Programme Prioritaire de Recherche Make Our Planet Great Again

Tropical Atlantic Deoxygenation: gateway dynamics, feedback mechanisms and ecosystem impacts


Mots-clés : Zooplankton; Particles; Ocean deoxygenation; Global change; Atlantic Ocean observation; Tropical Atlantic; Biological Oceanography; Essential Ocean Variables


The “Make Our Planet Great Again Project” “Tropical Atlantic Deoxygenation: gateway dynamics, feedback mechanisms and ecosystem impacts (TAD) started in 2019 to establish a sustained observation and modelling system for plankton and particle dynamics in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Comparatively little observational work was conducted in 2023. During RV Maria S Merian cruise M117 to the Amazon outflow region and during RV Meteor cruise M189 to the Angolan upwelling region, a camera system to monitor plankton and particles - the Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP) - was mounted on the CTD, an oceanographic probe that can be deployed down to 6000m depth. The UVP was also deployed during several other cruises in the Atlantic, the Pacific and Indian ocean. During M117 two UVP6 LP mounted at 23W, 0N were replaced. Also, two UVP6 LP mounted at the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory were recovered and replaced with four units from GEOMAR. Finally, a first deployment of a glider carrying a UVP6 LP was also successfully conducted during M189. Focus in 2023 was on the analyses of data from the very successful first three project years. First of all, Dr. Joelle Habib joined the MOPGA-TAD team in April 2023 to work on the analyses of the equatorial datasets, as well as on the modelling of diel vertical migration of zooplankton and their biogeochemical impacts. Laetitia Drago defended her PhD thesis successfully in December 2023. In 2023, she mainly focused on the analyses of data gathered during the EXPORTS North Atlantic campaign. Also, data from three BGC-Argo floats equipped with UVPs were analyzed in more detail. Each float did collect about a year of data, one from a region south-west off South Africa, one from the upwelling region off Angola and one from the equator between 23°W and 7 °W. Pierre Climant (MSc student stage 1) worked on the analysis of the equatorial float, Dr. Dodji Soviadan (MOPGA fellowship holder) on the Angola float and Alexandre Accardio (MSc student stage 2) on the South African float. Dr. Kiko also co-led the efforts to further homogenize UVP, Zooscan and Imaging Flow Cytobot data as part of the “Pelagic Size Structure database” project ( The first datasets were made publicly available in 2023, as well as a preprint of an accompanying Earth System Sciences Data paper (Dugenne et al 2023). Dr. Kiko and Dr. Mathilde Dugenne – postdoc within the PSSdb project at the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche – also co-supervised the Masters thesis of Amadou Biteye (Senegalese student at the University of the Atlantic, Cabo Verde), who analyzed the zooplankton size structure in the tropical Atlantic. Finally, Dr. Kiko contributed to a review on the use of machine learning in marine sciences (Rubbens et al 2023) and together with Dodji Soviadan, Rubens Lopes and Lars Stemmann published a collective positioning on the path towards distributed operational pelagic imaging as means towards a global assessment of the role of plankton and particles for marine ecosystem services and biogeochemical fluxes, including carbon sequestration. Several publications that showcase relevant applications were likewise published: Clements et al (2023) calculated the global particle export flux at euphotic zone depth from UVP and sediment trap data, and Panaoitis et al (2023) conducted an analysis of the global zooplankton distribution.


L'auteur de ce résumé est le coordinateur du projet, qui est responsable du contenu de ce résumé. L'ANR décline par conséquent toute responsabilité quant à son contenu.

Informations générales

Acronyme projet : TAD
Référence projet : 19-MPGA-0012
Région du projet : Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Discipline : 3 - STUE
Aide PIA : 499 999 €
Début projet : novembre 2019
Fin projet : novembre 2024

Coordination du projet : Rainer KIKO
Email :

Consortium du projet

Etablissement coordinateur : Sorbonne Université
Partenaire(s) : CNRS Côte d'Azur (Valbonne)

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