Back to search

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Investigating spatial and seasonal patterns in settlement of benthic communities in Kongsfjorden

Awarded: NOK 94,999

Project Manager:

Project Number:


Project Period:

2023 - 2023

Funding received from:

Partner countries:

Early life history ecology, especially settlement of benthic invertebrates is a black box in marine ecology. Researching larval and settlement ecology in-situ is incredibly difficult and logistical constraints have further restricted studies in the Arctic. I will investigate early life history stages of benthic invertebrates in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Here, an along-fjord environmental gradient correlates to known patterns in adult species composition. I ask “What life-history stage sets this gradient?” In Summer 2023, I will deploy settlement camera systems throughout the fjord to capture settlement on a daily time scale over a one year deployment. I will also utilize net tows to understand the spatial distribution of meroplanktonic larvae. Combining previous studies of benthic adult distributions with larval distributions and settlement will provide novel information on the structuring of these communities and insights into early life history ecology. Understanding climate driven change in the Arctic requires a mechanistic understanding of the system, especially the ecology of early stages.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum