PELGAS Bay of Biscay ZooScan zooplankton Dataset (2004-2016)

This dataset is composed of 1,153,507 zooplankton individuals, zooplankton parts, non-living particles and imaging artefacts, ranging from 300 µm to 3.39 mm Equivalent Spherical Diameter, individually imaged and measured with the ZooScan (Gorsky et al., 2010). The objects were sorted in 127 taxonomic and morphological groups. The imaged objects originate from samples collected on the Bay of Biscay continental shelf, in spring, from 2004 to 2016 during the PELGAS ecosystemic surveys (Doray et al., 2018). The samples were collected with a WP2 200 µm mesh size fitted with a Hydrobios (back-run stop) mechanical flowmeter, generally from 100 m depth to the surface, or 5 m above the sea floor (if bottom depth less than 100 m) in vertical hauls, at night. From 2004 to 2006, vertical WP2 net tows were performed in the anchovy core distribution area in the southern Bay of Biscay and North of it until the Loire estuary only. Since 2009, WP2 sampling has been carried out at all PELGAS stations, up to the southern coast of Brittany. The samples were preserved in 4% buffered formaldehyde seawater solution directly after collection, until 2019-2020 where they were imaged with the ZooScan, in the lab, on land. Each imaged object is geolocated, associated to a station, a cruise, a year and other metadata that enable the reconstruction of quantitative zooplankton communities for ecological studies (i.e. Grandrémy et al., 2023a). Each object is described by 46 morphological and grey level based features (8 bits encoding, 0 = black, 255 = white), including size, automatically extracted on each individual image by the Zooprocess. Each object was taxonomically identified using the web based application Ecotaxa with built-in, random forest and CNN based, semi-automatic sorting tools followed by expert validation or correction (Picheral et al., 2017). This dataset is intended to be used for ecological studies as well as machine learning applied to plankton studies.

The archive contains:

  • One tab separated file (PELGAS ZooScan zooplankton dataset) containing all data and metadata associated to each imaged and identified object. Metadata and features are in columns (n =71) and objects are in rows (n = 1,153,507).
  • One comma separated file containing the name, type, definition and unit of each field (column) in the .tsv (dataset_descriptor_zooscan).
  • One comma separated file containing the taxonomic list of the dataset, with counts and nature of the content of the category, i.e. “T” for taxonomical category, and “M” for morphological category (taxonomy_descriptor_zooscan).
  • A individual_images directory containing images of each imaged object sorted in subdirectories named according to objects’ identifications object_taxon appended to an Ecotaxa internal taxon numerical id classif_id (i.e. taxon__123456789) across years and sampling stations. Within subdirectories, each object is named after its unique internal Ecotaxa identifier, objid.
  • A Map of the sampling station location over the 2004-2016 period


Biological oceanography


Zooplankton, Bay of Biscay, ZooScan, imaging, WP2 200 µm net


48.472763N, 43.196993S, -0.32979E, -5.361529W


WP2 200 µm zooplankton net, ZooScan, Ecotaxa


PELGAS ZooScan zooplankton dataset
753 MoTEXTQuality controlled data
dataset descriptor zooscan
taxonomy descriptor zooscan
2 KoCSVQuality controlled data
individual images
6 GoIMAGERaw data
How to cite
Grandrémy Nina, Bourriau Paul, Daché Edwin, Danielou Marie-Madeleine, Doray Mathieu, Dupuy Christine, Huret Martin, Jalabert Laetitia, Le Mestre Sophie, Nowaczyk Antoine, Petitgas Pierre, Pineau Philippe, Raphalen Elio, Romagnan Jean-Baptiste (2023). PELGAS Bay of Biscay ZooScan zooplankton Dataset (2004-2016). SEANOE.

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