Description of our project objectives

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This study focuses on the role of seasonal fast ice in the life cycle of polychaetes in near-shore waters of the Chukchi Sea. A combination of fieldwork (winter to early summer in 2006 and 2007) in Barrow/Alaska with subsequent experimental phases will (1) investigate the abundance, species composition and developmental patterns of polychaete juveniles in natural fast ice, and (2) help understand their nutritional demands using grazing and growth experiments, and stable isotope tracers.

Main Hypotheses:

Our major research hypothesees are:
1. Sea ice is the preferred habitat for certain polychaete species in the Arctic nearshore. H0: Polychaete larvae/juveniles occur in the same densities in sea ice and the water column throughout the sea ice season.
2. Sea ice provides better growing conditions for certain polychaete species than the water column. H0: Polychaete larvae/juveniles have the same growth and feeding rates in sea ice and the water column throughout the sea ice season.
3. Effects of extreme environmental conditions prevailing in the sea ice brine channel system are outweighed by better overall growing conditions relative to the water column. H0A: Polychaete mortality at ambient salinities present in sea ice is equal to that at normal seawater salinity. H0B: Growth and mortality are balanced under water column and sea ice conditions.


Presentations and Publications:

to be added

page modified July 31, 2006 .