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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Assessing Jan Mayen past fauna and flora through sedimentary ancient DNA (RiS ID 12341)

Tildelt: kr 77 999




2024 - 2025

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Here, we aim to collect sediment cores in Nordlaguna (freshwater lake) and in Sørlaguna (lagoon) to analyze the DNA and pollen left by past fauna and flora in the sediments. Sediment coring will be performed using a Nesje piston corer in Nordlaguna and universal core sampler in Sørlaguna, and sediment cores will be transported back to UiO for processing in dedicated facilities. Cores will be scanned before opening, and chronology will be established using radiocarbon dating. SedaDNA samples will be processed in the UiO dedicated ancient DNA laboratory, and PCR targeting short fragments of P6-loop for plants and 12S for vertebrates will be conducted before sequencing on a MiSeq platform. Conducting analyses in a facility dedicated for ancient DNA will allow to control for potential contamination. We expect to collect at least 3 cores in Nordlaguna and Sørlaguna each. Following radiocarbon dating, metabarcoding sequencing, bioinformatics and analysis, we will reconstruct the past diversity of terrestrial fauna and flora of the island, and identify the profound impacts that human activities had on this fragile ecosystem. We will also identify when the landlocked Arctic Char population colonized the Nordlaguna lake, and if other landlocked fish species used to be present in the system. This new knowledge will be used to assess the feasibility of an ecosystem restoration plan on the island, and the necessary steps needed to be implemented. We already secured funding to conduct the radiocarbon dating and sedaDNA metabarcoding analysis. This present funding application only seeks funding to cover the costs of travel and accommodation in Jan Mayen.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum