Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Report of the FY2016 program for overseas visits by young researchers: Seasonal changes of zooplankton in Fram Strait (Atlantic gateway to the Arctic ocean)

I stayed at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany from 3 March to 31 May 2018 with funding from the ArCS’ program for young researchers overseas visits. Bremerhaven, where I stayed, was a peaceful port town. People there enjoyed drinking beer and walking along the river banks every evening.

I examined zooplankton collected by sediment traps in AWI. Sediment traps are containers used to collect sinking particles in water column throughout a period. These are used in oceanic areas that are difficult to frequently survey by ship – e.g. the Arctic and open oceans. Recently, we are able to evaluate the seasonal zooplankton changes by analyzing samples collected by sediment traps.

In this study, we analyzed sediment trap samples collected in the Fram Strait, which is the Atlantic gateway to the Arctic ocean. It is reported that water temperature of ocean current flowing from the Atlantic Ocean to Arctic Ocean through the Fram Strait is getting warmer, consequently changing the Arctic marine ecosystems. Our study suggests that seasonal changes of zooplankton community are also influenced by the warm Atlantic water inflow to the Arctic Ocean.

During my period of stay, I have had an opportunity to enhance my English communication skills and learn new things through my conversations with Dr. Eva-Maria Nöthig and participation in the section meeting. In addition, I was able to experience traditional German culture of birthday celebration – with each day offering a new and meaningful experience!

Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to the funding program and everyone who supported my research in AWI.

Koki Tokuhiro (Hokkaido University)

Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)

Banks of weather river