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France
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Espagne/Spain          Poland

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It is now generally admitted that effects of climate change are enhanced in polar areas. Those changes will have repercussions on the entire ecosystem functioning and carbon cycling, although it is yet unclear how benthic organisms will respond to those changes in food sources and environmental conditions. The overarching goal of this study is to investigate how climate-induced changes in biological (food sources) and environmental conditions (temperature, pH, salinity), will impact the Arctic benthos. This project will combine existing data, new field data, and a new experimental approach which will test various scenarios of food (i.e. high food quality, low food quality) and pH, salinity, temperature (perturbation experiments) therefore improving understanding of present state Arctic coastal ecosystem function, and prediction of possible feedback scenarios of the ecosystem to changes in a less ice-rich Arctic due to climate warming.

This project will take place at the AWIPEV French/German research station in Ny Alesund, Svalbard, which will provide adequate set up and background data insuring its success.

In addition to its scientific goals, this project aims to create international sustainable collaborations with Norway, Germany and Canada so experts can bring and share their expertise for a better understanding of the whole Arctic ecosystem functioning. In particular, this project will be held in tight collaboration with the French project Apolobis, aiming to establish an Arctic observatory based on bivalves in Ny Alesund, and the Norwegian project Cleopatra II, aiming to understand effect of climate change on key zooplanktonic organisms.

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