The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

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. While 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. This article is part of the theme issue 'The changing Arctic Ocean: consequences for biological communities, biogeochemical processes and ecosystem functioning'.

1364-503X
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
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. While 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. This article is part of the theme issue 'The changing Arctic Ocean: consequences for biological communities, biogeochemical processes and ecosystem functioning'.

Text
RSTA-2019-0365.R1_Proof_hi - Accepted Manuscript
Download (1MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 August 2020
Published date: 2 October 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: Data accessibility. All data are openly available from the Discovery Metadata System (https://www.bas.ac.uk/ project/dms/), a data catalogue hosted by The UK Polar Data Centre (UK PDC, https://www.bas.ac.uk/ data/uk-pdc/). Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers are listed in electronic supplementary material. Authors’ contributions. M.S., E.R.W., A.J.R., L.J.G. and J.A.G. carried out the experiments. C.L.W. was responsible for species identification. E.R.W. and M.S. completed the f-SPI image analysis. M.S. and J.A.G. conceived and designed the study, completed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. All authors read, input and approved subsequent iterations of the manuscript. Competing interests. We declare we have no competing interests. Funding. Supported by ‘The Changing Arctic Ocean Seafloor (ChAOS) - how changing sea ice conditions impact biological communities, biogeochemical processes and ecosystems’ project (NE/N015894/1 and NE/P006426/1, 2017–2021), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in the UK. Acknowledgements. We thank the crew of cruises JR16006 and JR17007, RRS James Clarke Ross. We are grateful to Daniel Wohlgemuth for assistance with maintaining the experiments and Robbie Robinson for assistance with the design of our experimental systems (University of Southampton), Sian Henley (University of Edinburgh) for nutrient analyses, Michael McGibbon (University of Aberdeen) for bromide analysis, Chris Rolfe (University of Cambridge) for sediment analysis, C. Louise McNeill and Tom Mesher (Plymouth Marine Laboratory) for quality assuring our faunal identification, and National Marine Facilities, Southampton and the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge for logistical support. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s).

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: 12 Oct 2022 01:44

Export record

Altmetrics

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

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×