A database of Chlorophyll a in Australian waters

Claire Davies, Penelope Ajani, Linda Armbrecht, Natalia Atkins, Mark Baird, Jason Beard, Pru Bonham, Michele Burford, Lesley Clementson, Peter Coad, Christine Crawford, Jocelyn Dela-Cruz, Martina Doblin, Steven Edgar, Ruth Eriksen, Jason Everett, Miles Furnas, Daniel Harrison, Christel Hassler, Natasha HenschkeXavier Hoenner, Tim Ingleton, Ian Jameson, John Keesing, Sophie Leterme, M James McLaughlin, Margaret Miller, David Moffatt, Andrew Moss, Sasi Nayar, Nicole Patten, Renee Patten, Sarah Pausina, Roger Proctor, Eric Raes, Malcolm Robb, Peter Rothlisberg, Emily Saeck, Peter Scanes, Iain Suthers, Kerrie Swadling, Samantha Talbot, Peter Thompson, Paul Thomson, Julian Uribe-Palomino, Paul Van Ruth, Anya Waite, Simon Wright, Anthony Richardson

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Chlorophyll a is the most commonly used indicator of phytoplankton biomass in the marine environment. It is relatively simple and cost effective to measure when compared to phytoplankton abundance and is thus routinely included in many surveys. Here we collate 173, 333 records of chlorophyll a collected since 1965 from Australian waters gathered from researchers on regular coastal monitoring surveys and ocean voyages into a single repository. This dataset includes the chlorophyll a values as measured from samples analysed using spectrophotometry, fluorometry and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The Australian Chlorophyll a database is freely available through the Australian Ocean Data Network portal (https://portal.aodn.org.au/). These data can be used in isolation as an index of phytoplankton biomass or in combination with other data to provide insight into water quality, ecosystem state, and relationships with other trophic levels such as zooplankton or fish.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180018
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Data - Nature
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • chlorophyll a
  • pytoplankton
  • ocean biome


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