Projects/Activities

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Displaying: 61 - 80 of 345 Next
61. Marine food webs as vector of human patogens

Marine foodwebs as vector and possibly source of viruses and bacteria patogenic to humans shall be investigated in a compartive north-south study. Effects of sewage from ships traffic and urban settlements, on animals of arctic foodwebs will be studied.

Pathways Biological effects Hydrography Fish Discharges Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Shipping Polar bear Exposure Arctic Local pollution Seabirds Shellfish Food webs Waste Human health Human intake Marine mammals
62. Long-term effects of offshore discharges on cold water zooplankton: establishing a test system for chronic exposure to offshore discharges

During the last decade the concern regarding environmental effects of the offshore industry has shifted from effects of drilling discharges on benthic communities, towards a stronger focus on the water column and effects on the pelagic ecosystem. At the same time, oil and gas development is expanding in the Norwegian and Russian sectors of the Barents Sea. In this regard, a project has been initiated to look at responses of especially Calanus spp. and other copepod species to long-term, sublethal exposure to selected offshore discharges and discharge components, as well as accidental oil spills. Calanus spp. is ecologically the most important zooplankton species along the Norwegian shelf and in the Barents Sea. A laboratory based facility for culture through several generations is being developed through this project. In addition, the impact of oil compounds on the cold-water and arctic Calanus species-complex will be examined by carrying out a series of laboratory (some at Ny Ålesund) and ship based experiments. The response parameters will include both behavioral (feeding, mate finding, avoidance) and physiological (mortality, egg production, development rates, oxygen consumption and assimilation efficiency) parameters. The ultimate outcome of this research is expected to be a supporting instrument for ecological risk assessment of offshore discharges, which is highly relevant both to the North Sea, the mid-Norway shelf and the Barents Sea.

Pathways Biological effects Biology PAHs Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Petroleum hydrocarbons Exposure Arctic Oil and Gas
63. ACD coastel erosion

The erosion rates at some selected coastal cliffs near Ny-Ålesund will be measured by the use of terrestrial photographs and photogrammertry. testing the method itself is a part of the study. Thsi part is a part of my doctoral work and is in the international Arctic Coastal Dynamics project. The fisrt part of the fieldwork was carried out in 2002.

64. ARCTAPHID: biology and ecology of aphid populations in arctic environment.

In a context of global change, arctic ecosystems are exposed to deep modifications not only of the biology and ecology of endemic species but also of the interactions they may have with an increasing number of introduced species. This project attempts to assess in Svalbard, the impacts of global changes on aphids. These phytophagous insects are particularly relevant organisms for studies on the effects of global warming and biological invasion because 1) of their extreme sensitivity to micro- and macro- changes due to their spectacular rate of increase and phenotypic plasticity and 2) of their colonizing capacity conferred by their parthenogenetic mode of reproduction and their dispersal potential

ecology Biological effects Biology Populations adaptation Climate change life cycle invasive species Arctic Reproduction aphids Ecosystems
65. Study of the ice phase in Arctic mixed-phase clouds and its influence on the cloud-radiation interaction (EPOPEE) within the international atmospheric research project ASTAR (Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol and Radiation)

The project EPOPEE is embedded in the international project ASTAR to study direct and indirect climate effects of aerosols and clouds in the Arctic. The particular goals of the project EPOPEE are to experimentally characterize the ice phase in Arctic clouds (including the ice phase) in situ, to study the aerosol-cloud as well as cloud-radiation interactions, and to develop adequate methods to validate remote sensing cloud parameters. In 2004 the project EPOPEE is mainly organized around in situ observations of detailed microphysical and optical cloud properties onboard the Polar-2 aircraft during the transition from polluted Arctic haze (observed especially in late winter, early spring months) to clean summer aerosol conditions. The transition from Arctic haze to clean summer conditions is quite sharp (a large amount of aerosols coming from Eurasian industrial areas accumulate over the Arctic and cover the Arctic by a layer of a smog-like haze of the size of the continent of Africa) due to a radical change in atmospheric transport patterns and is, thus, easy to identify. During Arctic summer, the high latitudes are then more or less “protected” from long-range transport of air masses from lower latitudes. The principal scientific objective of the project EPOPEE in 2004 will focus on studying the aerosol-cloud interactions with particular attention given to the ice phase nucleation in Arctic mixed-phase clouds. The interpretation of the instrumental observations will broadly benefit from a very close cooperation with the LaMP modelling group for theoretically coupling small-scale processes (cloud particle nucleation) with meso-scale dynamics. Furthermore, the project will focus on cloud-radiation interaction and the development of adequate methods to validate cloud parameters retrieved from remote sensing techniques. Therein, we will experimentally answer the question of how the different ice crystal shapes govern the scattering phase function of respective crystals. Moreover, the in situ cloud measurements will allow to develop an adequate strategy for the interpretation of remote sensing data from a depolarisation Lidar onboard the same aircraft (Polar-2).

Atmospheric processes Arctic haze Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Modelling Arctic Atmosphere Ecosystems
66. Incubation behaviour and energetic strategy during reproduction in long-lived birds :

The aim of this programme was to study the physiological and behavioural adaptations to the incubation fast in the female eider. This leads to study fundamental questions about three complementary field researches described below. 1. Evolutionary and ecological approaches: energetic costs of reproduction during incubation In long-lived birds as Eider, there must be trade-offs between the energy allocated in growth and in reproduction. Therefore, individuals develop different reproductive strategies in relation with biotic and non biotic factors to maximize their fitness. Among factors tested, we will first measure the effects of animal density on female reproductive success. Additionally, we will measure, thanks to genetic tests, 1) the characteristics of eider populations (dispertion) by comparing birds originating from several islands and several locations on the same island, 2) the frequency of intra-specific nest parasitism and 3) extra-pair copulations to link these events with female behavioural decisions. To link reproductive effort with female immunocompetence, we will then perform PHA (phytohaemagglutinine) skin tests at different stages of the incubation period. Finally, we will perform clutch reductions at different stages of the incubation period in order to highlight decision rules controlling nest desertion in females. 2. Physiological and ecological approaches: parental investment in reproduction We will also focus on the implication of prolactin and corticosterone in the control of parental decision at the hatching stage. Implantation of exogenous hormones will be done on nesting birds to evaluate the respective role of these two hormones in the control of parental decisions in eiders. Parental investment in incubation can be regulated by the reproductive value of the clutch size. To further understand the mechanism underlying nest desertion, we will measure the induced-changes in prolactin and corticosterone concentrations after clutch size manipulation overall the incubating period. 3. Physiological approach: regulation of body fuel utilization during fasting The aim will be to study the mechanisms of the regulation of body fuel utilization and energy expenditure during fasting. For this purpose, the ability of eider duck to withstand long periods of starvation will be studied by measuring the variations in plasma of major substrate concentrations (as index of lipid or protein breakdown) and hormones (e.g., leptin, glucagon, corticosterone, T3, ...). The study of duck’s adaptation to extended fasts occurring at specific stages of their life might help to understand important underlying mechanisms, such as reduction in energy expenditure, long-term regulation of body fat storage and mobilization, as well as long-term control of food intake.

Biological effects Biology Arctic birds reproduction ecophysiology
67. Behavioral and evolutionary implications of strict monogamy. An experimental approach in panarctic seagull: the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla breeding in Alaska

This project's goal is to experimentally study strict monogamy in a panarctic seagull, the black-legged kittiwake, in Alaska. It studies mate choice (which is crucial because no mixed strategy is used) in relation to indivdual quality, fitness and sexual conflict in strictly monogamous species. It is rooted in a detailed knowledge of the species’ biology and the merging of three teams (French, Austiran and Alaskan) with long-term experience researching kittiwakes. It uses the unique experimental Alaskan setting for wild populations.

Evolution Biology Sperm competition Populations Mate choice Biodiversity Arctic Seabirds Reproduction Sexual Selection Behavioural Ecology
68. GEOMORPHOCLIM

The aim is a better understanding of the impact of contemporary climatic change (posterior to Little Ice Age) on plant dynamics and the morphodynamic processes active at the glacial margins in polar environments. The selected research field is constituted of the Brøgger Peninsula, where erosion assessments will be evaluated for various processes (frost weathering, runoff, biological weathering, …).

Geology Hydrography Climate change Arctic GIS geomorphology
69. Long distance pollen transport in the Arctic: 1. Greenland

The submitted proposal aims to perform the monitoring of the pollen rain in the Greenland atmosphere by distinguishing the local pollen production, relatively low, from pollen grains originating from other Arctic areas. A regular monitoring of the atmospheric pollen content must be performed in order to evaluate the amount emitted and characterise the seasonality of the emission. A comparison with air mass trajectories must allow the modelling of long distance transport

Biology Climate variability Spatial trends Modelling Biodiversity Data management pollen Atmosphere Ecosystems
70. Living in a spatially structured environment: evolutionary ecology of seabird-parasite interactions

The aim of this research program is to examine the response of animal populations to environmental variability at different spatial scales. We attempt to determine how individuals respond to the spatial heterogeneity of their environment, and what are the consequences of this response for the dynamics of subdivided populations. Specifically, we consider an ecological system involving biotic interactions at three levels: seabirds, their tick _Ixodes uriae_, and the microparasite _Borrelia burgdorferi_ sensu lato (Lyme disease agent). Colonies of seabirds represent discrete entities, within and among which parasites can circulate. Our previous work on this system in the norwegian arctic has enable us to show that (1) host dispersal can be affected by local conditions, (2) seabird tick populations are specialised among different host species, namely between sympatric kittiwakes _Rissa tridactyla_ and puffins _Fratercula arctica_, (3) in the kittiwake, females transmit antibodies against _Borrelia burgdorferi_ when their chicks have a high probability to be exposed to the tick vector. We propose to combine different approaches, incorporating field surveys and experiments and population genetic studies (of hosts and parasites), in order to better understand the role of local interactions and dispersal in the dynamics of such a system. The research program implies collaborations with researchers from other french groups, as well as with Canadian (Queen’s University) and Norwegian colleagues (from NINA and the University of Tromsø).

Biology Populations Epidemiology Evolutionary ecology Spatial trends Biodiversity Seabirds Ecosystems
71. Die GPS/GLONASS Permanentstation Sonnblick -ein moderner meteorologischer Sensor

GPS has become an important tool both in navigation and in precise point positioning. One of the nuicance parameters limiting the accuracy of point determination is the water vapor content of the troposphere. On the other hand meteorologists are interested in the wet component of the troposphere as a valuable tool for Numerical Weather Prediction. Therefore GPS offers a low cost monitoring of water vapor with high temporal resolution. We make use of continuous measurements of the GPS/GLONASS reference station network in Austria, which currently consists of about 30 sites with distances ranging from 50 km to 120 km. We calculate the zenith wet delays for a period of 2 months (February and March 2002). Subsequently the results are compared to contributions of different processing centers of the COST-716 project ?Exploitation of Ground Based GPS for Climate and NWP? and with zenith path delay estimates provided by the IGS. As meteorologists need the water vapor within less than two hours, special attention is paid to the availability, reliability and especially to the quality of the satellite orbits used for the network calculations.

GPS Climate Water Vapour GNSS Atmosphere
72. Tritium as a 'natural' tracer of air masses

It is well known that tritium, the hydrogen isotope 3H, is part of nuclear weapons and was spread all over the world as a consequence of nuclear bomb explosions. Rarely it is regarded as being “natural”, but actually it is. Long time before humans appeared tritium already existed on earth for a long time. This “natural” tritium is the product of cosmic radiation interactions with the atmosphere (mainly N-14). Nowadays this kind of tritium production contributes only to a small extent to the atmospheric tritium. Tritium is radioactive and decays with a half-life of 4.500 days under the emission of a very low energetic beta-particle. In the atmosphere tritium can be found within water vapour (HTO), hydrogen (HT) or methane (CH3T). Yet, the main portion of tritium released during the 1960’s has already been eliminated from the atmosphere by radioactive decay and precipitation. A large amount is captured in the oceans. Indeed, today anthropogenic sources releasing tritium to the environment can still be found. At the end of the 1980‘s contacts with research institutes in former Eastern Bloc countries lead to the idea of establishing a tritium sampling network. The primary goal was the documentation of atmospheric tritium. Statements about potential releases and their sources and the radiation hazards associated should be obtained. Furthermore it might help with the verification of meteorological models. To acquire comparable results a standardised sampling device was developed. This system simultaneously collects samples of air humidity and hydrogen. It was planned to enlist the gathered data in a database and to use them for the following subjects: • observation of local and global tritium transport in the atmosphere • detecting tritium releases and locating their sources • radiation risk evaluation • examining the transmutation of elemental hydrogen into water under natural conditions With the breakdown of the Eastern Bloc the idea of this common network faded away. At the moment only at two stations in Austria air humidity and air hydrogen are collected as planned: since 1991 at Research Center Arsenal in Vienna and since 1999 at Hoher Sonnblick a high mountain station (3160 m). Currently we are working together with the IAEA on a project with the aim to find a model, which helps evaluating weather conditions and in particular the climatic processes. As for these investigations the stable isotopes H-2 and O-18 are used and the currently used device introduces fractionation a new method is developed right now. Since the specific tritium activity concentration is not affected by air pressure or humidity the values for the two locations can be compared directly. In general the measured values are similar but sometimes differ noticeably. For example a peak value for the tritium activity concentration observed during March 2000 at Sonnblick was not noticed in Vienna. In this context the attempt should be made to analyse the air flows with the help of trajectories. The tritium activity concentration of air humidity is primarily determined by the amount of humidity itself. Therefore the concentration is directly linked to the seasons. Only significant changes in the specific tritium activity concentration can be detected by the use of the tritium activity concentration. Seasonal variations within the tritium activity concentration of hydrogen could not be observed. The values vary around 10 mBq/m3.

Atmospheric processes Radioactivity Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Radionuclides Modelling Atmosphere
73. Interactions between meiofauna and mat-forming microbes at the sediment-water interface - implications for benthic-pelagic coupling in coastal systems

The project investigated small-scale biotic interactions between laminated microbial communities and meiofauna at light-exposed sediment-water boundaries of estuarine lagoons. The production and biological structure of these systems is mainly determined by complex processes at the sediment-water interface which depend on finely scaled patterns, requiring appreciation of how the biota interact within these scales. We tested whether changing light conditions and active emergence of the harpacticoid species Mesochra lilljeborgi and Tachidius discipes are mediated by the activity of benthic oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophic microbes. Two hypotheses were tested which addresses to the question of causality between changing light conditions and active emergence of the harpacticoid copepods. (1)The harpacticoid copepods T. discipes and M. lilljeborgi will enter the bottom water during daylight when oxygenic photosynthesis of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae is blocked and conditions at the sediment-water interface have turned anoxic. (2)Both species will not emerge during dark exposures when transferred to sterilized sediments.

Biological effects Biology copepod microbial communities interactions Sediments Ecosystems
74. Life cycle strategies linked to adult development and reproduction in the Northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica. Study of the Gullmarsfjorden population.

To recognize some life cycle strategies linked to adult development and reproduction in the Northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, in the Gullmarsfjorden population. Sampling of krill and analyses of the distribution of sex, body-size, moult and reproductive development stages.

Biology Meganyctiphanes norvegica krill life cycle
75. Interactions between appendicularian and copepod grazing on dinoflagellate blooms

To be completed.

Biology copepod grazing dinoflagellate blooms Food webs Diet
76. Proximate ecological controls on the swimming behaviour of coastal euphausiids

To examine the way in which light intensity and spectrum affects the swimming behaviour and activity of the pelagic euphausiid Meganyctiphanes norvegica. Our initial objective was to develop a method with this animal where clear behavioural responses could be related to various stimuli. By tethering the animals it was hoped that it would be possible to look at the responses of Meganyctiphanes norvegica to subtle changes in light intensity, of the range they might be expected to experience in their natural habitat. Concomitant with the main objective, animals were sampled over 24 hours to look for the presence of clock proteins and examine the movements of visual pigments. To relate any pigment migration to changes in light intensity that the animals might have experienced in situ, animals were also exposed to known quanta of light and then fixed.

Biology euphausiids swimming behaviour Meganyctiphanes norvegica light intensity pigment
77. The significance of localised nutrient regeneration for the development and maintenance of nuisance macro-algal blooms in shallow embayments

The main objective was to investigate the importance of the sediment as a nutrient source for blooms of nuiscance filamentous algae. Nutrient fluxes from the sediment were hypothesised to be of greater importance in maintaining algal biomass than were nutrients originating from the overlying water column. We aimed to assess the relative importance of algal mats on sediment geochemistry and nutrient release under stillwater and controlled flow conditions. Using nutrient fluxes as a surrogate for ecosystem function, we wished to investigate the role of species richness in maintaining the integrity of nutrient diagenesis. In this context, it is not necessarily the number of species that is important in maintaining nutrient supply to algal blooms, but the contribution individual species make to mediate nutrient release.

Biological effects Biology bloom filamentous algae nutrient flux Sediments
78. Metabolic and behavioural reactions of Nordic krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, from Gullmarsfjorden towards environmental factors

The phsyiological and locomotive reaction to factors that influence environmental behaviour of Nordic krill from the Gullmarfjorden were studied in terms of swimming energetics, predator avoidence and food utilization. In a newly developed experimental approach, individuals were maintained under defined conditions in flow through chambers and continuously monitored for swimming activity and oxygen consumption. Chemical, physical and biological parameters were applied and the reaction of the krill determined. Stress levels, defined this way, will serve as a reference for unfavourable conditions in the field. Thermal characteristics of digestive enzymes from the midgut gland were furthermore identify the optimum conditions for nutrient assimilation. The results will contribute to the understanding of diel vertical migration, dispersion and aggregation of krill which, in turn is essential for the interpretation of ecosystem dynamics and trophic interactions.

Biological effects Biology krill predator avoidence swimming energetics food utilization oxygen consumption
79. Reproductive dynamics of the two-spotted goby (Gobiusculus flavescens)

The project as a whole consists of a number of sub-projects which are: a) Is female coloration a signal of quality? b) Do males conduct post-spawning mate choice through differential filial cannibalism? c)Do female preferences for male size change throughout the season? d)Do female common gobies compete for access to high-quality males? e)Are male reproductive decisions influenced by prior expectation of female quality? f)How is male-male competition over nest sites influenced by resource holding potential and resource value? g)How do parasites influence mate preferences in two-spotted gobies?

Biology two-spotted goby Gobiusculus flavescens reproduction
80. Studies of the Polar Cap Ionosphere

The experiments comprise automated receiving systems for 150 and 400 MHz transmissions from NIMS (formerly known as NNSS) satellites that are used to determine the ionospheric electron content by means of the differential carrier phase method. Receivers are located at Ny-Ålesund, Longyearbyen, Bjørnøya and Tromsø. Measurements of electron content from the receiver network are inverted in a tomographic reconstruction algorithm to yield two-dimensional images of electron density over a wide region. The observations are used to investigate the dynamical processes responsible for the spatial structuring of the plasma distribution in the polar ionosphere. These tomographic images are complementary to measurements made using the EISCAT and EISCAT Svalbard radars and auroral optical instruments located on Svalbard.

Atmospheric processes Geophysics Ionosphere tomography Atmosphere