Team leaders

Research Focus 3 ‘The living Barents Sea'

Randi Ingvaldsen
RF3 leader
Institute of Marine Research

Bodil Bluhm
RF3 co-leader
UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Selected news

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.

The work package aims at

  1. Characterization of biological communities in sympagic, pelagic and benthic realms in the seasonal ice zone of the northern Barents Sea and adjacent slope of the Arctic Basin in terms of biodiversity, abundance, biomass and distribution patterns in relation to environmental forcing, in particular sea ice
  2. Investigation of the timing of critical biological processes including primary and secondary production, phenology of life cycles, and related processes and test how changing conditions may affect these seasonal patterns across several trophic levels
  3. Characterization of the total annual production from microbes to fish along latitudinal and environmental gradients, identify production hot spots and how condition-specific variability in life history traits affect these
  4. Characterization of lower trophic level food web structure and links to consumers including top predators, carbon cycling, and biological interactions, and investigate selected regulating factors