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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Arctic kelp production and fate (BlueArc field sampling) RIS 12373

Awarded: NOK 98,999

Over 20% of the world’s kelp forests occur along Arctic coastlines, yet shifts in the structure and ecological function of these habitats as a result of climate change are poorly understood. Kelp forests are highly productive ecosystems and are expected to contribute significantly to global carbon cycling and CO2-mitigation through blue carbon sequestration. Knowledge kelp carbon production and fate is, however, currently scarce in Arctic regions. This project will conduct field work in Svalbard and measure kelp, for the first time, kelp production, age structure and detrital export. This will provide new data on Arctic kelp carbon sink potential. The project aligns with other field sampling campaigns in subarctic and Arctic regions in the north Atlantic: from Nunavut and Labrador in Canada, across western Greenland, to northern Norway, enabling a broader understanding of how environmental conditions drive kelp-carbon production and fate. The resulting knowledge will by synthesized to predict how rapidly changing Arctic conditions will alter kelp carbon sinks and to map carbon storage and sequestration potential across the Arctic now and in the future.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Thematic Areas and Topics