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Phytoplankton dynamics under sea-ice - Case study of Cambridge Bay


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Sea ice
Project topic
Climate research
Sea ice

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Fieldwork region
Cambridge Bay
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 69.1168641, -105.0596814

Fieldwork start
Fieldwork end

Project details

Science / project plan

The timing of the phytoplankton spring bloom plays a critical role in the trophic dynamics of the Arctic ecosystem. Such blooms were previously thought to be insignificant. This is mainly due to strong light limitation occurring due to the overlying snow, sea-ice and algae. Past observations also support this concept. However, there have recently been observations of under-ice phytoplankton blooms in different areas of the Arctic, meaning that these blooms could actually be of some significance but also quite common. Thus, this project will be working towards the understanding of primary producer dynamics in the Arctic ecosystem. During this field season the main aim will be to study the environmental parameters (biological, chemical and physical) that are influencing primary producers under the sea ice.  In order to investigate those parameters, variables being analyzed will include: light, nutrient concentration, phytoplankton biomass, phytoplankton and zooplankton taxonomic composition, pigment content of phytoplankton cells, The sampling for this project will be carried out throughout the field season from March to June.

Fieldwork site: Field camp, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada

Project Lead: Aurelie Delaforge. PI: C.J. Mundy

Project Participants: Aurélie Delaforge (CEOS); Dr. C.J. Mundy (CEOS); Karley Campbell (CEOS)

Fieldwork summary/photo blog: Link to project summary report