COPPY: Fate ofCOPePod secondarY production in a chancing Arctic
A warmer climate with less extensive ice cover will lead to higher total primary production in the Arctic, which has the potential to increase the overall secondary production. However, altered climate conditions will affect the timing and possible the quality of primary production, with consequences for grazers in Arctic marine ecosystems. Depending on these grazers' ability to adapt to new conditions, some organisms will be favored more than others, resulting in ecological winners and losers. In this project we will focus on secondary marine producers, more specifically zooplankton and the copepods Calanus spp. which comprise up to 90% of the mesozooplankton biomass in Arctic seas, constituting the key link between primary producers and higher trophic levels.
Our study will target the differences between two key Arctic and sub-Arctic secondary producers, Calanus glacialis, endemic to the Arctic, and C. finmarchicus, endemic to the North-Atlantic.
In this project Norwegian and Russian scientists and students will work closely together, combining historical data with new field data and experimental work to gain more knowledge on Arctic zooplankton reproduction to predict the fate of secondary production in a warmer and less ice rich Arctic. Two main studies will be focused upon 1) the differences in the reproductive strategies (particularly timing) of C. glacialis and C. finmarchicus and 2) the potential for hybridization between these closely related species.