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Resilience of Arctic Marine Biodiversity to Environmental Change: A Paleogenomics Approach
Climate change is impacting life in Arctic coastal ecosystems. Increasing temperatures and sea ice loss are rapidly changing these pristine environments. This has dramatic consequences for large animals like polar bears. On the other hand, we don’t fully have a good grasp yet on how smaller marine organisms, the founding blocks of the Arctic ecosystem, will be affected. To learn about their sensitivity to a changing environment, we use a novel approach, called sedimentary ancient DNA sequencing, to investigate how marine biodiversity was affected by environmental changes in the past. This method makes use of the genetic material of the entire biodiversity that has been preserved in marine sediments for thousands of years. In this way, we can directly observe the response of entire marine communities to environmental changes in the past, which is an important step towards improving predictions about future ecosystem changes in the Arctic. In this project we focus on environmental and biodiversity changes in the Arctic Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, and investigate changes over the last ~200 years.
Resilience of arctic marine biodiversity to environmental change: a paleogenomics approach
01.08.23 - 31.07.24