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The French Phytoplankton and Phycotoxin Monitoring Network (REPHY) was set up in 1984 with three objectives: to enhance knowledge of phytoplankton communities, to safeguard public health, and to protect the marine environment (Belin, 1998). Phytoplankton along the French coast has been sampled up to twice a month since 1987 at 12 coastal laboratories. For that purpose, the French coast is divided into a hierarchy of sites and subsites common to three regional networks: the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Within the English Channel, the REPHY Point 1 SRN Boulogne and At So sites are both shallow and characterized by a macrotidal regime, especially the latter, which is also more sheltered. Sampling started in 1987 at At So and five years later at Point 1 SRN Boulogne. Ancillary measurements of temperature, salinity, Chlorophyll a and phaeopigments, inorganic nutrients concentrations, and turbidity are also routinely measured (usually 15 samples per year). Oxygen was incorporated in 2007 at both sites.
Men er Roue, Ouest Loscolo, Le Cornard, and Teychan Bis are four REPHY sites in the Bay of Biscay. These sites are all shallow, meso- to macrotidal, with differing wave exposure from sheltered in Teychan Bis to moderately exposed at Ouest Loscolo and Le Cornard. From 1987 onwards, the basic environmental variables salinity, temperature, and turbidity are measured together with phytoplankton composition and abundance. Variables such as inorganic nutrient concentrations Chlorophyll a, pheopigments, and oxygen were included in the time-series of most of the sites later in different years.
Lazaret A and Diana Centre are two Mediterranean REPY sites. Lazaret A is located in well-mixed waters, with a medium-depth, sandy bottom within Toulon Bay. Diana Center is located in shallow, less-mixed waters of a coastal lagoon in Corse and features a muddy bottom. As with the Bay of Biscay and English Channel REPHY sites, sampling started in 1987, with salinity, temperature, turbidity, and oxygen measured concomitantly from the beginning or one year thereafter. Chlorophyll a and pheopigments started at Diana Centre in 1988 and at Lazaret A in 1999. This latter site is sampled twice a month on average, whereas fewer samples (17 on average from 10 months) are taken annually at Diana Centre.