Changing ice-cover regimes in a warmer climate: Effects on northern aquatic ecosystems
The goal of this project is to assess the effects of changing ice-cover regimes on aquatic primary production and carbon metabolism in northern freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems.
Dr. Erin Hotchkiss, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia Prof. Rolf Vinebrooke, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
Northern aquatic ecosystems are seasonally variable due to long, cold and dark ice-covered winters as well as 24-hour sunlight during summer. A warmer climate has effects on the extensions and magnitudes of snow- and ice-cover, with shorter duration of ice-cover expected for northern aquatic ecosystems. The ice-cover is important for carbon accumulation (CO2 and CH4), aquatic-atmosphere gas exchange and a number of biological processes. Hence, a changing ice-cover regime will have important implications for the function of northern aquatic ecosystems and for the role of these systems in the global carbon cycle.