The Arctic and subarctic regions are experiencing the influence of regional and global anthropogenic activities, and unprecedented warming has been causing significant changes in the structure and functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These changes have major implications on the remobilization of contaminants, biogeochemical transformations, transport and deposition, and the consequent bioaccumulation in the food chains with direct impacts not only on wildlife, but also on the northern communities who live in close connection with their own environment. This session aims to present and discuss new crucial scientific knowledge related with the interaction between contaminants, microbes and nutrients in the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere and the hydrosphere and to debate their impact on the arctic and sub-arctic ecosystems, native communities, and public health. This session is also included on the T-MOSAiC, Northern Community Issues Action Group activities.
Environmental Change, Freshwater-land Processes, Contaminant Cycling, Arctic biota, Human well-being
Martin Pilote | Environment and Climate Change Canada, Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Montreal, Canada & Centre for Northern Studies
Martin Jusek | Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
João Canário | Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Arctic ecosystems are underpinned by communities of diverse microscopic lifeforms, collectively referred to as microbiomes. These occur as interacting networks that control biogeochemical processes such as greenhouse gas production and nutrient cycling, and they contribute to the base of food webs and affect populations changes at higher trophic levels. Genomic analysis has shown that microbiomes contain assemblages of viruses, archaea, bacteria and microbial eukaryotes that are metabolically as well as taxonomically diverse with new emerging taxa, but still little is known about the extent of that diversity, network relationships, spatial and temporal variation, and coupling to biogeochemical and ecosystem processes. The session organized by T-MOSAiC Arctic Microbiome Action Group invites contributions on bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi and other microbial eukaryotes from any Arctic environments. The aim of this session is to encourage broad and comparative research across spatial and environmental gradients as well as connectivity between terrestrial and marine habitats in the circumpolar North using omics and other approaches. This may include studies on microbiomes along geographic and environmental gradients, seasonal and temporal drivers of diversity patterns, responses to environmental stress, as well as metabolic and physiological responses to environmental change with implications to biogeochemical and ecosystem processes.
Microbiology, environment, diversity, ecology, biogeochemistry
Anne D. Jungblut | Natural History Musuem, London, United Kingdom
Jérôme Comte | Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Quebec city, Canada
Klemens Weisleitner | University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
Winter conditions fundamentally shape arctic ecosystems. The Arctic is warming rapidly, and changes in temperature, precipitation and extreme weather are more pronounced in winter than summer. Bacteria, fungi, and small eukaryotes maintain substantial activity year around. The winter nutrient cycling and gas exchange are keys to understand the arctic ecosystem ecology and productivity across the snow-free season. Yet, research on microbes is largely done during the short arctic summer. Season length, research activity and anticipated climatic impact are grossly mismatched. To assess and understand climate change, and predict ecosystem responses, we need knowledge of biological winter processes across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, coupled with abiotic factors and arctic critical zone dynamics. We invite contributions related to arctic winter microbiology aiming at 1) gauging the state of research in this emerging field, 2) identify research needs and best approaches, 3) cooperation across fields (biology, geology, geophysics) to share current knowledge and identify key research questions to understand the system as a whole.
Winter, Microbiology, Climate, Snow, Arctic
Riitta Nissinen | Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Shawn Brown | Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Memphis
Pernille Bronken Eidesen | The University Centre in Svalbard, Norway
Quantifying belowground properties in response to climate warming is critical to accurately forecasting terrestrial Arctic ecosystem dynamics. While field and modeling studies point to the importance of belowground processes in driving ecosystem change and feedbacks to the climate system, studying belowground dynamics has been challenging historically. Novel molecular ecology and chemistry applications are enabling new insights into the connections between the visible surface and the Arctic underground. This session will explore research focused on root traits and rhizosphere processes in “cold” ecosystems – Arctic and alpine tundra, boreal forest, and peatlands. We welcome abstracts ranging from molecular biologists investigating rhizosphere processes, to plant ecologists using a trait framework to understand vegetation patterns and function, to ecosystem ecologists measuring the interplay between terrestrial ecosystem function and the climate system, to social scientists exploring the human dimension of belowground change.
Belowground, mycorrhizal fungi, microbiome, soils, permafrost, warming
Rebecca Hewitt | Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Northern Arizona University
Michelle Mack | Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Northern Arizona University
Global change is affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functions in many ways, altering the complex balance of biogeochemical and -physical cycles and climate feedbacks. The fast rate of climate change in Arctic systems may challenge organisms. Ecosystems may approach tipping points, where irreversible shifts in biodiversity and ecosystem functions could occur. The ability to cope with this change will depend on physiological and behavioral plasticity of current populations and their evolutionary potential. In this session, we are interested in integrating latest results on the biodiversity of Arctic marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, their functioning and the provisioning of ecosystem services under current conditions and in the New Arctic. We solicit contributions based on experiments, models, and observations; from gene to ecosystem level; from microbes to lichens, vascular plants, large mammals, fish, and birds; integrated across temporal and spatial scales; and across natural science, social science and humanities, citizen science and indigenous knowledge systems. Contributions relating to impacts and interactions of Arctic ecosystems to and with the lower latitudes are specifically encouraged. Our goal is to highlight existing research, propose new avenues, identify knowledge gaps, and outline international research opportunities.
Biodiversity, terrestrial, marine, freshwater, ecosystem functions
Gabriela Schaepman-Strub | University of Zurich
Cinzia Verde | National Research Council of Italy
In recent years Arctic regions have been experiencing the highest rates of warming worldwide, resulted in an extension of ice-free periods and an overall greening of terrestrial areas. Given the role of microbes on biogeochemical cycles, the effects of warming on decomposition of permafrost carbon pools have the potential to cause significant feedbacks at global scale. These phenomena are recently interesting also Antarctica, where they are firstly feared to result in the loss of unique and highly adapted species. Therefore, understanding the diversity of soil microbes, their role in the ecosystems functioning and the ecological drivers of their composition is fundamental. The session encourages the submission of abstracts about both Arctic and Antarctic communities aiming to disentangle environmental factors associated with their diversity and composition. Comparisons between the two environments are not mandatory and works dealing with specific taxonomical groups are also accepted.
microbial communities, terrestrial environments, fungi, bacteria, climate changes
Laura Zucconi | University of Tuscia
Fabiana Canini | University of Tuscia
Fjords are a rare type of coastal marine ecosystem, yet as a hotspot of primary production and carbon burial, they play an important role in global climate regulation. While Arctic and Antarctic fjords are frequently studied, a bipolar, cross-disciplinary understanding of fjord ecosystems is lacking. Thus, we invite presentations detailing recent fjord research, including, but not limited to, field and model studies of fjord oceanography, investigations of the effects of freshwater run-off on fjord ecosystems, as well as ecological studies on all trophic levels. Further, research addressing the effects of climatic change and other anthropogenic activities (e.g., aquaculture, effects of contaminants) in fjord ecosystems are welcome. The overarching goal of this session is to gain a bipolar, multidisciplinary understanding of fjord ecosystems and of how future regional changes in fjords may have global impacts. Thus, a comprehensive perspective will be provided by highlighting special features and global similarities among fjord systems in the Arctic and Antarctic.
fjord, oceanography, ecosystem, anthropogenic activity, bipolar
Ingrid Wiedmann | UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Angelika H. H. Renner | Institute of Marine Research, Norway
Maeve McGovern | Norwegian Institute for Water Research, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
The ecotone between northern tundra and forest (or taiga) is an especially sensitive indicator of climate change. Moreover, both biomes make important contributions to global biosystems and biodiversity, and support traditional land management, while the northern forest is also a major economic resource. Therefore, a clear need exists to accurately monitor changes in subarctic Eurasian ecosystems and to better understand their response to the significant regional changes in climate across a range of spatial and temporal scales.
We invite submissions on the following subject areas:
- Observational and modelling studies of climate change in subarctic Eurasia
- New methods for mapping northern ecosystems at a range of spatial scales, from ground measurements, through UAV survey to satellite imagery
- New methods for monitoring intra-seasonal and long-term variations in forest and tundra biomass using remotely-sensed data
- Determination of the key climatic variables that govern the dynamics of northern ecosystems, including their response to human disturbance
- Future projections of northern forest development and migration of the tundra-forest ecotone
climate change, ecosystems, subarctic Eurasia, forests, remote sensing
Dr Gareth Marshall | British Antarctic Survey
Dr Olga Tutubalina | MV Lomonosov Moscow State University
Polina Mikhaylyukova | MV Lomonosov Moscow State University
Light is a key mechanism shaping almost every aspect of the natural world – from geophysical systems to ecosystems to individual behavior and physiology. Phases of continuous light and dark during the annual cycle define high latitude systems, which contrast the persistent and prominent diel cycle between light and dark at lower latitude. In polar environments, however, we have an incomplete and fragmented understanding of how these photic extremes structure natural events, and multiple disciplines investigate how light organizes atmospheric, ecological, and organismal processes. The aim of this session is to consolidate our knowledge of the role that light plays in the Arctic by bringing together colleagues working on marine, terrestrial, and atmospheric systems. This interdisciplinary session will be a foundational event for producing a cross-cutting synthesis, from which we can build a better understanding of the role of light in a warming Arctic.
biological rhythm; irradiance; light; photoperiod; seasonality
Dr. Nicholas Per Huffeldt | Greenland Institute of Natural Resources & Aarhus University, Denmark
Professor Finlo Cottier | The Scottish Association of Marine Science, United Kingdom & UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Dr. Laura Hobbs | The Scottish Association of Marine Science, United Kingdom & The University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
The Northern latitudes contain abundant and diverse freshwater ecosystems, which encompass streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands. They harbour a great diversity of plants and animals. These diverse ecosystems contain a wide range of habitats of varying ecological complexity and support a variety of permanent and transitory organisms adapted to living in often highly variable and extreme environments. The session will focus on the importance of community and within-species diversity, illustrating studies on aquatic species in the Arctic and subarctic areas. We will also consider how focusing on one level of diversity, i.e. species, can lead to detrimental conservation strategies. Bridging the gap between scientific knowledge about biodiversity and conservation practices is still a challenge we are faced with. We aim to discuss and raise questions regarding how wetland and freshwater ecosystems may be affected by global warming and how those changes may affect these ecosystems, local human populations and utilization. We particularly encourage submissions from Early Career Scientists and Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge holders focusing on gathering and collecting data on Arctic biodiversity finalized to Arctic biodiversity conservation.
Freshwater ecosystems, biodiversity, within species diversity, conservation, climate disturbance
Dr. Skúli Skúlason | Hólar University, Iceland
Dr. Jennifer Lento | University of New Brunswick, Canada
Closed on December 10, 2020