Coastal zooplankton dynamics in Svalbard (CoastZoo)

Seasonal dynamics in zooplankton in ice free versus seasonal ice covered coastal regions will be investigated to determine the role of sea ice and freshwater discharge on the zooplankton community composition and seasonal development.

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Project type

  • field work
  • remote sensing
  • long-term monitoring
  • education and outreach
  • arctic field grant (afg)


  • marine biology
  • oceanography

Project Keywords

  • oceans / marine biology / marine invertebrates
  • biological classification / animals/invertebrates
  • oceans / marine environment monitoring

Fieldwork information

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Estuarine and coastal waters are among the most productive regions in the high Arctic. Here a strong coupling between sea and land exists, and shallow bottom depths create a tight pelagic-benthic coupling. Ecological consequences due to failure in sea ice formation and increased river discharge are poorly addressed. Failure in sea ice formation, earlier runoff from snowmelt will create significant changes in primary production and input of terrestrial carbon in coastal waters, which in turn may alter the secondary production with cascading effects for the entire food web. In this project, the seasonal zooplankton development and biodiversity in the ice-free, Atlantic influenced Adventfjorden and the seasonal ice covered coastal bays in Eastern Svalbard (Agardh/Inglefieldbukta) will be investigated to determine the fate of zooplankton in a warm versus a cold future climate. Regular sampling (monthly) will be conducted by boat from March to September in Adventfjorden on the long-term time series plankton station IsA. This will be conducted in close collaboration with other ongoing Msc projects, all being part of the larger TerrAce project (RiS 10914). The monthly sampling planned in Eastern Svalbard will be conducted as 1-2 days excursions with snow mobiles in close collaboration with another planned master project studying the seasonal sympagic meiofauna development and biodiversity.

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