Institute of Marine Research
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
The knowledge of the structure and function of the ecosystem of the northern Barents Sea and adjacent slope to the central basin is strikingly poor compared to the regularly surveyed southern Barents Sea. Yet, the most radical changes in the physical environment are observed in the northern parts of the Barents Sea, where sea ice retreat and increasing water temperatures are reshaping the ecosystem.
The work package investigates how organisms in the northern Barents Sea and adjacent slope respond to current and changing environmental conditions on the species and community levels. This is approached through identifying characteristic communities, and by delineating the relevant environmental forcing factors that structure these communities across seasons and habitats. Estimating the production and rate-limiting factors of these organisms, as well as entangling their detailed trophic linkages, is yet another focus of this work package. These tasks are achieved both by synthesis of existing data and the extensive collection of new data sets out in the field. The work package provides the scientific knowledge base required for the sustainable management of the marine resources of the northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin.