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Seasonal succession of the microbial community in Arctic sea ice


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

Ice algal production is a critical source of nutrition to higher trophic levels in Arctic marine ecosystems. The inefficiency of the microbial loop in sea ice may contribute to the high levels of primary production that occur there. The complex sea ice microbial community, which includes bacteria, viruses, and protist predators in addition to ice algae, changes significantly over the lifetime of the ice.  As the dark winter progresses to spring, the microbial community shifts from survival to bloom as the light returns.  During summer thaw, melt ponds form on the surface of the ice and provide a unique freshwater habitat. The shifts in diversity of the microbial communities have not previously been observed using modern molecular identification techniques. Our objective is to use next-generation DNA sequencing to observe the seasonal succession of the microbial community in Arctic sea ice.

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

PI: E. Collins

Project Participants: Dr. Eric Collins (University of Alaska Fairbanks), Anne-Lise Ducluzeau (UAF)

Fieldwork summary/photo blog: Link to project summary report