Modern database systems make it possible to access large data sets on plankton biodiversity and abundance, including the occurrence of harmful algal bloom species. This gives insights into geographical distribution of species, bloom development etc. Plankton Toolbox is a free software developed to aid researchers and conservationists working with and analyzing plankton data.
Plankton Toolbox is mainly aimed at working with data from water samples analyzed microscopically, but the software is applicable also to other data. The workflow includes importing data, a quality control step, ways to filter out data for specific purposes, functions for aggregating data, plotting tools and some tools for statistical analyses. Importing and exporting of data in different formats is supported. Data can also be exported to other software for advanced statistical analyses.
Swedish marine monitoring data, including phyto- and zooplankton data, is available at the National Oceanographic Data Centre at SMHI. Plankton Toolbox can import data downloaded from the database.
A first version of the software, Plankton Toolbox 1.0 was released in May 2014. The software has been developed using Python and runs on personal computers with Windows or MacOS. A Linux version is in development.
Access the tool at: nordicmicroalgae.org/tools
Source code and documentation is available at: https://github.com/planktontoolbox
Contact: Bengt Karlsson, SMHI