22 Aug 2019

CIIMAR monitors Arctic biological communities

The CIIMAR team coordinated by the researcher Catarina Magalhães participated on the International Arctic Monitoring Program (MOSJ) led by the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) for the 4th consecutive year.


As part of this project, Catarina Magalhães and Maria Paola Tomasino, CIIMAR researchers, stayed for a week on board the Norwegian oceanographic ship Hermer Hanssen. This oceanographic monitoring campaign works on the Arctic ice marginal zone and the Kongsfjorden area that begins in front of the Kongsvegen glacier and extends to the open Arctic Ocean, including a total of 13 sampling stations.


This monitoring program aims to produce a solid database of biological communities that inhabit the water column, including zooplankton and phytoplankton communities, on an extended time scale. Since 2016 the CIIMAR team generated serveral data about the diversity and function of these microbial communities through the isolation of environmental DNA and the use of metagenomic techniques. The data collected are of high relevance since microbial communities and their functions are responsible for producing the nutrients essential for phytoplankton growth on which the entire Arctic food chain is dependent.