Zooplankton make essential links between producers and predators in marine ecosystems, so mediating in the CO2 exchange between atmosphere and ocean They can be indicators of climate variability, and changes in zooplankton species distribution and abundance may have cascading effects on food webs. West Spitsbergen Current is the main pathway of transport of Atlantic waters and biota into the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic shelf seas. West Spitsbergen Shelf coastal and fjordic waters, therefore, are natural experimental areas to study mechanisms by which the Atlantic and Arctic marine ecosystem interact, and to observe environmental changes caused by variability in climate. The main objectives of the zooplankton monitoring are: a) to study patterns and variability in composition and abundance in zooplankton of the West Spitsbergen Current and the West Spitsbergen fjords and coastal waters; b) to find out environmental factors responsible for the observed patterns and variability in zooplankton, and to understand possible relations between zooplankton and their environment on different space and time scales; c) to observe and monitor the variability in zooplankton in relation to local and global climate changes.
Zooplankton composition and abundance, background hydrological data.