ENVINET Activities Catalog

ENVINET Activities Catalog

ENVINET (European network for arctic-alpine multidiciplanary environmental research) is a research infrastructure network focusing on multidisciplinary environmental research in Europe. The network involves representatives from 18 environmental research infrastructures from the European Alps to the Arctic, representatives of their users and representatives from relevant international organizations and networks. The participating infrastructures cover a broad range of environmental sciences primarily within atmospheric physics and chemistry as well as marine and terrestrial biology.

The ENVINET project directory covers data and observation activities at these stations.

Other catalogs through this service are AMAP, SAON and SEARCH, or refer to the full list of projects/activities.

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Displaying: 1 - 20 of 22 Next
1. INTERACTIONS

Important progress has been made in recent decades to describe and understand how arctic terrestrial vertebrate interact, especially concerning predator-prey interactions. Indirect interactions between different prey species modulated by shared predators (e.g. Arctic fox) are believed to have important impacts on the structure and/or dynamics of some communities. Yet, our understanding of these types of interactions is still fragmentary. To fill that gap, we will build on ongoing projects exploring related questions in Canada (Marie-Andrée Giroux, Nicolas Lecomte, Joël Bêty) and Greenland (Olivier Gilg, Niels M. Schmidt), while taking advantage of existing networks (ADSN in North America and “Interactions” program in Greenland and Eurasia). The aim of the project is to promote the implementation of several common protocols that will (1) improve each collaborator’s knowledge at the site level and, more importantly, that will (2) be merged across sites and years to improve our understanding of the functioning and the influence of indirect interactions on arctic vertebrate communities in general.

Five types of data have been identified (by the 5 initiators of the project already mentioned above) as being mandatories to answer questions related to this topic. These data sets will be collected using 5 specific protocols described in the following chapters:

  1. Monitor predation pressure using artificial nests
  2. Monitor real predation pressure on Calidris nests using Tiny Tags
  3. Observations of predators and lemmings (3b: fox scats DNA barcoding)
  4. Assessing lemming (or “rodent”) relative abundance using different methods
  5. Assessing “herbivores” (excl. rodents) relative abundance using “faeces transects”
Arctic Biodiversity Biological effects Biology Climate change Diet Ecosystems Environmental management Food webs Modelling Populations Reproduction Spatial trends Temporal trends Terrestrial mammals
2. Arctic and Alpine Stream Ecosystem Research

The project, Arctic and Alpine Stream Ecosystem Research (AASER), started within EU’s Climate & Environment Programme and now continues with national funding, primarily Norway, Italy and Austria. The objective is to study dynamics and processes in rivers systems in Arctic and Alpine regions. Emphasis is given to the relationships between benthic invertebrates and environmental variables, especially in glacier-fed systems and in relation to climate change scenarios. On Svalbard research is concentrated around Ny Ålesund, particularly Bayelva and Londonelva. In 2004 the focus will be on the use to stable isotopes to detect transfer processes within and between ecosystems.

Glaciers Biology Catchment studies Spatial trends Climate change Biodiversity Arctic Food webs Temporal trends Ecosystems
3. Marine food webs as vector of human patogens

Marine foodwebs as vector and possibly source of viruses and bacteria patogenic to humans shall be investigated in a compartive north-south study. Effects of sewage from ships traffic and urban settlements, on animals of arctic foodwebs will be studied.

Pathways Biological effects Hydrography Fish Discharges Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Shipping Polar bear Exposure Arctic Local pollution Seabirds Shellfish Food webs Waste Human health Human intake Marine mammals
4. Digestibility of Ice Algae and Phytoplankton: The Potential Impacts of Changing Food Supply to the Arctic Benthos

Sea ice is a dominant feature of marine ecosystems in the Arctic. Its presence directly or indirectly impacts Arctic marine ecosystems, especially on the shelves where benthic and pelagic systems are extensively coupled. If the extent and thickness of sea ice continue to decline, we predict a shift in the type of algal material reaching the benthos (from ice algae to phytoplankton), which will potentially impact the food requirements of the benthos. We have several pieces of evidence showing that both types of ice algae (below-ice ice algae dominated by Melosira arctica and within-ice ice algae dominated by Nitzchia frigida) presently reach the benthos in significant quantities. What we don’t know, and what we propose to address is: “What is the digestibility of ice algae and phytoplankton-derived organic matter by the Arctic macrobenthos?” From the perspective of a macrofaunal organism, digestibility includes three separate components: 1) selection (is encountered organic material ingested or rejected?); 2) absorption (is ingested organic material absorbed during passage through the gut, or does it get egested in the feces?); and 3) assimilation (is absorbed organic material assimilated into biomass?). We propose a series of hypotheses to guide our assessment of digestibility: H1: There is no difference in the quality of ice algae and phytoplankton as food for benthic organisms. H1i: There is no difference in the long-term assimilation of ice algae and phytoplankton by benthic organisms of different trophic groups (suspension feeders, deposit feeders, omnivores). H1ii: There is no difference in the short-term absorption efficiency among different trophic groups feeding on phytoplankton and ice algae. H2: The response of benthic organisms to ice algae and phytoplankton as food sources is the same when assessed on a Pan-Arctic scale. Assessment of long-term assimilation of the various types of algae (within-ice ice algae; below-ice ice algae; and phytoplankton) will be conducted by determining lipid biomarkers and their isotopic ratios, and by determining CHN and protein signatures of organisms collected during all aspects of the work (summer ’02; spring ’03; fall ’03; and summer ’04 in both Norway and Kotzebue, Alaska). Assessment of short-term absorption will first use the ash-ratio method in a whole core delivery experiment. Following the whole-core experiments, dominant taxa from each trophic group will be identified and used in a comparison of 1) absorption efficiencies as calculated by the ash-ratio method, and 2) carbon retention efficiencies as calculated using a pulse-chase radiotracer approach. Finally, we will repeat the dominant taxa absorption efficiency experiments in both Svalbard, Norway at the Ny Ålesund lab and in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska.

Biology Sea ice Geochemistry Food webs Sediments
5. The Effect of solar UV on lipids in the planktonic food chain of polar freshwater ponds

Plankton of shallow polar freshwater water bodies is exposed to increasing levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) due to the limited water depth. Daphnia (Crustacea, waterflea) and algae are common representatives of the food chain in these water bodies. Daphnia almost exclusively use lipids for energy storage, which they obtain from their food (mainly algae). Therefore, Daphnia and algae are closely linked to each other. Preliminary experiments on the UV-induced damage in phyto- and zooplankton point to lipids as one of the key players. With this application we want to identify how algae specific lipids and fatty acids (FA) are modified by UVR. The factors modifying UV-doses to the animals and their food are depth of the waterbody and DOC (absorbs UV). A pondsurvey shall provide a wide spectrum on ponds which vary in DOC and depth. Lipid analysis of Daphnia and their food of these ponds as well as physical parameters of the pond waters shall identify correlations between UV-exposure and specific fatty acids. This shall enable us to estimate the effect of solar UVR on the freshwater plankton community in polar ponds.

Biological effects UV radiation freshwater plankton Climate change Exposure Arctic Food webs Diet Ecosystems lipids
6. Interactions between appendicularian and copepod grazing on dinoflagellate blooms

To be completed.

Biology copepod grazing dinoflagellate blooms Food webs Diet
7. Energetics of copepods in non-steady state food conditions

Most studies of energetics in marine filter feeders have focused on animals living in steady state food conditions. However, copepods experience highly variable access to food because of food patchiness and behavioural avoidance of predators. For small copepods this is especially important since they lack the potential of energy storage, e.g. in the form of lipids. After a period of food deprivation Acartia tonsa show a compensatory increase in ingestion rate, but only temporarily and on the time scale of the gut filling time. The copepods are able to compensate for the lacking input of food. On the other hand, longer periods of starvation (6-14h) induce elevated ingestion rates that lasts longer than gut filling time. Under these circumstances other energetic factors influence the ingestion rate. Consequently, the energetics of the copepods are highly variable in a patchy food environment.

Biology ingestion rate energetics food patchiness copepods Food webs
8. Microalgae as Cell Factories for Chemical and Biochemical Products

• To survey and document the state of the art in microalgal technology • To examine legislative and regulatory matters connected with the field • To bring together the various information on European algal collections into a single on-line portal • To develop the on-line database into a comprehensive tool for dissemination of knowledge pertaining to microalgae and microalgal research • To investigate current barriers to the use of microalgae and identify possible future uses of microalgae and microalgal technology • To help steer the direction of European research • To carry out technology transfer to the end users within the network, with measurable benefits for efficiency • To ensure the strategy involves dissemination to end-users outside the network partners • To ensure network cohesion and good communication between the partners • To develop an ongoing ‘virtual institute’ model and lay the groundwork for future RTD projects

Biological effects Food webs
9. Algal Toxins; their Accumulation and Loss in commercially Important Shellfish, including larval Mortality and Appraisal of Normal sampling procedures.

-Development of methods to enhance the rate of toxin depuration ( detoxification), especially in shellfish species of high economic value and prolonged retention e.g., King Scallops -Understanding the reaction products and metabolic transformations of toxins in shellfish tissues. -Determine the relationship between algal population dynamics ( including free cell and encysted stages ) to seasonal and spatial patterns of toxicity in shellfish populations. -Assess the effects of harmful algae on the various stages in the life history of shellfish ( Larvae, Spat, Adults ). -Investigate sampling frequencies and protocols ( live shellfish sampling ).

Biology Fish Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
10. Algal Toxins; their Accumulation and Loss in commercially Important Shellfish, including larval Mortality and Appraisal of Normal sampling procedures.

-Development of methods to enhance the rate of toxin depuration ( detoxification), especially in shellfish species of high economic value and prolonged retention e.g., King Scallops -Understanding the reaction products and metabolic transformations of toxins in shellfish tissues. -Determine the relationship between algal population dynamics ( including free cell and encysted stages ) to seasonal and spatial patterns of toxicity in shellfish populations. -Assess the effects of harmful algae on the various stages in the life history of shellfish ( Larvae, Spat, Adults ). -Investigate sampling frequencies and protocols ( live shellfish sampling ).

Biology Fish Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
11. Reducing the environmental impact of sea cage fish farming through the cultivation of seaweeds

Although the most visible effect of fish cage aquaculture is the output of particulate organic waste, 80% of the total nutrient losses from fish farming are plant-available as potentially eutrophicating substances. This project will assess the ability of commercially important seaweeds, cultivated in the immediate vicinity of caged fish, to reduce the impact of such nutrient releases. The algae cultivated in high nutrient sites will be tested as a food source for humans and for cultivated shellfish, and a model of the distribution of dissolved contaminants from sea-cage fish farms will be developed to predict the impact of introducing algal cultivation at any site.

Pathways Biological effects Fish Spatial trends Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Sediments Pesticides Temporal trends Ecosystems
12. The Effects of Turbidity on Marine Fishes

(a) To assemble and further develop an integrative methodology for in situ evaluation of the effects of turbidity and hypoxia on fish physiological and/or behavioural performance. (b) To determine experimentally the threshold values beyond which oxygen and turbidity levels are liable to alter fish physiological and/or behavioural performance. (c) To integrate the results obtained in a conceptual and predictive model. Main expected achievements: [1] establishment of a link between laboratory studies, studies in mesocosms and field studies, using the most advanced techniques for monitoring behaviour in various environmental conditions. [2] an understanding of the impact of water turbidity and oxygenation on three major components of the behavioural repertoire of fish: habitat selection, predator-prey interactions and schooling-aggregation. [3] Predictive ability for the effect of the environmental variables studied on ecologically relevant behaviour.

Shelf seas Biological effects Fish Environmental management Local pollution Food webs
13. Investigations on the diversity and role of microphytobenthos in marine and freshwater food webs.

The main research goal of this project is focused on trophic interactions within microbenthic communities in aquatic systems. Grazer-microalgae interactions are investigated by conducting field and laboratory experiments in order to get a closer idea of the microphytobenthos community structure itself. Especially the role of morphological and physiological adaptations of microalgae in the presence of specific meio- and macrofaunal predators are of great interest. In addition to that we have devised a new benthic sensor for the quantitative and qualitative assessment in situ of diverse populations of microphytobenthos with high spatial and temporal resolution, enabling rapid evaluation of the community structure and distribution.

microphytobenthos Food webs Sediments chlorophyll fluorescence marine and freshwater sediments Ecosystems benthic algae
14. Strategies of enzymatic food utilization in marine invertebrates

Marine invertebrates show a large variety of feeding strategies. These comprise mechanisms for catching prey, the uptake of food and the utilisation of various food sources. Morphological and anatomical adaptations allow for the capture and the ingestion of the food. However, the organism's physiological properties are the key for the efficient digestion, the nutrient uptake and the assimilation of food. In response to environmental factors marine organisms have developed highly specialised biochemical adaptations which are particularly reflected by the immeasurable diversity of digestive enzymes. The detailed function of digestive enzymes in marine invertebrates and, particularly, their synergistic interplay is still poorly understood.The overall aim is to investigate the mechanisms of enzymatic food utilisation and enzyme induction in different taxa of marine invertebrates in response to environmental factors.

Shelf seas Biology Food webs
15. Helgoland Foodweb Project

The aim of this project is to investigate and understand those factors that play a role in the seasonal dynamics of different functional groups in the pelagic zone of coastal seas. We investigate the interactions between bacteria, phytoplankton, zooplankton and juvenile fish in order to assess the importance of biological interactions in the seasonal succession.

Biology Fish Plankton Bacteria Food webs Ecosystems
16. BIOFiltration & AQuaculture: an evaluation of hard substrate deployment performance with mariculture developments

1. To quantify the effectiveness of the biofilters in reducing the impacts of mariculture across Europe from both an economic and environmental perspective. 2. To determine the best design and placements of the biofilters, accounting for differences in geography, hydrology, nutrient input etc. between countries. 3. To examine the environmental and regulatory options governing the use of the biofilters at the end of their life-span and to provide detailed economic analyses of biofilter use compared to existing filtration methods.

Biological effects Fish Discharges Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Modelling Local pollution Food webs Sediments Diet Ecosystems
17. Marine artificial habitat manipulation: predicition and measurement of environmental impacts

1. To establish an environmental monitoring regieme during and following the period of reef complex construction using, where possible, the same static monitoring sites and transects established during the pre-deployment research, in addition to new stations 2. To develop and test models that will predict ecosystem changes caused by artifical habitat manipulation. The main model will examine whole ecosystem changes. Other models will examine hydrological profile alterations, habitat fractal dimensions and socio-economic cost benefit analysis.

Fish Environmental management Biodiversity Food webs Temporal trends Ecosystems
18. Diversity and function of the bacterial flora of the toxic alga Gymnodinium catenatum Graham

1. To descirbe and compare the phylogenetic diversity and distribution of the total bacterial flora associated with G catenatum cysts and vegetative cells. 2. To culture and identify bacteria from G catenatum, and identify/characterise any bacteria capable of autonomous PST production in G. catenatum 3. To examine the effect of cyst surface sterilisation and re-introduction of bacteria on PST production in G catenatum 4. Survey bacteria for quorum sensing capability (cell signaling) and detect in situ quorum sesing in xenic G. catenatum cultures, relating to toxicity development. 5. Develop molecular markers of cross species quorum sensing, facilitating analysis of quorum sensing in uncultivated bacteria.

Pathways Biological effects Sources Fish Environmental management Food webs Human health Ecosystems Human intake
19. Correlation between algal presence in water and toxin presence in shellfish

1. Analysis of existing data from the current shellfish monitoring programmes in order to design a suitable sampling strategy 2. Ideentification of toxic algal species in UK waters 3. Construction of a detailed time-series at several key sites in the UK for toxic phytoplankton and shellfish toxin occurence 4. Comparison of the genotype versus toxicity of suspected toxic species between sites

Pathways Biological effects Algal Biology Fish Contaminant transport Exposure Food webs Ecosystems Human intake
20. The ecological effects of sealice treatment agents

1. To determine the effects of each of several sealice treatment chemicals on macrofaunal assemblages 2. To determine the effects of each of several sealice treatment chemicals on zooplankton assemblages 3. To determine the effects of each of several sealice treatment chemicals on meiofaunal assemblages 4. To determine the effects of each of several sealice treatment chemicals on benthic diatom assemblages 5. To determine the effects of each of several sealice treatment chemicals on phytoplankton assemblages 6. To determine the effects of each of several sealice treatment chemicals on macroalgal and littoral assemblages 7. To measure the concentrations of each of several sea lice treatment chemicals in the environment post-treatment 8. To determine the significant correlations between ecosystem responses, time and therapeutant concentration to determine the proportion of the observed environmental variance attributal to the treatments against a background of responses due to other parameters such as waste organic materials and nutrients 9. To model the dispersion and or depostion of farm wastes including of each of several sea lice treatment chemicals in the marine environment post treatment and to incorporate terms relating to the toxicity of these chemicals to certain parts of the ecosystem (e.g. the macrofauna)

Biological effects Hydrography Mapping Fish Discharges Environmental management Contaminant transport Modelling Food webs Sediments Pesticides Diet Ecosystems