Report on IOCCG workshop: Phytoplankton composition from Space: towards a validation strategy for satellite algorithms

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The IOCCG-supported workshop “Phytoplankton Composition from Space: towards a validation strategy for satellite algorithms” was organized as a follow-up to the Phytoplankton Functional Types from Space splinter session, held at the International Ocean Colour Science Meeting (Germany, 2013). The specific goals of the workshop were to: 1. Provide a summary of the status of activities from relevant IOCCG working groups, the 2nd PFT intercomparison working group, PFT validation data sets and other research developments. 2. Provide a PFT validation strategy that considers the different applications of PFT products: and seeks community consensus on datasets and analysis protocols. 3. Discuss possibilities for sustaining ongoing PFT algorithm validation and intercomparison activities. The workshop included 15 talks, breakout sessions and plenary discussions. Talks covered community algorithm intercomparison activity updates, review of established and novel methods for PFT validation, validation activities for specific applications and space-agency requirements for PFT products and validation. These were followed by general discussions on (a) major recommendations for global intercomparison initiative in respect to validation, intercomparison and user’s guide; (b) developing a community consensus on which data sets for validation are optimal and which measurement and analysis protocols should be followed to support sustained validation of PFT products considering different applications; (c) the status of different validation data bases and measurement protocols for different PFT applications, and (d) engagement of the various user communities for PFT algorithms in developing PFT product specifications. From these discussions, two breakout groups provided in depth discussion and recommendations on (1) validation of current algorithms and (2) work plan to prepare for validation of future missions. Breakout group 1 provided an action list for progressing the current international community validation and intercomparison activity. Breakout group 2 provided the following recommendations towards developing a future validation strategy for satellite PFT products: 1. Establish a number of validation sites that maintain measurements of a key set of variables. 2. This set of variables should include: • Phytoplankton pigments from HPLC, phycobilins from spectrofluorometry • Phytoplankton cell counts and ID, volume / carbon estimation and imaging (e.g. from flow cytometry, FlowCam, FlowCytobot type technologies) • Inherent optical properties (e.g. absorption, backscattering, VSF) • Hyperspectral radiometry (both above and in-water) • Particle size distribution • Size-fractionated measurements of pigments and absorption • Genetic / -omics data 3. Undertake an intercomparison of methods / instruments over several years at a few sites to understand our capabilities to fully characterize the phytoplankton community. 4. Organise workshops to address the following topics: • Techniques for particle analysis, characterization and classification • Engagement with modellers and understanding end-user requirements • Data storage and management, standards for data contributors, data challenges In conclusion, the workshop was assessed to have fulfilled its goals. A follow-on meeting will be organized during the International Ocean Colour Science Meeting 2015 in San Francisco. Specific follow-on actions are listed at the end of the report.

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Bracher, A. , Hardman-Mountford, N. , Hirata, T. , Bernard, S. , Boss, E. , Brewin, R. , Bricaud, A. , Brotas, V. , Chase, A. , Ciotti, A. M. , Choi, J. K. , Clementson, L. A. , Devred, E. , DiGiacomo, R. , Dupouy, C. , Kim, W. , Kostadinov, T. S. , Kwiatkowska, E. , Lavender, S. , Moisan, T. , Mouw, C. B. , Son, S. , Uitz, J. , Werdell, J. and Zheng, G. (2015): Report on IOCCG workshop: Phytoplankton composition from Space: towards a validation strategy for satellite algorithms , (The International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG) 25-26 October 2014, Portland, Maine, USA) (NASA/TM-2015-217528), Greenbelt, Maryland, USA, National Aeronautics and Spacs Administration, 40 p., ISBN: NASA/TM–2015-217528 .

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