Ingrid Kjerstad,
Research coordinator, NPI

The text is adapted from the press release of the newly published article by AWI .

AWI has recently published an article in the journal Science Advances focusing on the phytoplankton response to heat waves in Kongsfjorden. The fieldwork was conducted from Ny-Ålesund Research Station with support from their local host AWIPEV, with the Kings Bay Marine Lab facilitating and enabling this important research endeavour.

Klara Wolf (left) and Clara Hoppe (right) are taking algae samples at Kongsfjord. Photo: Paolo Verzone

The team led by Dr. Klara Wolf conducted experiments to investigate how single-cell algae, phytoplankton, respond to extreme events like heatwaves, emphasizing the importance of studying temperature fluctuations on polar organisms.

The study highlights the complexity of the effects of heatwaves on phytoplankton compared to stable temperature increases, underscoring the need to consider both warming and cooling phases in understanding productivity changes.

Klara Wolf is checking the equipement in the lab. The samples will be used to measure the concentration of nutrients and investigate carbon related chemistry. Photo: Rene Bürgi

A better grasp of the effects of variable temperatures, especially the cooling phases, is essential to improving forecasts on potential biodiversity changes. Investigations on phytoplankton are hereby most crucial, since changes at the basis of the food web can impact all higher trophic levels, all the way up to fisheries.

Link to the journal, and more information in the press release from AWI here.

The team from AWI is participating in the scientific network in Ny-Ålesund Research Station called the Kongsfjorden System Flagship. Read more about how to join, and about the flagship here!

Kings Bay Marine Laboratory

Photo: Svein Harald Sønderland

The Kings Bay Marine Laboratory is the northernmost experimental laboratory for research in marine ecology, physiology, biochemistry, as well as physical sciences like oceanography, marine geology and ice physics. The laboratory is located right on a beach with easy access to boats.

Interested in CTD data from Kongsfjorden? Have a look here!

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