This is only the second time plankton have been included within the RSPB’s State of Nature report, and it is just recognition of their significance. We may not be able to see them with the human eye, but plankton are critical for the health of our entire planet. They not only underpin the marine food web, but are vital in supporting populations of other wildlife – especially seabirds – that are such a popular feature of our coastlines.
Associate Professor of Marine Conservation
If we are to fully highlight the changes happening within the marine environment, we need to share them with as wide an audience as possible. That includes scientists, policy makers and industry, but also the public. As such, it is great to see plankton included within the RSPB’s State of Nature report, and it complements our recent work to provide more detailed observations in other publications including OSPAR’s Quality Status Report 2023.
For anyone who cares deeply about future generations and the state of nature, now is the time to urgently get to grips with the scale of our collective challenge. This report draws on a robust synthesis of our very best science over decades, and spells out the magnitude of ecological loss and scale of effort that is so urgently needed required. We simply cannot be complacent with words such as extinctions, ecological tipping points, and nature and climate emergencies. The difference we can make to holding the line or help reverse the fortune of special wildlife or precious habitats is now urgently a matter of scale.
Read more about our work to assess the effects of climate change on plankton
- Researchers help to highlight the true scale of UK’s nature loss 27 September 2023
- Six decades of decline sparks call to protect the foundation of the marine food web 13 September 2023
- Innovative plankton monitoring tool holds key to assessing health of ocean life 7 December 2021
- Climate change has degraded productivity of shelf sea food webs 8 June 2020
- Study shows six decades of change in UK’s plankton communities 2 April 2020
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