Einflüsse der globalen Erwärmung auf antarktische und arktische Makroalgen - Konsequenzen für die Gemeinschaftsstruktur und die räumliche Verteilung


Dr. Katharina Zacher-Aued
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Sektion Marine Biogeowissenschaften

project description 

The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) and the Arctic region are experiencing the fastest rates of global warming worldwide. Surface waters at the WAP have warmed by more than 1 °C since the 1950s and are predicted to warm further into the next century at both regions. In the Polar Regions brown seaweeds build highly complex and productive underwater forests, being an essential part of the polar ecosystem. The young developmental algal stages (propagules) are the most sensitive stage in a life-cycle of an alga, forming the bottle-neck for a successful survival of the species. In this context most studies focussed on single factor experiments, there is a general lack of experimental designs testing the interplay of abiotic and biotic factors. No information on interactive effects of temperature, sedimentation and grazing on the germination and recruitment success of polar brown algal propagules is available to date. Therefore, we will carry out multi-factorial experiments on propagules of ecologically important seaweed species and early successional communities at Potter Cove (WAP), Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen) and in the home laboratories, in order to indicate the most important drivers for successful reproduction. The aim of this study is to combine the results from the multi-factorial laboratory experiments on single species with results from community research and multifactorial GIS-based habitat modeling to get a more precise picture of how the changing environmental conditions will alter the polar seaweed communities, including comparisons between Antarctic and Arctic regions in an interdisciplinary approach.

DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

term from 2012 to 2017