About us

Baltic Sea Mesozooplankton Dataset is a joint and voluntary effort by number of researchers from institutes that conduct or have conducted zooplankton monitoring on the Baltic Sea. Data harmonisation was partly funded by BONUS INSPIRE and BIO-C3 projects.

Aim of the joint effort was to expand the range of research questions that can be studied when pooling and harmonizing all the available data, thereby also increasing the value of already existing data.

At the moment, dataset holds 656K records of individual counts and biovolume estimates from 30K samples and 21670 sampling events by 10 institutes.

Last update of dataset: June 21, 2017.

Data providers

Data & data policy


Metadata DOWNLOAD (RData file format)

Full table of samples and sampling events, with location, time, depth range, data provider, ship and sampling gear. Modelled salinity, oxygen and temperature was added from a 3D coupled sea-ice ocean model developed by A. Lehmann at GEOMAR.

Spatial distribution of data
Active collaborations

If you have questions, want to contribute data or use the data, contact Riina Klais

Project updates are also posted to ResearchGate.


The aim of the data compilation is a pan-Baltic collection of raw zooplankton time series data to facilitate studies of pan-Baltic patterns and ecosystem dynamics at multiple spatial and cross-disciplinary scales.


(1) Network of participants recognizes that each investigator values their hard-collected data, and that they wish to protect it from misuse and/or unattributed use.


(2) Network also recognizes that, if combined with the number of other data sets of the anticipated additional contributions, these data could become part of something bigger and even more valuable to the scientific community.


(3) The intent of the data policy is therefore to protect these individual data components while facilitating large-scale investigations being pursued by the participants of network.


Benefits of sharing your data


Increasing potential for collaborations: After contributing your data to the network, it will be harmonised for both, data structure and species taxonomy, facilitating the use of your data together with all other datasets from the Baltic Sea without further effort from your side. Any subsets of data, by species, group, date or location, will be produced upon request at any time by the data manager.

Co-Authorship and/or Acknowledgment: Acknowledgment will always be given to each contributor. Co-authorship is assumed in cases where a smaller collection of data sets are intensively used in a focused study (i.e., if your site was one of couple of other sites looking at a specific species group within similar hydrographic environments). Co-authorship has to be decided on a case-by-case basis (e.g., how many sites will be used, will you also contribute expertise in results interpretations or manuscript writing help) during the study plan discussion.

Discussion and study plan prior to data exchange: It is not the intent of the network to produce any rude surprises or results that may counter your own work. If anyone in the network or outside the network proposes a new study, initial discussion involving all data providers and their proposed contributions has to be arranged, creating official plan for a study, including the data involved, co-authorship and acknowledgments.

The raw data (e.g., the original data files or spreadsheets which are submitted to the network by data providers) will only be handled by and accessible to the data manager (Riina Klais). The dataset is technically an interpretation of the raw data, and it is a common intellectual property of the network, as a product of the original data and expert knowledge of data providers, as well as data managers vision of most effective data organisation.


However, the data itself remains a property of original data providers - when the request for using the data outside the network and without contributing any data, is received, the investigator will be instructed to contact the researchers owing the datasets of interest directly, before providing any data to third parties, and follow the same discussion and study plan procedure, as the members of the network internally do.

Data manager (Riina Klais, EcoStat OÜ) also provides statistical support and advise, in addition to maintaining the dataset.