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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Meiofauna Composition and Distribution: A Pan-Arctic Comparison

Awarded: NOK 35,999

Sea ice is a unique medium composed of a solid ice matrix permeated by an extensive brine channel system. This channel system is host to a community of ice associated (sympagic) microbes, algae and invertebrates. Given the understudied nature of sea ice o rganisms, many sympagic organisms lack taxonomic resolution beyond broad assignments, e.g. turbellaria, nemertea and polychaete and gastropod larvae and juveniles, illustrating a lapse in knowledge of the sea ice system. This project aims to describe and compare the sympagic meiofauna community composition, biomass and distribution of Svalbard and Barrow Alaska. From these efforts a better overall assessment of pan-arctic distributions will aid in climate and oil related modeling, monitoring of ecosystem change and trophic interactions.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum