N-ICE2015: Ecosystem dynamics in a high-Arctic pack ice environment

The main objective of this project is to quantify the links between physical mechanisms with biogeochemical processes in the Arctic Ocean mixed layer and sea ice, towards a better understanding of the effects of the thinner ice cover on the pack ice ecosystem.

This project includes monitoring of the water column and the sea ice regarding nutrient and suspended matter concentrations, the abundance of bacteria, phyto- and zooplankton, ice algae and sympagic fauna. As well as experiments to measure biogeochemical processes such as primary production, community and zooplankton respiration, CO2 fluxes and sinking rates of organic matter. Monitoring will be in close interaction with sampling carried out within the other project work packages that will provide the atmospheric, oceanographic and sea ice physical context for the biogeochemical processes. Attempts will be made to characterize the pre-bloom, bloom and post-bloom phases as a function of the mentioned variables and processes. Obtained data will be used to parameterize, calibrate and validate an ecosystem model covering a domain north of Svalbard which will be employed to test several hypotheses about ecological changes in the Arctic Ocean.