Gabriel Gorsky, Guillaume Bourdin, Fabien Lombard, Maria Luiza Pedrotti, Samuel Audrain, Nicolas Bin, Emmanuel Boss, Chris Bowler, Nicolas Cassar, Loic Caudan, Genevieve Chabot, Natalie R. Cohen, Daniel Cron, Colomban De Vargas, John R. Dolan, Eric Douville, Amanda Elineau, J. Michel Flores, Jean Francois Ghiglione, Nils Haëntjens, Martin Hertau, Seth G. John, Rachel L. Kelly, Ilan Koren, Yajuan Lin, Dominique Marie, Clémentine Moulin, Yohann Moucherie, Stéphane Pesant , Marc Picheral, Julie Poulain, Mireille Pujo-Pay, Gilles Reverdin, Sarah Romac, Mathew B. Sullivan, Miri Trainic, Marc Tressol, Romain Troublé, Assaf Vardi, Christian R. Voolstra, Patrick Wincker, Sylvain Agostini, Bernard Banaigs, Emilie Boissin , Didier Forcioli, Paola Furla, Pierre E. Galand, Eric Gilson, Stéphanie Reynaud, Shinichi Sunagawa, Olivier P. Thomas, Rebecca Lisette Vega Thurber, Didier Zoccola, on behalf of au nom du Tara Pacific Consortium, Serge Planes, Denis Allemand et Eric Karsenti.
Interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere occur at the air-sea interface through the transfer of momentum, heat, gases and particulate matter, and through the impact of the upper-ocean biology on the composition and radiative properties of this boundary layer. The Tara Pacific expedition, launched in May 2016 aboard the schooner Tara, was a 29-month exploration with the dual goals to study the ecology of reef ecosystems along ecological gradients in the Pacific Ocean and to assess inter-island and open ocean surface plankton and neuston community structures. In addition, key atmospheric properties were measured to study links between the two boundary layer properties. A major challenge for the open ocean sampling was the lack of ship-time available for work at “stations”. The time constraint led us to develop new underway sampling approaches to optimize physical, chemical, optical, and genomic methods to capture the entire community structure of the surface layers, from viruses to metazoans in their oceanographic and atmospheric physicochemical context. An international scientific consortium was put together to analyze the samples, generate data, and develop datasets in coherence with the existing Tara Oceans database. Beyond adapting the extensive Tara Oceans sampling protocols for high-resolution underway sampling, the key novelties compared to Tara Oceans’ global assessment of plankton include the measurement of surface plankton and neuston biogeography and functional diversity; bioactive trace metals distribution at the ocean surface and metal-dependent ecosystem structures; marine aerosols, including biological entities; geography, nature and colonization of microplastic; and high-resolution underway assessment of net community production via equilibrator inlet mass spectrometry. We are committed to share the data collected during this expedition, making it an important resource important resource to address a variety of scientific questions.