, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 1661-1671
Date: 18 Mar 2010

Experimental evaluation of planktonic respiration response to warming in the European Arctic Sector

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Abstract

The Arctic Ocean is the region on Earth supporting the steepest warming rate and is also particularly vulnerable due to the vanishing ice cover. Intense warming in the Arctic has strong implications for biological activity and the functioning of an Arctic Ocean deprived of ice cover in summer. We evaluated the impact of increasing temperature on respiration rates of surface marine planktonic communities in the European Arctic sector, a property constraining the future role of the Arctic Ocean in the CO2 balance of the atmosphere. We performed experiments under four different temperature elevation regimes (in situ, +2, +4 and +6°C above the temperature of the sampled water) during cruises conducted in the Fram Strait region and off Svalbard during late fall–early winter, spring and summer. During late fall–early winter, where only three different temperatures were used, no response to warming was observed, whereas respiration rates increased in response to warming in spring and summer, although with variable strength.

This article belongs to the Special issue: Impacts of climate warming on marine and freshwater Polar ecosystems, coordinated by S. Agustí, M. Sejr, and C. M. Duarte.