Exploring the role of gelatinous zooplankton in Tomorrow’s Arctic Ocean

charlotte.havermans [ at ] awi.de


Gelatinous zooplankton or “jellies” (ctenophores, cnidarians, tunicates) are known to be major drivers of ecosystem changes. Increases in jelly biomass, referred to as “jellification”, have been observed in several marine ecosystems, causing, amongst others, the collapse of major fisheries. For the Arctic region, abundance data on jellies are virtually non-existent, impeding our ability to detect changes of a similar magnitude. To better understand the role of jellies in the Arctic seas, the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group ARJEL aims to combine the most recent technologies in optics, acoustics, and environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses. Based on data collected during recent international campaigns, we attempt to link distributional patterns of jellies to oceanographic features and sea ice. Furthermore, we apply species distribution models to a broad set of archived data to understand observed species and community patterns and to predict changes under future climate-change scenarios. The role of jellies in the Arctic food web and their importance as prey for planktonic predators and fish is assessed with molecular diet studies, which will improve food web models currently neglecting jellies as major predators and prey. We also explore the genetic connectivity of dominant jelly species across the Arctic Ocean and its adjacent seas. An overview of the project’s goals, methods and first results will be given. Our ongoing research foci include: 1. the comparison of species composition and abundances of ctenophores and cnidarians in Arctic vs. Atlantic-influenced Svalbard fjords to better understand the impact of the ongoing Atlantification of the Arctic; and 2. the comparison between optical methods, net catches and eDNA for assessing jelly diversity and abundances.

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
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Event Details
16th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium, 12 Sep 2021 - 17 Sep 2021, Brest, France.
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Havermans, C. , Dischereit, A. , Murray, A. , Eschbach, A. , Friedrich, M. , Merten, V. , Verhaegen, G. , Hoving, H. J. T. and Pantiukhin, D. (2021): Exploring the role of gelatinous zooplankton in Tomorrow’s Arctic Ocean , 16th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium, Brest, France, 12 September 2021 - 17 September 2021 .

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HE > 560-579 > 560
PS > 100
PS > 107
PS > 122/1 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 122/2 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 126/1
PS > 126/2

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