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Climate driven benthic invertebrate activity and biogeochemical functioning across the Barents Sea Polar Front

Climate driven benthic invertebrate activity and biogeochemical functioning across the Barents Sea Polar Front
Climate driven benthic invertebrate activity and biogeochemical functioning across the Barents Sea Polar Front
Arctic marine ecosystems are undergoing rapid correction in response to multiple expressions of climate change, but the consequences of altered biodiversity for the sequestration, transformation and storage of nutrients are poorly constrained. Here, we determine the bioturbation activity of sediment-dwelling invertebrate communities over two consecutive summers that contrasted in sea-ice extent along a transect intersecting the polar front. We find a clear separation in community composition at the polar front that marks a transition in the type and amount of bioturbation activity, and associated nutrient concentrations, sufficient to distinguish a southern high from a northern low. Whilst patterns in community structure reflect proximity to arctic versus boreal conditions, our observations strongly suggest that faunal activity is moderated by seasonal variations in sea ice extent that influence food supply to the benthos. Our observations help visualize how a climate-driven reorganization of the Barents Sea benthic ecosystem may be expressed, and emphasize the rapidity with which an entire region could experience a functional transformation. As strong benthic-pelagic coupling is typical across most parts of the Arctic shelf, the response of these ecosystems to a changing climate will have important ramifications for ecosystem functioning and the trophic structure of the entire food web.
1364-503X
Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Ward, Ellie R.
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Wood, Christina Louise
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Reed, Adam
ec734ee2-469c-4259-91d6-4abcfbe65e3b
Grange, Laura
8de65684-8e14-4cc2-89d1-ca20322714e4
Godbold, Jasmin
df6da569-e7ea-43ca-8a95-a563829fb88a
Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Ward, Ellie R.
00366d6a-6bfe-4287-a129-02023a5f676f
Wood, Christina Louise
4dac094f-7dd4-4603-8904-3146fead9acf
Reed, Adam
ec734ee2-469c-4259-91d6-4abcfbe65e3b
Grange, Laura
8de65684-8e14-4cc2-89d1-ca20322714e4
Godbold, Jasmin
df6da569-e7ea-43ca-8a95-a563829fb88a

Solan, Martin, Ward, Ellie R., Wood, Christina Louise, Reed, Adam, Grange, Laura and Godbold, Jasmin (2020) Climate driven benthic invertebrate activity and biogeochemical functioning across the Barents Sea Polar Front. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A, 378 (2181), [20190365]. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2019.0365).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Arctic marine ecosystems are undergoing rapid correction in response to multiple expressions of climate change, but the consequences of altered biodiversity for the sequestration, transformation and storage of nutrients are poorly constrained. Here, we determine the bioturbation activity of sediment-dwelling invertebrate communities over two consecutive summers that contrasted in sea-ice extent along a transect intersecting the polar front. We find a clear separation in community composition at the polar front that marks a transition in the type and amount of bioturbation activity, and associated nutrient concentrations, sufficient to distinguish a southern high from a northern low. Whilst patterns in community structure reflect proximity to arctic versus boreal conditions, our observations strongly suggest that faunal activity is moderated by seasonal variations in sea ice extent that influence food supply to the benthos. Our observations help visualize how a climate-driven reorganization of the Barents Sea benthic ecosystem may be expressed, and emphasize the rapidity with which an entire region could experience a functional transformation. As strong benthic-pelagic coupling is typical across most parts of the Arctic shelf, the response of these ecosystems to a changing climate will have important ramifications for ecosystem functioning and the trophic structure of the entire food web.

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RSTA-2019-0365.R1_Proof_hi - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 August 2020
Published date: 2 October 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442823
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442823
ISSN: 1364-503X
PURE UUID: 4718986f-e2f7-4fd6-b2a4-f5a717714684
ORCID for Martin Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574
ORCID for Adam Reed: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2200-5067
ORCID for Laura Grange: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9222-6848
ORCID for Jasmin Godbold: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5558-8188

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Jul 2020 16:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:01

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Contributors

Author: Martin Solan ORCID iD
Author: Ellie R. Ward
Author: Adam Reed ORCID iD
Author: Laura Grange ORCID iD
Author: Jasmin Godbold ORCID iD

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