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Fate of COPePod secondary production in a changing Arctic (COPPY)

A warmer climate with less extensive ice cover will lead to higher total primary production in the Arctic, which has the potential to increase the overall secondary production. However, altered climate conditions will affect the timing and possible the quality of primary production, with consequences for grazers in Arctic marine ecosystems. Depend

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Project date

Starts
2013-03-01

Ends
2016-03-30

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Project type

  • field work

Discipline

  • marine biology

Project Keywords

  • oceans / marine biology / marine invertebrates
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Fieldwork information

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Summary

A warmer climate with less extensive ice cover will lead to higher total primary production in the Arctic, which has the potential to increase the overall secondary production. However, altered climate conditions will affect the timing and possible the quality of primary production, with consequences for grazers in Arctic marine ecosystems. Depending on these grazers' ability to adapt to these new conditions, some organisms will be favored more than others, resulting in ecological winners and losers. In this project we will focus on secondary marine producers, more specifically zooplankton and the copepods Calanus spp. which comprise up to 90% of the zooplankton biomass in Arctic seas, constituting the key link between primary producers and higher trophic levels. Our study will target the differences between two key Arctic and sub-Arctic secondary producers, Calanus glacialis, endemic to the Arctic, and C. finmarchicus, endemic to the North-Atlantic. Both species are central in the work of both Norwegian and Russian marine biologists, but with limited collaboration until now. We will combine the use of historical data, new field collections and experimental work with a new Norwegian-Russian collaboration and exchange. Our primary objective is to: Obtain a better knowledge of Arctic zooplankton reproduction strategies to predict fate of secondary marine production in a warmer less ice rich Arctic. We will focus on the differences in the reproductive strategies (particularly timing) of the two above copepod species and on their potential for hybridization, meaning gene flow between what is considered separate species.

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