The aim of the present proposal is to contribute to a better knowledge about carnivorous zooplankton, their trophic role in artic pelagic ecosystem, with emphasis on their predation on the key species Calanus spp. in West Greenland waters.
The West Greenla nd society is entirely dependent on marine resources for economical as well as subsistence utilisation. In the Arctic, greenhouse warming over the next century is predicted to be 2-4 times higher than at lower latitudes. Increased human impact on marine ecosystems combined with effects of global climate change stresses the need for a sustainable ecosystem-based management.
Today, knowledge of the trophodynamics of marine food webs in the artic is relatively fragmentary. Consequently, the knowledge base for a proper ecosystem management is inadequate.
The large dominating copepods Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus are the main food source for numerous species of fish, birds and whales. The understanding of their mortality is therefore cruc ial. Carnivorous zooplankton have been found to have a substantial impact on prey communities and selective predation by zooplankton may influence the trophic structure of the pelagic ecosystem.
The diets of carnivorous zooplankton will therefore be investigated during the Arctic spring and summer. Simultaneously, prey composition and vertical distribution will be determined and used to estimate predation pressure. The proposed training does not only provide new knowledge about Greenlandic food webs, it is also a long-term investment in the fellows future research career.
The specific training will give her the expertise, self-confidence and maturity to carry out high level research as well as give her valuable experience in networking, fund-raising and project management at EU level. The training will significantly reinforce her prospects of reaching, and further maintaining, a leading position within an international scientific community.
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