial and temporal representation of phytoplankton functional types (pPFTs) in four different Dynamic Green Ocean Models was compared to phytoplankton distributions derived from two independent satellite estimates (Vogt et al., 2013). Models were found to simulate diatom dominance over a wider temperature and nutrient range, whereas satellites confine diatom dominance to a narrower niche of low-intermediate annual mean temperature (annual mean SST < 10oC), but allow for niches in different ranges of surface nitrate concentrations. The differences in the representation of diatoms among models and the comparison to satellite estimates has highlighted the need to better resolve phytoplankton succession and phenology in the models.