On-going climate warming is causing a dramatic loss of sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean and it is projected that the Arctic Ocean will become seasonally ice-free by 2040. Many studies of local Arctic food webs now exist and with this review paper we aim to synthesize these into a large-scale assessment of the current status of knowledge on the structure of various Arctic marine food webs, and their response to climate change, and to sea-ice retreat in particular. Key drivers of ecosystem change and potential consequences for ecosystem functioning and Arctic marine food webs are identified along the sea-ice gradient with special emphasis on the following regions: seasonally ice free Barents and Chukchi Seas, loose ice pack zone of the Polar Front (PF) and Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), and permanently sea-ice covered high Arctic. Finally, we identify gaps existing in the knowledge of different Arctic marine food webs and provide recommendations for future studies.
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Joint Research Group: Deep Sea Ecology and Technology