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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Longterm consequences of one year of draining on biodiversity in Arctic ponds

Tildelt: kr 61 999

In 2019, 19 ponds in Kongsfjorden were sampled, however, due to an extremely warm summer in 2020, 8 out of 19 completely dried out. In 2021 all ponds contained water again. We expect that due the high temperatures, increased evaporation and a deeper active layer have caused the desiccation. As climate change continues and accelerates, the effects of warming are expected to happen more often in the future. Climate warming is a major thread to Arctic ecosystems through the effect on lakes/ponds has been poorly studied. Since we have samples from before and after drainage, we have unique insights on the consequences of a drought period on planktonic biodiversity, in particular zooplankton (especially Daphnia spec.) and desmids. We want to assess the biodiversity succession in the pond from before and after a dry period, and compare this with the ponds that did not desiccate. We expect devastating effects on the total biodiversity in the ecosystems as zooplankton and desmids are not expected to survive under extreme drought conditions. Together with samples from summer 2023 and next year (2024) we have time series of 5 years to make a full assessment of the biodiversity succession linked to episodes of drought. Microscopic analysis will be focused on desmids and zooplankton species abundance. Through SIOS the raw data will be made Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). The University of Groningen is national representative in both CAFF and SIOS. This project will help to understand future lake biodiversity assessment on Svalbard.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum