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HAUSGARTEN: Multidisciplinary investigations at a deep-sea, long-term observatory in the Arctic Ocean
Soltwedel, T.; Bauerfeind, E.; Bergmann, M.; Budaeva, N.; Hoste, E.; Jaeckisch, N.; von Juterzenka, K.; Matthiessen, J.; Mokievsky, V.; Nöthig, E.-M.; Quéric, N.-V.; Sablotny, B.; Sauter, E.; Schewe, I.; Urban-Malinga, B.; Wegner, J.; Wlodarska-Kowalczuk, M.; Klages, M. (2005). HAUSGARTEN: Multidisciplinary investigations at a deep-sea, long-term observatory in the Arctic Ocean. Oceanography 18(3): 46-61
In: Oceanography. Oceanography Society: Washington DC. ISSN 1042-8275, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Soltwedel, T., more
  • Bauerfeind, E.
  • Bergmann, M.
  • Budaeva, N.
  • Hoste, E., more
  • Jaeckisch, N.
  • von Juterzenka, K.
  • Matthiessen, J.
  • Mokievsky, V., more
  • Nöthig, E.-M.
  • Quéric, N.-V.
  • Sablotny, B.
  • Sauter, E.
  • Schewe, I.
  • Urban-Malinga, B.
  • Wegner, J.
  • Wlodarska-Kowalczuk, M., more
  • Klages, M.

    The marine Arctic has played an essential role in the history of our planet over the past 130 million years and contributes considerably to the present functioning of Earth and its life. The global cycles of a variety of materials fundamental to atmospheric conditions and thus to life depend to a signifi cant extent on Arctic marine processes (Aargaard et al., 1999). The past decades have seen remarkable changes in key Arctic variables. The decrease of sea-ice extent and sea-ice thickness in the past decade is statistically signifi - cant (Cavalieri et al., 1997; Parkinson et al., 1999; Walsh and Chapman, 2001; Partington et al., 2003; Johannessen et al., 2004). There have also been large changes in the upper and intermediate layers of the ocean, which have environmental implications. For instance, the deep Greenland Sea has continued its decadal trend towards warmer and saltier conditions, with a corresponding decrease in oxygen content, refl ecting the lack of effective local convection and ventilation (Dickson et al., 1996; Boenisch et al., 1997). Changes in temperature and salinity and associated shifts in nutrient distributions will directly affect the marine biota on multiple scales from communities and populations to individuals, consequently altering food-web structures and ecosystem functioning (Benson and Trites, 2002; Moore, 2003; Schumacher et al., 2003; Wiltshire and Manly, 2004; Perry et al., 2005). Today, we do not know whether the severe alterations in abiotic parameters represent perturbations due to human impacts, natural long-term trends, or new equilibriums (Bengtson et al., 2004). Because Arctic organisms are highly adapted to extreme environmental conditions with strong seasonal forcing, the accelerating rate of recent climate change challenges the resilience of Arctic life (Hassol, 2004). The entire system is likely to be severely affected by changing ice and water conditions, varying primary production and food availability to faunal communities, an increase in contaminants, and possibly increased UV irradiance. The stability of a number of Arctic populations and ecosystems is probably not strong enough to withstand the sum of these factors, which might lead to a collapse of subsystems. To detect and track the impact of large-scale environmental changes in the transition zone between the northern North Atlantic and the central Arctic Ocean, and to determine experimentally the factors controlling deep-sea biodiversity, the German Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) established the deepsea, long-term observatory HAUSGARTEN, representing the fi rst, and by now only, open-ocean, long-term station in a polar region.

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