Modelled niche centres and niche breadths of open ocean phytoplankton taxa

This data contains realized ecological niche estimates of phytoplankton taxa within the mixed layer of the open ocean. The estimates are based on data from the MARine Ecosystem DATa (MAREDAT) initiative, and cover five phytoplankton functional types: coccolithophores (40 species), diatoms (87 species), diazotrophs (two genera), Phaeocystis (two species) and picophytoplankton (two genera). Considered as major niche dimensions were temperature (°C), mixed layer depth (MLD; m), nitrate concentration (µmoles/L), mean photosynthetically active radiation in the mixed layer (MLPAR; µmoles/m**2/s), salinity, and the excess of phosphate versus nitrate relative to the Redfield ratio (P*; µmoles/L). For each niche dimension at a time, conditions at presence locations of the taxa were contrasted with conditions in 12 000 randomly sampled points from the open ocean using MaxEnt models. We used the quartiles of the response curves of these models to parameterize realized niche centers and niche breadths: the median (q50) of the response curves was considered to be the niche center and the distance between the lower quartile (q25) and the upper quartile (q75) was used as a rough estimate of niche breadth. We only reported meaningful niche estimates, i.e., estimates based on MaxEnt models that perform significantly better than random, as indicated by an area under the curve (AUC) score significantly larger than 0.5.



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