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The smallest marine phytoplankton, collectively termed picophytoplankton, have been routinely enumerated by flow cytometry since the late 1980s during cruises throughout most of the world ocean. We compiled a database of 40 946 data points, with separate abundance entries for Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and picoeukaryotes. We use average conversion factors for each of the three groups to convert the abundance data to carbon biomass. After gridding with 1 • spacing, the database covers 2.4 %doi:10.5194/essdd-5-221-2012 fatcat:tffee7xxlrh4papvwystestezq