1 Department of Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Greenland Institute of Natural Resources3 Section for Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University, Aarhus University
Huge differences in plankton community structures and biomasses are observed along a climate gradient from the Greenland Ice Sheet to offshore waters at the West Greenland coast. The offshore region has a high biomass of copepods dominated by Calanus spp., which are capable of consuming 55% of the daily primary production. Close to the Greenland Ice Sheet copepod biomasses are significant lower and dominated by smaller copepod species (Pseudocalanus spp. Metridia longa and Microsetalla spp.). In this region copepods are capable of consuming only 4% of the daily primary production. Protozooplankton accounts for 20-38% of the carbon turnover in the offshore and inland areas. However, protozooplankton like copepods has low ability to turn over the primary production close to the Ice Sheet. Increased run of from the Greenland Ice Sheet due to global warming could displace the existing climate gradient. This would have a profound influence on the future plankton community structure as well as the energy transfer to higher trophic levels in Arctic coastal ecosystems.
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ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2009. A cruise through nice waters!