Publications and Events

Publications and Events

Keep up to date with the exploits of our current and former Arctic Chairs. Here you will find everything from events and or seminars arranged by our Arctic Chairs, to relevant publications released by current and former Chairs.

 

The 2013-14 Norwegian Arctic Chair Camilla Svensen presents the research topic for her forthcoming stay at UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanology, starting October 2013:

 

Small zooplankton as producers of fluid carbon in the ocean ?

Publications and Events
Oithona

While the ocean is full of large charismatic organisms, why should one pay attention to one of the smallest organisms and its links to the even smaller and invisible plankton fraction? Because what takes place on the smallest scale of the ocean affects global processes. As a Fulbright Arctic Chair I will stay 7 months at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in San Diego, CA. In collaboration with Dr. Maria Vernet I will study a part of the marine carboncycle linked to some of the smallest organisms in the ocean; the small planktonic crustaceans (copepods) and their role as producers of fluid carbon.

 

The marine carbon-cycle in brief
In the ocean, microscopically small algea are the main producers of organic carbon through photosynthesis: water and CO2 are transformed to organic carbon and O2, using sunlight as energy. This primary production is the base of  marine food webs, and maintains the CO2 balance between the ocean and atmosphere.

Particulate and fluid carbon
Living organisms. from bacteria to whales, utilize organic carbon as energy. However, while whales feed on particulate carbon such as fish and plankton, bacteria feed on fluid (dissolved) carbon. Phrased less scientific, bacteria are one of few organisms eating with a spoon instead of a fork. A large fraction of the fluid carbon in the oceans is produced by phytoplankton, but there are also other sources. In my Fulbright project I will investigate small zooplankton as a source of fluid carbon in the oceans.

Large-scale implications
Fluid carbon is an important component of the global carbon cycle, and one of the largest actively cycling reservoirs of organic carbon on earth. Little is known about the link between copepods and microbes, but copepods are likely producers of large amounts of fluid carbon in the sea. This link de serves attention if we are to understand the balance between CO2 uptake and release from the ocean to the atmosphere. Last, but not least, small planktonic organisms are key-players in the carbon-cycling of arctic marine ecosystems. In a time where rapid environmental changes are expected in polar regions, we need to increase the knowledge on important interactions at the base of the food web.