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Publication . Report . 2022

Report of the DANA 6/21 ECOTIP West Greenland 2021 Cruise: Investigations from off Nuuk to north of Disko Island

Munk, Peter; Hanse, Katrine Elnegaard; Davies, Joanna Martin; Törnroos-Remes, Anna; Armitage, Phoebe; Jacquot, Maité; Bastian, Daniel; +11 Authors
Open Access
Published: 28 Jan 2022
Publisher: Zenodo

A multidisciplinary cruise was carried out off west Greenland during the period 17/7 to 29/7 (incl. transit 13/7 to 30/7) 2021, covering the area from north of Nuuk to north of Disko island by a set of latitudinal sampling transects. The plans for the cruise was challenged by corona restrictions necessitating changes to initial cruise track, and by generally windy working conditions, but overall, planned sampling activities were successfully carried out. This field work is an important element of the HORIZON-2020 supported project ECOTIP which is carried out from 2020 to 2024. ECOTIP aims at improving our understanding of anthropogenic changes in the biological production and diversity in the Arctic marine regions, and their effects on the ecosystem services. The work has special emphasis on the evaluation of whether a change in the lower trophic levels, due to the increased temperature and freshwater outflow, can trigger an ecosystem tipping cascade that ultimately will change the important benthic-pelagic coupling and carbon sequestration processes as well as the fisheries production. During the cruise several of ECOTIP’s scientific sub-topics were emphasized. Sampling and investigations were set up for assessment of hydrographic and ecosystem variability both from the coastal to offshore areas and from boreal areas off Nuuk to the Arctic areas north of Disko Bay, and sampling and measurements was to a large extent carried out at sites from which historical information is available. We measured biodiversity at trophic levels from bacteria to fish larvae, and carried out a wide range of process studies investigating e.g. microbial activity, benthic processes and the biological pump. Further, chemistry and pollution of the marine area were considered. Many fundamental elements of the arctic marine ecosystem have already changed, and many observations and samples from the cruise contributes valuable new information to support the assessment and modeling of biological changes under the future climate scenarios.