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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Spatial and temporal shifts in Arctic fjord biodiversity caused by climate changes. RiS ID 11834

Awarded: NOK 94,999

This PhD thesis aims to research how the shifts in the cryosphere caused by climate change are affecting fish abundance and distribution. This project will complement the work that took place in 2021, in which we had an extensive field campaign in Billefjorden, where we used innovative and sustainable methods to survey macroalgae and fish distribution and abundance, as well as the links with physical shifts in the cryosphere. This included the use of unmanned surface vehicle (USV) close to land and the glacier fronts. In 2022 we will complement this work by researching the temporal component. A monitoring regime with high temporal resolution will allow to further research the patterns of fish distribution, such as seasonal movements and diel vertical migration. Combining the spatial study with a temporal one will provide us with a much more complete view of how these mechanisms work, and valuable data to aid in predicting the effects of climate change on Arctic littoral fjord biodiversity.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum