ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Arc3Bio (Marine Biodiversity, Biological Productivity and Biogeochemistry in the Changing Canadian Arctic)

Project Leader(s)

Tremblay, Jean-Eric
Archambault, Philippe
Gosselin, Michel

Arctic marine ecosystems provide numerous benefits of economic, societal and ecological value, including food provision, the conservation of biodiversity, carbon storage and nutrient recycling. Arc3Bio combines the multidisciplinary skills of several experts to evaluate how climate and direct human influence affect crucial ecosystem functions at different scales. Change at the regional scale can only be understood if external forcing at the boundaries is considered, and if the cumulated impacts of smaller-scale processes that shape biodiversity and biogeochemistry in specific areas are known. To do so, complementary approaches based on direct observations of the pelagic and benthic biota from icebreakers, measurements of ocean properties by satellites, and controlled experiments with natural samples are used. The focus is on the impact of changing temperature, light availability and nitrogen supply on biological productivity by different types of algae considered to be either beneficial or detrimental for the food web. The project also investigates how changes in the relative importance of ice algae and phytoplankton are likely to affect organisms living on the sea floor (benthos). Finally, numerical models are implemented to generate plausible scenarios for the future. Results are communicated to different audiences through regional impact assessment reports, peer-reviewed publications, seminars and outreach activities. Contributes to IRIS: 1, 2, 3, 4