WP3 - EFFECTS OF KELP DETRITUS ON DEEP-SEA COMMUNITIES

Lead: Eva Ramirez-Llodra, NIVA (Norway)

Food quantity and quality is the most important factor shaping the structure and function of deep-sea heterotrophic ecosystems (Levin et al., 2001).  The movement of kelp debris from kelp forests to deep fjords is mostly unknown. WP3 will investigate the role of kelp debris in shaping the structure and function of benthic communities, from microbes to meio- to megafauna, in a deep Northern Norwegian fjord.

All data for WP3 will be collected in the Malangen fjord at 425 m depth during a 2-week cruise on board University of Tromsø’s R/V Johan Ruud in 2017. The cruise will use YoYo Camera seabed surveys, benthic sampling and Time-Lapse Camera deployments to assess:

 

1. the trophic relationship between kelp debris and benthic megafauna.

2. the response of benthic fauna to kelp falls.

3. the contribution of kelp to the diet of ecologically- and commercially-important species.

This will be a significant step forward and will use state-of-the-art technology to assess hypothetical trophic relationships between kelp debris and arctic deep benthic species.

Kelp export: fuel for adjacent communities in changing arctic ecosystems

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