The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.
(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:  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.  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.  Predictive ability for the effect of the environmental variables studied on ecologically relevant behaviour.
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.
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.
Radioactivity in the Arctic environment is a central topic within environmental pollution issues. Increased discharges of technetium-99 (99Tc) from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Sellafield to the Irish Sea has caused public concerns in Norway. This project (acronym “RADNOR”) includes model and monitoring assessments and improvements, assessment of current and novel abiotic and biotic dose parameters and dose calculations and use of realistic climatic background scenarios in order to assess corresponding consequences for transport of radioactive pollutants. RADNOR consists of three main components: part 1, the determination of levels and time series of 99Tc in benthic and pelagic food webs; part 2, containing working packages on improvements to the understanding of site-specific and time-dependent sediment-water interactions (KD), kinetics of accumulation (CF) and body distribution in marine organisms, including contaminated products for the alginate industry and part 3, dealing with model hindcasts and observations for spreading of 99Tc from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant during the 1990s and improvement of the NRPA dose assessment box model. From the model outputs, doses to man and environment will be calculated resulting in a valuable database for use within environmental management and for decision makers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
This study will be part of the EU project NTAP. The overall objective of NTAP is to provide a unified conceptual framework for nutrient dynamics as modulated by the interaction of turbulence and plankton and to use this information to aid in implementing and modifying legislation on coastal water quality and management. Specifically, the objectives are a) to build a database on turbulence effects by gathering existing scattered data, b) to produce experimental data on key organisms, interactions and mass transfer rates, c) to develop a sensor for laboratory measurement of small-scale turbulence, and d) to produce a dynamical model at community level with exploratory and predictive capabilities. The present project will fit within Objective b), and will complement other NTAP experimental studies with cultures and natural communities that are being carried out in different European laboratories. The results derived from this project will also be valuable to test and calibrate the model developed within Objective d).
Four-week mesocosm study with the following objectives: - to identify environmental and biotic factors in control of the production, chemistry and fate of exportable DOM in a coastal environment - to follow how DIN and DIP are transformed to DON and DOP and to measure their mineralisation - to analyse the optical properties of new DOM and to measure how radiation might change the optical properties - to validate current community-nutrient models for the marine system with particular emphasis on the mechanisms regulating shifts between carbon- and mineral nutrient limitation of bacterial growth rates, - to produce experimental data for further development and modification of the plankton community-nutrient model and – to incorporate DON and DOP into the present community-nutrient model.
The aim is to monitor the Lake Myvatn and the river Laxá ecosystem for (1) detecting trends, (2) detecting background variability in the system, (3) assess the efficiency of management measures, (4) observe perturbations in order to generate hypotheses about causal relationships.
The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Cryospheric Experiment (C-ICE) is a multi-year field experiment that incorporates many individual projects, each with autonomous goals and objectives. The science conducted has directly evolved from research relating to one of four general themes: i. sea ice energy balance; ii. numerical modeling of atmospheric processes; iii. remote sensing of snow covered sea ice; and iv. ecosystem studies.
This study aims at reconstructing the Barents Sea marine ecosystem before the exploitation by man. This reconstruction will be made by using the existing archival resources on catch statistics from the 17th to 19th centuries in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom, in combination with the present knowledge an animal behaviour and food web structure. Fieldwork is planned in two former hunting areas in Spitsbergen: the Smeerenburgfjord and the Storfjord to study both the structure of the recent marine ecosystem and the composition, size and dating of the recent bird rookeries. This information in combination with the historical data will be used to reconstruct the original ecosystem.
In order to manage populations of migratory geese a better understanding of the mechanisms that determine the size of these populations is needed. The objective of this project is to investigate such mechanisms, within the framework of the entire population of Dark-bellied Brent Geese, that winters in western Europe, and breeds in northern Siberia. The final objective of this project is to help predict future numbers of geese that will winter in western Europe in order to be able to forecast levels of agricultural damage caused by geese. Though hunting is an important factor determining the size of most goose populations, this is not a focal point in this project. Therefore this project focuses on a virtually non-hunted subspecies, viz. the Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Research activities Field work has been carried out in the Pyasina-delta in northern Taymyr, Russia during six consecutive summers from 1990 - 1995 in order to cover two complete lemming cycles. The project focuses the one hand on natural predators (like arctic foxes, Snowy Owls, Glaucous Gulls and Herring Gulls, and even Polar Bears) as a regulatory mechanism for the Dark-bellied Brent Geese, a virtually non-hunted subspecies. Lemming cycles have an important effect on the abundance and behaviour of most of these predators, and measuring lemming density forms an integral part of this study. On the other hand weather conditions, as well as the body condition of the geese themselves are being studied, because those factors are in themselves extremely important predictors of breeding success.
The aim of this international project is to measure and model arctic UV-radiation and assess the effects on freshwater planktonic organisms and foodwebs. The fieldwork and experiments are conducted at Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen. The specific aim of our participation is to study the food web effects of UV-B stress by means of in-situ enclosure studies. In the laboratory we found that UV-B stressed algal cells may increase in volume and form a thicker cell wall. These changes in the algal cells may reduce their digestibility by zooplankton. Further the role of photopigments (like melanin and carotenoids), present in some zooplankters, will be studied in relation to the survival of these animals at high UV-B exposure. Research activities Grazing experiments with Daphnia pulex (melanic and hyaline) are performed in in-situ enclosures (under different UV exposures) in the Brandal Lagune during July. The green alga Chlamydomonas will be incubated in-situ under different UV exposures to assess the potential use of this alga as a biodosimeter for UV-B. Further the survival of melanic and hyaline daphnids will be tested in-situ.
In the seventeent and eighteenth centuries intensive European whaling and walrus hunting took place in the waters around Spitsbergen, with many stations on the coast of the islands. The hunt was carried out in areas along the edge of pack ice and is therefore very sensitive to changes in the ice situation and climate. When, around 1650, climate and ice distribution changed, whales moved to the north. The whaling stations in the south of Spitsbergen were abandoned when stations in the north were still functioning. When, later, the ice situation deteriorated in the north as well, the stations were abandoned there too. Shore whaling changed into pelagic whaling. Because of these whaling and walrus hunting activities two very numerous large mammals were largely depleted and almost disappeared from the Spitsbergen waters. The pelagically feeding Greenland Right Whale and the bentically feeding walrus, whose initial stocks are estimated at 46,000 Greenland Right Whales and 25,000 walrus, were eliminated. This elimination has caused a major shift in the foodweb. The plankton feeding seabirds and polar cod strongly increased because of the elimination of the Greenland Right Whale, and the eider ducks and bearded seals increased because of the decrease of the number of walruses. This development has led to the enormous amount of seabird rookeries on the West coast of Spitsbergen.
Brief: Assessment of the significance of aquatic food chains as a pathways of exposure of indigenous peoples to PTS, assessment of the relative importance of local and distant sources, and the role of atmospheric and riverine transport of PTS in Northern Russia. Project rationale and objectives: (1) To assess levels of Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS) in the environment in selected areas of the Russian North, their biomagnification in aquatic and terrestrial food chains, and contamination of traditional (country) foods that are important components of the diet of indigenous peoples. (2) To assess exposure of indigenous peoples in the Russian North to PTS, and the human health impacts of pollution from local and remote sources, as a basis for actions to reduce the risks associated with these exposures. (3) To inform indigenous peoples about contamination by PTS of their environment and traditional food sources, and empower them to take appropriate remedial actions to reduce health risks. (4) To enhance the position of the Russian Federation in international negotiations to reduce the use of PTS, and to empower the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) to participate actively and fully in these negotiations. Project activities to achieve outcomes: (1) Inventory of local pollution sources in the vicinities of selected indigenous communities. (2) Survey of levels and fluxes of PTS in riverine and coastal marine environment important for indigenous peoples living in these environments and using them for their subsistence; and assessment of fluxes of PTS to these environments via selected rivers and the atmosphere. (3) Dietary surveys of selected indigenous communities. (4) Study of biomagnification, based on measurements of selected PTS in representative species in food chains important for the traditional diet of indigenous populations. (5) Survey and comparative assessment of pollution levels of the indigenous and general population in selected areas. (6) Dissemination of results to all relevant stakeholders.
1. Research area # 2 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Study of anthropogenic influences on the Western Arctic/Bering Sea Ecosystem", and 2. Research area #4 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Contaminant inputs, fate and effects on the ecosystem" specifically addressing objectives a-c, except "effects." a. "Determine pathways/linkages of contaminant accumulation in species that are consumed by top predators, including humans, and determine sub-regional differences in contaminant levels..." b. "Use an ecosystems approach to determine the effects of contaminants on food web and biomagnification." c. "Encourage local community participation in planning and implementing research strategies." The objectives of Phase I, Human Ecology Research are to: 1. Document reliance by indigenous arctic marine communities in Canada, Alaska and Russia on arctic resources at risk from chemical pollutants; and, 2. Incorporate traditional knowledge systems of subsistence harvesting. The human ecology components of the project were conducted within the frameworks of indigenous environmental knowledge and community participation. Using participatory mapping techniques, semi-structured interviews and the direct participation of community members in research design, data collection and implementation, research and data collection on the human ecology of indigenous arctic marine communities was undertaken in the communities of Holman, NWT (1998), Wainwright, Alaska (1999), and is underway in Novoe Chaplino, Russia. (2000).